Taking Pulka to a New Level
CoC interviews England's Pulkas
by: Adrian Bromley
While many metal fans may not have heard much of British noise quartet Pulkas or their hard-hitting debut _Greed_, I'm betting that by the end of the year this band will be well-known and have a huge following to boot. And YES, they are that good!

Pulkas -- comprised of singer Luke Lloyd, bassist Jules McBride, drummer Rob Lewis and guitarist Martin Bourne -- are one of the many new Earache Record signees that seem to have rejuvenated the label's cause of delivering solid, groundbreaking releases. Within the past few months, the label has released the powerful Morbid Angel opus _Formulas Fatal to the Flesh_ and a good slew of their new releases (i.e., The Haunted, Iron Monkey, Napalm Death live bootleg, etc...) and seem to have been able to build up their roster with some new and reliable meat for metal fans to chew on. The pickings are good this year at Earache.

"It was a real fast-paced learning experience for us while making this record," begins bassist Jules over the phone from Earache office in New York City. "We had only twenty days to record it and we did. We went in, heads down, and cranked it out. It was all pretty hectic for us to be able to finish it all up and stuff and now that I have time to actually sit back and reflect, I'm proud of the end result."

_Greed_ is a triumphant dose of heavy grooves, powerful melodies and sheer intensity brought forth by guitar riffs from Hell. The music here, most notably "Rubber Room", "Loaded" and "Control", detonates on impact with vivid and passionate realms of intensity being shot through our system. McBride agrees. "It's so funny how the old argument of bands sounding nothing like their record live. Recording and keeping a live feel of your music is very hard to capture in the studio. Many things factor into a live feel of a band and that is hard to bring to a record. It could be the vibe of the gig, the audience or the poor sound system we have to deal with. We are much heavier live."

"Going into the record I had a certain mind set that we wanted to have. I am not too much into this one-dimensional albums with this ongoing riff. What I like about _Greed_ is that there are many different songs here. All of the songs have their own identity and when I hear back the record time and time again I'm glad we approached it this way, 'cause if not I'd have been bored with the music. And if I'm bored, so are the people hearing our music."

The first time I had heard Pulkas was the demo track on the Earache sampler _Earplugged 2_ and the track "Hippy Fascist". Listening to that track now, on the record, it's obvious how the band has strengthened their sound and style. "It's funny that you actually liked that version of the song, 'cause the band really didn't like it at all. We basically just had that to give to the label at the time and I was hoping we'd have something else, but that was it. At the time of that recording we were working with someone who really didn't know how to get the experimental sound we were aiming for. And it shows. With Colin [Richardson, of Machine Head fame] producing with us, he knew how to make our music sound good and be able to work different bits here and there into the music. What you hear on record isn't far from what we had played in the studio with Colin guiding us. This is pretty straightforward music for us."

On the band's love of studio work, he injects, "I hear all the stories about band's hating the studio and just wanting to get in and out and then go on tour. We like both the studio and touring. Both things have to be done in order to get the ball rolling. When you are in the studio, you're making a record and focusing on putting out quality music. Working the music hard to get good results. Touring is the other aspect of it all. It's a one-take approach to get your ideas out to the audience and make them understand what you are about."

One thing that has Jules in a little bit of an uproar currently during this press junket is the notion of the band being labeled as a Tool/Deftones kind of band. He just doesn't see it. "I don't know how to take that in. If people are saying that we are as good as those bands and put them on their level of experience, that is a great thing. But sounding like them? I dunno. The thing is when you are totally unknown people have to compare you to somebody. That's the thing. There is no real point to write a review if you can't state who the band is similar to -- am I right? But now that we have the album out I'm hoping people are hearing that we have our own identity. After so many times of people saying that we are being compared to such and such bands and even with the record company including data like that in our bio, we are getting a bit tired of it. We'd rather have people go out and buy the record and decide for themselves what we sound like rather than have a preconceived notion put into their head."

"This whole industry thing is all new to us and all," he says. "I mean, we are at a stage where things are starting to happen, but nothing too out of control. Now that we have the record out and the support from the label, talking to many people about the record, we don't have to do much of the talking. We let the music work for us. And people are digging it. We have been waiting around here and there for everything to happen, but as they say, 'Timing is everything.' I'd like things to go a bit faster for us, in terms of touring and stuff."

He concludes, "People keep saying to us that it's going to take off for us and stuff. Well, I am waiting and not jumping too far ahead of the whole thing. I don't want my bum shoved up my ass. I'll wait to see how things pan out for us and let the record take control of things. I think this is an honest record and we are an honest band. We've never been too much into hyping stuff or pushing it too much. We let the music do the talking."

(article submitted 8/7/1998)


ALBUMS
7/8/1998 A Bromley 9 Pulkas - Greed
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