The Chester three-piece have been cutting their teeth on the UK scene for over four years. SlantedPress sat down for a chat about their progress, plans and that priceless name.
Youâ€™re already thinking about the name, arenâ€™t you? Rolling it over in your mouth a bit, figuring out how to say it? Turns out, Peaness (PEA-NESS) donâ€™t think about it too much themselves. â€œWe werenâ€™t taking it very seriously, and then we did, and we were like â€œohâ€¦weâ€™re called Peaness nowâ€â€ Rachel (drums) muses. â€œIt does raise a few eyebrowsâ€, Balla (guitar) chimes in, â€œThink weâ€™re just used to it now. It was our own fault really, we brought this on ourselvesâ€. Thereâ€™s a harmony between the three of them that extends beyond their music, and they bounce off one another comfortably as they chat.
The trio, completed by Jess on bass, met during university. â€œWe all studied music at Chester and used to practise in my old student accommodation, which Iâ€™m sure the neighbours really enjoyedâ€ Rachel says. But it was more than a love of music that helped form the band, and according to Balla, messing around for a bit was key. â€œFor me, it wasnâ€™t until we started playing together that we realised â€œoh, this is actually working really wellâ€. Itâ€™s difficult to find that kind of magic group of people or whatever. As soon as we had a few practices, I was very happy with it.â€
Their friendship was clearly just as important a motivator as the practice and creativity. â€œYouâ€™ve gotta be able to enjoy each otherâ€™s company, otherwise itâ€™s just not gonna end well. Weâ€™ve already been in it for a few years and we donâ€™t hate each other or anything like thatâ€ says Jess, for whom the bond clearly comes first. â€œItâ€™s like a three-way marriageâ€, Balla elaborates, â€œso itâ€™s kind of important that we like each other.â€
Once Peaness was rolling, as Rachel explains, they turned their attention to writing music and playing gigs. â€œIt was about a year after we finished uni we started gigging, because I moved back to Birmingham and started travelling. At the start we just met up for fun, just to see what we came up withâ€. What they came up with were two EPs, No Fun and Are You Sure?, released in 2015 and 2017 respectively, blending summery indie-pop with a DIY punk vibe. The reception to the releases was extremely positive, but Jess remains humble. â€œAt first, we didnâ€™t know if we were any good. You kinda think itâ€™s good, but youâ€™re biased. So, having a good response was encouraging I guessâ€. Are You Sure? received a spate of four and five-star reviews, and Rachel seems a bit dazzled by the response. â€œI wasnâ€™t really expecting the kind of feedback that we got, we got featured in Kerrang which was a bizarre experience. Seeing our faces in that, what the hellâ€™s going on?
The two EPs total nine tracks, but Balla and Rachel both share a fondness for â€˜Same Placeâ€™, from the bandâ€™s second release. When asked why itâ€™s their favourite, Balla offers up the trackâ€™s themes. â€œItâ€™s got a little bit of likeâ€¦. nostalgia about it and itâ€™s a little bit sentimental â€˜cus itâ€™s about where we live and all our friendsâ€. Rachel, on the other hand, is more technically-minded. â€œWeâ€™ve got a lot of dynamic changes, I really enjoyed writing that oneâ€. Itâ€™s easy to hearâ€”and seeâ€”why; itâ€™s an uplifting track with an adorably low-fi video.
It's been a gig-heavy run for the band, but we wanted to know if they were planning to release more music any time soon. â€œMaybe. Weâ€™re not really too sure when itâ€™s getting released or anythingâ€ Rachel tells us, pausing to choke on a slice of pizza. â€œWeâ€™ve recorded an albumâ€™s worth now. But weâ€™re not really too sure when itâ€™s coming out. The materialâ€™s all there, but itâ€™s secretâ€. An air of mystery, then.
Still, we had to get something out of them, so we asked if theyâ€™d come up with names yet. While Rachel is quick to crush our hopes of an exclusive reveal, Jess is confident that theyâ€™ll have something witty eventually. â€œWe came up with â€˜Peanessâ€™ so itâ€™s gonna take us a while to come up with some album namesâ€ she explains. â€œI think it comes quite late usually. When youâ€™ve got the vibe and the order of the songs, then it seems to come about. No rush.â€
As a final question, we ask who theyâ€™d most like to collaborate with in future. Rachelâ€™s quickfire suggestion of Courtney Barnett provokes an excited â€œI KNEW you were gonna say that!â€ from Balla, before the trio spiral into a game of â€˜who can suggest the biggest nameâ€™. Jess goes for Paul McCartney, while Balla opts for the perhaps more suitable Biffy Clyro.