Its been a whirlwind eighteen months for Glaswegian band, Prides. They headlined the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading and Leeds, performed the closing ceremony at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and have just announced their first UK tour. I was lucky enough to speak to lead singer, Stewart Brock, about FIFA, Blink 182, and a host of other topics.
Starting off as a two-piece band with Lewis, a friend for many years, Prides didn’t come to be until they met third member Callum Wiseman. “When we developed into writing as a three, the music took a different direction and that’s when we decided to change our name to Prides. We came up with the name because the band we were in before was called Midnight Lion, and the band we poached Callum from was called Kitty the Lion, so we thought all the lions together should create a pride.” Someone’s been watching David Attenborough, clearly. Everything about the name of this band conveys an unpretentious, even organic semblance, the kind of which is hard to find in today’s mainstream music climate.
Honest, anthemic, pop
“Honest, anthemic, pop” were the three words Stewart used to describe the band, and I couldn’t agree more. The synth-heavy band have been likened to Wet Wet Wet, and Stewart feels “[they] share similar influences” with the likes of “Chvrches and Bastille…cause we like 80s stuff.” All the band members, like many others, passed their teenage years listening to Blink 182 on repeat, but not many can say they have supported their idols on stage. “It was amazing – we are all massive Blink fans and they are the ones who got us into being in a band. It was such a personal achievement to be on the same bill as them, especially at Brixton, a very iconic UK venue.”
Later on the bands were effectively placed head to head at Reading and Leeds, with Prides headlining the BBC Introducing Stage at the same time Blink 182 performed on the Main Stage. Clashing with such a huge band is always going to be tough, but Stewart explains that it was a success nonetheless. “We were a little skeptical, but it was unbelievable, so we were really chuffed. We were asked to do the BBC Introducing Stage last year on an earlier slot, so it was quite a nice anniversary to see how much we have done in a year between because that was such early days. Going back to headline the same stage was a great achievement.”
Prides, like the animal collective they are named after, are still hungry for more, despite their early successes, and are aiming to “hit the festivals hard next summer” in addition to releasing an album before then. If the success of their singles is anything to go on, there is no doubt that this band’s recording future is a promising one. Many may have inadvertently heard one of their tracks on the FIFA 15 soundtrack; this is something which has benefitted such bands as The Temper Trap and Chvrches in the past. Stewart states that “it’s a massive platform, and it really pushes the music to a new audience of millions of people, so hopefully people like it.”
When speaking at length with Stewart, it is his modesty and passion for music that shines through. However, things could have been very different for the lead singer; he very nearly followed the path to becoming an engineer, but had a last minute change of heart. When asked what advice he would pass on to others he keeps it simple; “Keep on rolling in the great words of Fred Durst.” This perhaps sums up Stewart and the band; simple, honest, and content to let the music speak for itself. This band will no doubt be crawling up the festival bill for next year’s season – make sure to keep an eye out for Prides.