Ahead of The 1975s sell-out show at the TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, we spoke to German support band Pool about playing with The 1975, performing at the notable SXSW Festival in America and why their hard work as a band is finally starting to pay off. Read on for more from our chat.
It’s a miserable and busy afternoon in Utrecht when we chat to Nils and David from Hamburg indie rock trio Pool. A heavy rainfall is about to hit the centre of the city, where the TivoliVredenburg venue is located. Just outside the large, multi-room venue is a 2,000-strong queue consisting of (mainly) young teenage girls who are all here to see tonight’s main attraction, The 1975. We were already aware that Pool was under a lot of stress ahead of this tour, having been given just over a week’s notice that they were replacing the original supports, Y.O.U. This stress was certainly evident ahead of our chat on Saturday, with the venue press liaison officer informing us that the band spent an hour getting lost around the streets of Utrecht, before arriving at the venue only to end up sharing a dressing room with The 1975. Bearing in mind that they were due on stage in mere hours and still had an hour long soundcheck to conduct, this interview was perhaps not the most convenient to conduct.
Around 25 minutes after our scheduled start time, a tired looking David and fresh-faced Nils come and join us on the sofa in the artist entrance’s reception area. We start off by discussing how Pool came to exist, with Nils telling us that they met in their teenage years, growing close quickly due to the same musical interests. Although they have been making music for a good 8 years now (which, according to Nils is since their “early teenage years”), David tells us that a debut album will be released in the first few months of 2015. “We’ve been recording tons of songs over the last years, and we started recording [the album] in February. It’s quite a short time” the bespectacled frontman tells us as a group of suit-clad businessmen hurry around the reception foyer. Discussion quickly shifts to the tour they’re currently embarking on, and how they dealt with becoming a part of this tour at such a late stage and with such little preparation time. Nils tells us that they supported The 1975 in Germany twice last year, and that the good relationship between the bands ensured them being asked back again for this tour. When asked whether touring with The 1975 will cause an influx of new fans, David was quick to reference the sheer amount of teenage girls present at every show. “It’s very funny” he enthusiastically claims. There are some clear similarities between Pool and The 1975, although Nils is quick to shrug this off as he informs us that early Red Hot Chilli Peppers was their biggest influence. He also gives a nod to the influence of Metronomy on their sound, as well as electronic music. “A lot of our friends are producers who make techno music, which really influenced us as techno music in Germany is very big. Whenever we go out it’s what we listen to”.
At this point, all attention is lost as a big door flies shut and everyone takes a minute to watch a large group walk by, before the attention shifts back on to the interview and in particular the SXSW Festival they took part in this year in Austin, Texas. “We went this year in spring time. It’s crazy, 8,000 bands in one week and over 1 million visitors” enthuse David and Nils at the same time, before telling us that two of the band members were still 20 at the time. This meant that they had a “big problem with going out”. For their own shows they would be given an ‘x’ on their hand to prove they were underage, which in itself is not as much of a problem considering how much stricter it was throughout Austin itself. Despite the age restrictions, though, SXSW has proven to be a crucial point in their career, as well as one they both see as a career highlight. Alongside this, David points out that another career highlight for them was playing 2 shows in Berlin on the same night last year. The first show, at the legendary Postbahnhof venue, was “magical” and “everyone was chilling with us”, before going on to the Lido venue and playing a “crazy, hardcore rock show”.
On the subject of what they strive to achieve with making music, Nils tells us that it’s smart for them to stay realistic. “We will take anything that comes” adds David, before we ask the pair where they see themselves in 10 years. “I’m pretty much into music and into doing things, and I would always want to keep being the person that does things. I don’t like the idea of sitting in an office in 10 years and being somebody I’m not”. Although he realizes it’s cheesy, he does also point out that he always needs a project in his life. This project itself has been going for 10 years now, and you can certainly say that it’s finally showing signs of going somewhere. By the time Pool release their debut album next year, the worry of working in an office will just be a distant memory in the back of David’s mind. And the rest of the bands minds, for that matter.