Since forming in 2006 after meeting at Kingston College, alternative rock outfit Tubelord have released two albums, their 2009 debut Our First American Friends, and latest offering R O M A N C E, out today. The new album represents a departure both lyrically and musically, as the thrashing guitars have mellowed in favour of a poppier sound, and frontman and chief songwriter Joseph Prendergast has chosen to borrow from the poetry of female poets like Sylvia Plath rather than draw from his own experiences. The album artwork contains a hidden login and password for a website that reveals the lyrics along with the poets and publications that inspired them. Prendergast tells us more.

How did Tubelord form?

One day after school while listening to Zoe Ball’s Xfm radio show, my mind perked up and my body almost convulsed when I heard the most sublime ‘break’ in a pop song. It was ‘Let’s Stop Hanging Out’ by a band called Reuben. The song was an utter inspiration to my teenage self and I realised that all I’d ever wanted in life was to create something which may have a similar effect on somebody else’s life and make them want to create.

How did the writing and recording of R O M A N C E differ from your debut?

The writing wasn’t so far removed from the process undertaken with Our First American Friends. I wrote and recorded a demo which was sent to James, Tom and Dave, who then learnt sections, so when we booked a room to rehearse, we’d discuss how to make the song flow and give it some kind of feel, making it ‘work’ as opposed to the demo versions which sounded like a dude alone in his room attempting to understand the song as a whole without paying too much attention to the sum of its parts.

What influences your music?

With R O M A N C E the pool of inspiration was definitely a different one to that of Our First American Friends. The majority of songs were written between the stages of finishing university and moving out of the home I spent my entire life growing up in. In this sense what influenced the music this time around was less from an adolescent perspective and more attempting to get a grip onto what adulthood felt like. I still have no idea! Jobless days spent indoors with an instrument and recording devices influenced the music. That and [the] friends I visited and stayed with at the time. If you’re not creating something your friends will enjoy then what’s the point?!

Tubelord has seen numerous line-up changes since your beginnings, how has this impacted the dynamic of the band?

I don’t have to use the OS-2 distortion pedal for us to make a racket anymore. Dave still smashes his cymbals which float over your head, Tom has the sub-bass tones reverberating in your chest and James recreates the sounds of volcanoes erupting on some distant planet whilst being played through a super fuzzbox, which gets your hips shaking. I tend to just stand there whilst all this racket happens around me.

In such a competitive culture, how do you stand out?

If you saw a picture of us standing together in a room you’d be so unimpressed and probably think it was a staff portrait photograph for your local WHSmith. This is exactly how we stand out, we’ll tear that Dazed & Confused out of your hands and replace it with an Angling Times.

What do you hope R O M A N C E will achieve?

The realisation of meaning, meaning less.

m y f i r s t c a s t l e by tubelord

R O M A N C E is released today on Pink Mist.

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