I remember the first time I heard the track Liberty Pill, I was drawn to the instant hook the song had. Both melodically and musically, Southampton trio Welcome Pariah was akin to uncovering a hidden gem. Wanting to find out more about the band, Welcome Pariah spoke to AMBY about antidepressants, the Mad Hatter and anagrams.
AMBY: How would you describe Welcome Pariah’s sound to those unfamiliar with your music?
Welcome Pariah: Many people find it hard to pinpoint our exact sound and we are always told by others that there are a lot of influences in there. But personally, we always say alternative rock, or rock and roll music. There is an element of Britpop in there (hate to use the term) but it stems from a lot of our own influences and if we don’t say it, someone else normally does. Basically, it’s just decent rock and roll music which won’t be hard to spot when you take a listen.
AMBY: Where did the name Welcome Pariah come from?
Welcome Pariah: The name was actually something we came up with a few years before we got the band together. I’ve been asked this question a number of times, sometimes I can find the words to really explain what it means, on other occasions not so we’ll. But a ‘pariah’ is essentially an outcast, so the name implies a kind of oxymoron. It’s about young men feeling somewhat removed from the time and place they’re living in, our music lends itself to that really. It sounds a bit depressing, but so many young people feel that way, and our songs are about connecting with those people. That’s where the ‘welcome’ comes from; it’s kind of the verve in us actually.
AMBY: Liberty Pill has such a great feel to it, what is the story behind the song?
Welcome Pariah: To be frank, it’s about antidepressants and how irresponsible some GP’s can be when prescribing them as freely as they do. It’s written in first person, but it’s actually about a few people I know.
AMBY: What is the funniest thing to happen to you at one of your gigs?
Welcome Pariah: To be honest, nothing all that funny has ever happened at the gigs We have a laugh on stage and on the way up in the car to shows in London and up north as a band, feels like a proper little road trip, always good fun. I don’t want to make up a story for the sake of it. Maybe something will happen at our next gig which would have made the cut for this question, but for the meantime nothing. It’s all very, very serious ;)
AMBY: What does the band have planned for 2013?
Welcome Pariah: We reckon this year will be a good one for us, it’s nice to be at the stage now where people are contacting us to play gigs, most of which are now from outside our home town. ‘This Feeling’ is London’s biggest rock n roll night, so to be having our single launch there on the 26th April up in London is a real honour, it really is the one to be on.
We will also be releasing our first proper music video in April, for any band this is a big moment as the capacity for a good music video to reach people is huge, more so than gigging will ever be. We’ve also been booked for a few festivals this year so bring on the summer and keep them coming!
AMBY: Who would your dream gig be with?
Welcome Pariah: Supporting The Verve or The Stone Roses would be amazing. We’re massive fans of the two and I don’t think it would get any better than that. You could do your gig and then watch the bands that you would probably go and see anyway all in one evening, a proper night! Obviously we love playing shows wherever, but something on this level is a completely different ball game. Maybe one day hey.
AMBY: Which artists have you been listening to lately?
Welcome Pariah: A bit of Jake Bugg, Donovan, Paul Weller and The Who have been on the CD player just from the last couple of days. Nothing all that modern is really impressing us at the moment, so hopefully guitar music will start having it’s time again. It certainly seems to be going that way and it always comes in phases if you look at history. We’re still waiting for a classic British rock and roll band to start making an impact again on the music scene. There’s a lot of over produced and ‘fast food music’ at the moment, but we’ve got faith that it won’t take all that long before real music comes back around.
AMBY: If you could invite any three people to dinner, who would you choose?
Welcome Pariah: Good question, are we inviting anyone from history? Obviously, referring to today, John Lennon wouldn’t be very responsive around the dinner table, but back in the day he’d be up there, just to hear his views, a proper passionate and funny guy. Richard Ashcroft probably for some advice and decent conversation and probably someone really random after that to mix things up a bit, like the Mad Hatter! That would make for a pretty interesting afternoon tea party.
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
Welcome Pariah: Every aspect of what’s to follow really, we’ve got loads of dates booked which a year ago would have seemed a million miles away. We’ve achieved a lot in a short space of time and we’re a little wiser to what we should and shouldn’t be doing now, this is the year we really step it up a peg or two!
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Welcome Pariah that nobody knows yet?
Welcome Pariah: A a cee whirl mop is an anagram of welcome pariah.
15th February – Fiddlers Elbow, Camden, London (Cool Britannia)
26th April – This Feeling, London
9th May – Pulse Festival, Sunnyfields Farm, Totton, Southampton
10th May – This Feeling, Southampton
8th June- Scooters for heroes Birmingham
14th/15th June – March Of The Mods Festival, Santa Pods Raceway, Wellingborough, Podington
12th- Recon, Birmingham
Back to the Mods Fest Santa Pod- June 2013
Pulse Festival- 10-12th May
Indiscreet festival- 19th- 20th May
Brentwood Festival- 6-8th July
Alicia & Yaz Atout