The G-Man interview: Purling Hiss

Mike Polizze of Purling Hiss talks Irish ferries, touring with Wilco and their upcoming Irish tour...

Water On Mars, the next step in the evolution of Mike Polizze's bedroom rock project Purling Hiss was released on the consistently excellent U.S. indie label Drag City in March with Irish fans finally getting to hear the Birds Of Maya guitarist's solo output in a live setting. Just before Mike - and new shipmates Mike Sneeringer (drums) and Kiel Everett (bass) - boarded a ferry to Ireland he was able to answer a few questions ahead of Purling Hiss's incoming Irish d├ębut dates. Brisk pre-Irish Sea crossing interview in full below.

The G-Man: Where are you, what are you up to and how’s life treating you at the moment?
Mike Polizze: Hello! We are in Wales, headed to Dublin today. We are on our tour over here, and life is good.

What made you decide to take recording out of the bedroom?
I formed a band two years ago, and we've been touring since then soo with the new songs we took it to a studio finally. The old recordings were just me. They were basically demos.

What did Adam Granduciel (The War on Drugs frontman and producer of Water On Mars) bring to the table that pleasantly (or not so) surprised you?
Adam has been our friend for a while, and we've played lots of shows and toured together. He's watched us grow as a band, so he really understands where we are coming from. It was a pleasure working with him in the studio. He brought a lot of guidance!

Were there ever times during the recording process that you wished you could retreat back into the cosy confines of your bedroom?
Sure. And I still record ideas at home. I'll never really give it up all together!

We all know the days of million dollar contracts are over. What kind of support does a bigger label provide to an artist/band these days?
Drag City is great! It's an honour to work with them: they put us in the studio, where we belong! They are a very artist friendly label.

When a song doesn’t click straight away is it just discarded or are you more of a song-hoarder?
It's a little bit of both. Sometimes writer's block happens with a song, but the easiest way to deal with it is to just put it aside and move on. I used to be stuck in those situations, but discarding an idea, even if temporary is for the best.

We are our experiences and, unfortunately, it’s the bad ones that have more say in forming the person we become. What do you think?
I agree that life experiences shape the person you are. It's all how you decide to deal with those experiences

I can’t wait to see you in Cork. What kind of feelings do you have before a tour begins?
It's normal to be a little anxious before tour starts, but as soon as soon as it does, it's fine.

Describe your favourite gig memory.
We did a tour with Wilco* once. On the last song of the last show, they invited us on stage to play a song with them, and Jody Stephens from Big Star* also came out and played. It was amazing!

*Weird coincidence?

Purling Hiss Irish tour dates:

Saturday, 18th May: Whelan's, Dublin
Sunday, 19th May: The Pavilion, Cork

For more on Purling Hiss visit:

- Purling Hiss play The Pavilion, Cork on 19th May
- Tickets are €7 on the night or €5 pre-sale from The Pavilion and Plugd

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