L - R
Jarret Nathan - Drums
Zach Quinn - Vocals
Brian Pretus - Guitar/Vocals
Erich Goodyear - Bass
If it seems like it was only yesterday you were hearing PEARS for the first time, it’s because it kind of was: Their 2014 debut LP, Go To Prison, reached a lot of ears last summer once Fat Wreck Chords re-released it to the masses. But the New Orleans quartet was already working on Go To Prison’s follow-up before that reissue even hit record store shelves, somehow finding time in between an insanely packed tour schedule to record their new album, Green Star. But if you thought the band might feel pressure externally this time around—y’know, since people know who they are now—think again. According to frontman Zach Quinn, any stress was completely self-created.
“It was a completely different process than the first go ’round,” Quinn says. “The biggest difference was Go To Prison was a fast thing—we just threw it together. This, we slaved over it. We wrote songs and cut songs and cut parts of songs and put them into other songs. It was a nightmare, but I’ve never been more proud of anything. Even though it was a completely different process, it feels like the next step. I thought it was really important that we didn’t want to make Go To Prison 2. We had no desire to make the same record. We wanted to take the next natural step. Not walk sideways, but forward.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean the band toned down their frenetic, off-kilter and occasionally humorous brand of hardcore punk: The 16-track Green Star is loaded with blazingly fast spurts of aggression, from re-recorded versions of “Snowflake” and “Anhedonia” (previously heard on last year’s Letters To Memaw 7-inch) to new cuts like “Cumshots” and “Partridge”. Not only are the songs great, the songs sound great, thanks in part to A Wilhelm Scream guitarist Mike Supina, who helped engineer the album alongside James Whitten, who previously handled Go To Prison. “Mike Supina is a great guy,” Quinn remarks. “He was working on the more technical aspects of the record, like the drums and getting guitar tones. The guitar, Jesus Christ! I can’t imagine the things they went through.”
Guitarist Brian Pretus shreds up and down Green Star, but he’s not alone—Quinn also contributed guitar parts, though he says he’ll stick to the microphone live. “I like doing studio work but honestly, I can’t keep up with Brian,” he admits. “I played no rhythm guitars on the record. Anytime I played guitar, it was a lead thing or a background thing. I can’t keep up with Brian. My right hand can’t do the things his does.”
Quinn did contribute an entirely new—and quite surprising—element to PEARS’ sound, though: piano. There are two piano interludes on Green Star, “Jump The Fuckin’ Ship” and “Dizzy Is Drunk,” both of which were composed and played by Quinn. They serve as small respites for listeners to catch their breath before being thrust back into the barely controlled chaos that is PEARS.
“I was really concerned with thinking of Green Star as an entire, linear thing. I knew I wanted to put those piano interludes in those spots,” Quinn explains. “‘Jump The Fuckin’ Ship’ was something I recorded at my dad’s house a couple years ago. I didn’t re-record it or anything, we just used that recording. ‘Dizzy Is Drunk’ is called that because I got a phone call when I was writing it that was a friend of mine telling me another friend of mine, Dizzy, was very, very drunk.”
Clearly, PEARS’ sense of humor is still intact, though Green Star as a whole is a darker, more serious album than its predecessor. “Green Star is about making choices to become a person you don’t like in order to protect yourself,” Quinn admits. “The whole thing is being the child that God forgot and defying that. Defying the world.” Despite the darker feel, Green Star perfectly captures the band’s bright, brash, frenetic energy that they display on stage. Expect PEARS to continue to bring that energy to stages around the world in 2016, starting with Australia in March, followed by North America and Europe.
One Week Record
November 11, 2016
CD, Colored Vinyl, Vinyl, Download
April 01, 2016
Letters to Memaw
Colored Vinyl, Vinyl, Download
September 18, 2015
Go to Prison
CD, Colored Vinyl, Vinyl, Download
July 24, 2015