Published on Mous. Magazine, May 2015.
UK indie rock darlings talk tacky T-shirts, superpowers and their Middle-earth counterparts.
From a sea of triple denim, shaggy furs and striped turtlenecks emerged Peace’s buoyant brand of guitar music – steeped in swirling psychedelic melodies and dreamy, often nonsensical, lyrics.
Peace (consisting of frontman Harry Koisser, bassist Sam Koisser, guitarist Doug Castle and drummer Dom Boyce) have mastered old-school swagger for the meme-savvy generation. Their 2013 breakout music video for ‘Bloodshake’ was an intergalactic green-screen romp with fish cocktails, ninja swords and watermelons. Those who got it, got it, and have been vibing hard ever since.
In Brisbane for their Australian Happy People tour, the lads perk up when gifted with a token souvenir T-shirt (two kangaroos posing for a #selfie).
“I’ve got quite the collection of really bad shirts,” Harry says, showing me photos of his washing line like a proud father. “And when they’ve got a nice little coffee stain on it, that’s the best.”
Like the band’s entire existence, Peace’s album artwork is ingeniously themed, with inanimate objects – cocktail glasses, leopard print coats and mirrors – emblazoned with their namesake symbol. What’s next? “An umbrella with a peace sign cut out,” Harry suggests. “That’d be such a great merch idea. Absolutely pointless.”
So far, their tour escapades include dining with their mate Noel Fielding, watching Die Hard and visiting Brisbane’s Botanical Gardens (then leaving because of the spiders).
With some curveballs, our tour-talk soon swings into some kind of makeshift psychoanalysis of the band’s innermost aspirations (“I’d want to have the head of an ant” – Doug Castle, 2015). We’ll let the online fan girls decipher that one.
If you were a fictional character:
Harry: I’d be Faramir from The Lord of the Rings. He’s constantly trying to impress his father, but his dad sends him to his death. It’s like, is he fighting the evil of Mordor, or fighting for his father’s approval? He’s a good guy.
Dom: I think we probably all relate to characters of the Inbetweeners.
Harry: Dom would definitely be Jay. Doug would be Neil. Sam would be Will… Briefcase.
Sam: It was a satchel.
If you had a superpower:
Harry: This is a genuine thing we’ve discussed. Mine would be changing my star sign whenever I wanted. What was yours, Doug? Being able to impregnate anything?
Doug: You’re making me look like some sort of–
Sam: He could make anything replicate. Like a toaster. The power to create life.
Harry: Sam’s would be the power to know the duration of any journey, down to the second.
Sam: I’d know how long it’d take you to get from one point to another. Factoring in everything. Apart from across water. Water is my weakness.
Harry: I don’t think Dom’s power is something we can say out loud.
Dom: No, I think I’ve worked it out. You know at fairs, those hammer things? I’d like the power to always hit the target.
Sam: You’d have a great collection of oversized toys.
If you had the body of a human, with the head of an animal:
Dom: An elephant. With massive tusks. Without a doubt.
Sam: What? Would the animal head be the same size as the human head?
Doug: I’d be an ant. With a scaled head.
Sam: That would freak me the fuck out.
Harry: I’d be a dolphin for its brain.
Doug: You’d suffocate.
Harry: Dolphins are mammals, you fool.
Sam: I’d be one of those birds of prey who can see a mouse from afar. But only so I could find people at festivals.
Harry: You could be like, “Doug, stay there – it’ll take me exactly 15 minutes to get to you.”
If you had to wear one print for the rest of your life:
Dom: Zebra print. For sure.
Harry: I’m quite a fan of houndstooth.
Sam: Polka dots.
Doug: Snakeskin. With my ant head. I’d look fucking good. ♦