After over ten years of playing music and on the verge of breakup, the Pierces got a call that turned everything around. Now, armed with catchy tracks and a second wind, the Pierces are gearing up to wow audiences all across America. Striking the perfect balance between beautifully constructed harmonies and pop jams with a sense of humor, these Alabama-bred sisters have found the perfect niche and aren’t afraid to stomp through your speakers with sass. Jenna Fletcher got a chance to talk to the very sweet Catherine Pierce about the upcoming tour, life on the road, and how she keeps her head on straight.
Check it out here
Jenna Fletcher for Eleven Mag: So, if you don’t mind my asking where are you at right now?
Catherine Pierce: I am in Edmonton, Canada and we just got to the venue of the first night of tour!
11: First night, that must be really exciting! Have you been touring before this or did you have a little bit of a break?
CP: We had a little bit of a break. We toured a lot late last year in the UK and then we did a little bit of touring here in America. So yeah, we’ve been doing lots of shows and just played Leno recently, and that’s all been very exciting!
11: It seems like a lot of really awesome momentum that you’ve been gaining. How are you feeling about this Coldplay tour?
CP: It’s surreal. I just walked out and saw the stage and it’s massive. We’ve never played to audiences this big before unless it was a festival, which kind of feels different.
11: How have you been mentally preparing for that?
CP: [Laughs] Well, I’ve been trying to kind of meditate and chill myself out a little bit because it can be scary if you think about it too much. So I’ve been trying to have fun and stay in the moment, because this should be fun, you know? It should be something you enjoy and remember forever.
11: Yeah, I’m sure you want to try and not psych yourself out too much. That’s understandable.
CP: It can definitely get a little nerve wracking.
11: You worked closely with Guy Berryman [bassist in Coldplay who also helped produce and guested on You and I] on your last album and he kind of championed your guys’ band—what is that relationship like? Now you get to share a stage with him, and that must be pretty cool.
CP: Yeah, mhm. I haven’t seen him in awhile since we’ve been so busy touring and he has been too, but I think we’ll finally see him tonight. We’ll be happy to see him again! We love Guy, he’s great. He, you know, helped us out dramatically. We were actually on the verge of break up when we got a call from him saying he wanted to make a record with us and it kind of just put everything back together in a way.
11: Are there any cities or venues you’re especially excited about?
We’re actually really excited about the Portland date, because our mom is flying out to that show.
11: Well I’m excited to hear that! I’m a little biased, but Portland is a pretty great city.
CP: Yeah! Our cousin that we just recently reconnected with lives there. We’re sort of looking forward to a little family reunion. We’re excited for the Hollywood Bowl show, too. I just recently moved to LA, so it’ll be fun to have some friends come out from the area.
11: You’ve moved around quite a bit in addition to all of the places you see while touring, do you think that’s really altered the way that you conceptualize or go about your music and your writing process?
Yeah, I would imagine. I think where you move definitely shapes you. When we moved to New York if definitely changed what we had to say. You know, when you grow up in the south, especially as a girl, you’re kind of taught to be very polite and most of the women I knew were content to be housewives, which is great, but I don’t think it was a place where we were really pushed to dream big. Moving to New York changed us as people a little bit and I think made us a little tougher and sure of ourselves.
11: Is there a genre that you refer to your music as? It has a lot of different elements to it and I’ve seen you compared to quite a wide range of other acts.
CP: I’ve yet to meet any artist who really likes to be compared to another act—we obviously like hearing that we remind people of music that we enjoy too, though. Unless you’re in an act that’s really straight forward, like pop, but most of the people I know, it’s a hybrid of genres and it’s hard to pick one. It’s hard to describe your own music, I think, and luckily these days you don’t’ really have to. You can just pull out your closest technological device and play it or see it.
11: It does make it a lot easier to discover different acts. I still buy vinyl, but I think when you’re in a situation like that, in a record store, and you’re thumbing through records, it’s harder to discover something outside of the genre you’re searching in because a lot of record stores have such specific categories.
CP: There’s still something wonderful about that, but it’s nice that someone can access our music quickly and easily.
11: You’ve been playing music for a very long time, right? It’s almost ten years now that you’ve been recording under the name The Pierces.
CP: Yeah. Well, for probably longer. I don’t really know a time when we haven’t done it, since we’re sisters. So it’s just kind of always been, but I think it’s like ten years ago since we got our first record deal. It’s been a long, long time.
11: How do you and your sister write, then? What is your writing process like? Do you bounce ideas off of each other, do you switch off songs?
CP: We usually write separately. Our songs are about things we’re experiencing or going through as individuals and it’s usually really personal and so usually, at least the beginning of the song is written separately, on our own. And then occasionally, I’ll have a piece of a song that I can’t finish or she’ll have a chorus but no verses and we’ll come together and kind of finish them that way. But for the most part it’s kind of a separate, private process.
11: Do you have any tour rituals?
CP: We used to do this little magic spell type chant-y thing before each show and we were convinced that it would mean we’d have a good show, but then we’d forget to do it and we still kept having good shows so [laughs] either that paved the way for it or was completely unnecessary to begin with. But it was like when we first started touring for this record we were feeling kind of green because we hadn’t had a lot of consistent success or things going on—it was sort of like, we’d have a song on a tv show and then it’d sort of fade away, or the label we were on at the time didn’t have the money to put us on tour—so really the last couple years we feel like we’ve found ourselves as live artists, so we feel like we’re still discovering rituals. And it’s different with every tour, you know, some tours you play little clubs, sometimes you’re playing festivals, now we’re playing massive arenas so it’s just like, it’s crazy. You just have to try and have fun and be comfortable as much as you can. You can be put in really weird situations, so really as long as you’ve got good folks and your computer and your band mates around then I think you can make it fun.
You can catch The Pierces alongside Metronomy supporting Coldplay’s North American tour at the Rose Garden, Tuesday, April 24th and listen to selections of their latest album You and I at thepiercesmusic.com