INTERVIEW Sŵn Special: Pumarosa

Today is the day that Sŵn festival takes over Cardiff for its 10th birthday! Bringing the hidden gems of music from all over the world to the streets of Cardiff. Although this sounds like an exciting time, it can be rather overwhelming narrowing down the endless line up into a weekend of your own. However, I got to chat to drummer, Nick from Pumarosa; one of the must see acts of the weekend who are playing at Tramshed tonight!

There’s no rest for Pumarosa, the band have only just got back from a  US tour with Glass Animals and have now already started their first ever headline tour which kicked off in Brighton last night. We ask Nick how he found touring in the states. Whilst the response was successful, the band did not actually catch much of the US lifestyle: “When we first thought about going there we were so excited to see so many places, but in reality we are not going to see that much. You see the inside of a van’. Luckily for Pumarosa, our friends across the pond took a shine to the band “They were really enthusiastic and really good actually. We weren’t sure how we would go down. Certain crowds, like ones in university towns, wouldn’t know who we are but were just totally willing. You could imagine a tumble weed but it just wasn’t like that.  American crowds are good, they were just enthusiastic and friendly’. We joke at how this reception is rather different to the icy crowds that unknown bands can often get in the UK. He comments “I suppose that’s what we’re used to. It’s hard to get a whole crowd slightly less just self-consciously breathing. However, the crowd is so dependent on how excited the crowd are to be there”. This response shouldn’t be an issue for Pumarosa anymore with a headline tour currently on the go, they are raking in punters to solely see them. Nick does not give much away about the tour but does add that the support acts Puluché and Vïsta are also a must see “as an evening of music it will be great”.


With a tour on the go, and a recent release of a few tracks, an album from the band is much anticipated: “We are drawing to a close now with adding the last bits now. There is not a release date but we are hoping early next year”. Pumarosa have worked with Dan Carey (Bat for Lashes, Kate Tempest) on their upcoming material: “Working with Dan has been a massive influence. In every sense I think musically we kind of respond very similarly and have a lot of overlaps. He’s kind of opened our eyes to the world”. Nick talks of the recording process with Dan to be a rather enlightening one: “His studio is quite small but is packed full of this amazing gear and he has always has got a surprise somewhere. Like you’ll be recording a guitar part and he will just bring out this weird looking peddle and connect it to some sort of spring. It’s just totally mind blowing really.” With amazing tracks like Priestess and Honey coming out I ask if these are good indicators of what to expect from their debut album, however Nick comments on its shift: “I think it is quite diverse to what we have put out in terms of singles, there is quite a shift, it does move about a lot”.

For Pumarosa, the song writing process seems quite an interesting one. From recording music on a derelict, cliff side cinema in Italy to gaining inspiration from documentaries on the Middle East; their song writing process does not appear to be a basic one. We spoke to Nick about the meaning making process of their songs: “I don’t think every song is set out to be anchored politically. With Honey, we all had watched the Adam Curtis documentary about the Middle East and we were really inspired by it. But sometimes it is a fully formed song and sometimes it is just sort of a jam and a song will grow from it. Not everything has a certain meaning. I think it can sometimes be a feeling and more abstract”. Due to their range of inspiration, they describe themselves to have a ‘Spiritual Industrial ethos’. Nick highlights this is because: “When you’re asked to describe your music by genre it is kind of a general thing that I suppose everybody has to learn to say. You could say yeah it is a funk rock thing but it could be way more than that. Industrial spiritual is quite good as it outlines elements that are there in the music but at the same time it doesn’t contain it too much”

With Pumarosa being one of the bands to kick of Sŵn’s 10th anniversary, we ask Nick what he thinks of the festival that celebrates upcoming artists.  ‘”There’s not enough platforms like Sŵn. Even on radio, it’s hard for new bands to break in. So a festival that savours stuff that is on the up is good. A lot of festivals on the line up you see the same bands and you can see why but at the same time I suppose in a curating sense, it seems a little uninspired. Sŵn feels a bit more risky doesn’t it? It is sort of more interesting, like an unknown. People are going there, not because they know what will happen but instead to see what happens and that’s really exciting. It’s a really good premise.”

Catch Pumarosa tonight at Tramshed at 8pm! Expect “tribal sounds”, expect “psychedelic sounds”, and expect an amazing, “spiritual industrial” experience.