The Pineapple Thief (Bruce Soord)
A very classy album, such as "All The Wars" by The Pineapple Thief, couldn't pass unnoticed: SpazioRock took the chance to talk with the mastermind, singer and guitarist Bruce Soord, who has been extremely kind and friendly, and very talkative about his last work. Enjoy the interview!
Article by Alessandra Leoni - Publish on: 15/10/12

Transcription by Monica Manghi

It's so great to talk to you, and welcome on SpazioRock. Let's start with a couple of questions about you new album "All The Wars". I've been following Pineapple Thief for a good while and this record is for sure really powerful and very catchy, that is a real progressive rock, not too complicated and also really enjoyable.

Yes, nice to hear it. The way we think of us, is that we are a progressive rock band, so we are also straight on the line of rock, and I think some progressive fans enjoy it because it's not complicated. It's not Dream Theater or anything of that, and some progressive fans acquaint it, so the lack of doing it is really boring. In the end it's that what they want, sometimes when you read review all they say is that everything is so boring.
Then they read other reviews, you know, and people get the fact that actually they review the songs with plenty of progressive. It's always an interesting time when an album comes out because we always think to prioritise the reviews.

I think that the way you play progressive rock it's different from other bands, especially from Britain. It's not, you know, too much technical and that's cool. Well, it's technical but not heavy and hard to listen to. For example, another great band that use to play prog rock, or alternative rock is Anathema, they are just a great band and seem sometimes very simple and enjoyable what do you think about them?

That's funny, I saw Daniel Cavanagh (Anathema singer) last night when we had a prog event where all prog artists were all together for an art dinner, so I did a nice chat with Dan dining last night. If you listen to new album they released in spring, like you said, the first track effectively is just a progression of atmosphere and there is nothing so complicated, so structures and titles really relies basically on Dan's beautiful voice. So that's what you need.

Exactly. You said atmospheric, that was the word, to define your music, it is atmospheric, progressive etc. So what can you tell me about the writing process of the words?

pineapplethief_intervista_2012_02It started 18 months ago, it was a long process, because when you start something it's just me on my own with my acoustic guitar, and if I think a song is good enough and I get that sort of vibe, that feeling that is always an instinct, then I take it to my studio which I should call home, then I spend four or five months collecting some songs. Then when I think I'm ready, I play to the band and all the ones that will survive, we start work on them, then we get the stand and rehearse together. We played a couple of them live last year and then we went in studio and the difference this time around is we also added the strings that were arranged by Andrew Skeet, and that is a new thing for me to leave someone else in to do arrangements. Also we add the choir which is really nice arrangement as well, so that's it. It's exciting but it's also a hard work.

I read in the booklet that there were some strings. Maybe I'm the only person right now in the world that still reads the booklet, but I'm always interested and I like to know how many people were involved and working with this sort of an orchestra, not so many bands are able to work with an orchestra so how was working with them?

It's 22 pieces, it is not very rock and roll, but it was a dream that came true to me to work with an orchestra, because all my life while I was growing up listen to Pink Floyd and Supertramp, a sort of classic '70 and they always used big strings, and even now if you listen to their last work there is a sort of big strings arrangements. That was always a dream to do, so when I stayed in that room hearing my songs played by these 22 string players and strings are really emotional and a highlight of my school dream. It was difficult because the first reaction is "Wow, these strings are amazing " so we needed to be sure we did not make them last too long, make them play too loud on the album.

And the next step would be playing with an orchestra, in live gigs.

Yeah, I'm talking to do a show next year which we can film for DVD.

How much is expensive to play and record with an orchestra, because I don't have any clue about the cost of this kind of performance.

Well, it's not cheap it was a really great chunk with the cost with the album. I was lucky because with the last album we sold enough copies and actually we could afford to do strings in this. That's why we went to Prague, because that's cheaper than doing it in London and also a lot less strict than other in the U.K., since in the U.K. you are not allowed to do for example the overdubs and in Prague whatever you wanna do is ok. The whole thing if you think that all include the cost of the mix skills and the arrangements 6,000 or 7,000 GBP and you can not dot it cheaper because we have 22 players, this is the sound I have from the string session, but next time I would like to have 40 player with big sound.

Having a real orchestra is for a band, especially in the rock and metal scenario, always a double edged weapon, because sometimes if you let the orchestra play too loud it may become too overwhelming, so the structure of the song might loose its soul and seems weak, if you put too much orchestra in it. As a matter of fact I really enjoy the instrumental parts, for example in "Reaching Out" there is quite a long bridge, with the band and the orchestra and it was really classy.

I was very concerned about this strings session, because when you play live and you put the strings away it does not affect the songs. There are few sections where the strings are quite powerful and dominant, especially in the last track "Reaching Out". I was in the room when they played that particular section and it was really emotional, but when we will play live, we will arrange the song differently and instead of these strings that do all these crescendos, we will use psychedelic guitar base. I hope we won't overdo it.



I was really fascinated about the cover and the booklet in general, because there's so much colourful smoke on it. Why did you choose this kind of artwork?

I remember, when we were talking about the art design guy there and he asked "What's the meaning? What's the album about?". So I was trying to explain the complexity of relationships and conflicts and remorse and the album is really focused on conflicts and reconciliation and not reconciliation comes too late for example, so that's why it's called "All The Wars". When Matt Morson showed me what he was doing, I think that cover sounded up so perfectly, I just like the way he may look deep in it. It's like beautiful, life it's beautiful, but you could also interpret as the colours of fighting and space, and all that kind of things, so the people see what's the imaging edge, is the explosion. It's whatever you want it to be and it's really catchy as well.

Have you ever come to Italy and if yes, how many times have you played?

We have been twice and we played outside Milan a couple of years ago and it wasn't promoted very well and I think we played in front of 40 people, so I hope to come back . We also played in an outside prog rock festival in Parma that was 2-3 years ago and it was really hot, so people could not stand outside so they were all under the trees. I think we haven't done Italy justice so we hope to come back really soon.

When will your tour start?

Well, we are touring the U.K. now, then we are going to France and Holland in November and when the album sells go, we hope to step a couple of more runs and speak to our agent to having some gigs early next year in Germany, Switzerland and also in Italy.

Thank you for this conversation and if you want to leave a message to your fans and our readers...

I really hope you love the album and I care about your opinion and I think it gets better with more listening and if you like it, play it, because we would love to come in Italy!

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