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article imageChatting with Bruce Soord of the UK rock band The Pineapple Thief Special

By Markos Papadatos     Oct 21, 2019 in Music
New York - Bruce Soord of the UK progressive group The Pineapple Thief (TPT) chatted with Digital Journal about their upcoming show at Sony Hall in November.
They will be playing at Sony Hall in New York City on November 23. "It will be a kick-ass live show. We've waited a long time to come to New York. To us, Europeans, playing New York City must be what it feels like for U.S. bands to play London. Both legendary cities in terms of musical history. But bloody hard to get to," Soord said.
On his songwriting and musical inspirations, Soord said, "I regard myself as an 'observational' songwriter. I can't just make things up out of thin air, I have to be inspired by what is around me. Whether that is at a micro or macro level, it doesn't really matter. Either way, there's plenty of inspiration to find, that's for sure."
Regarding their plans for the future, Soord revealed, "After our North American tour, we're all coming back to finish the new TPT record, which will hopefully be out before the summer of 2020. That will allow us to tour in the fall and hopefully make a return trip to the USA before our visas run out!
On being a musical artist in this digital age, he said, "I love it. I lived through the revolution. When I started TPT in 1999, the Internet was just for geeks and I'm pretty sure Amazon just sold books. Some of your readers may remember the music site 'mp3.com' - it preceded Myspace and allowed people like me to upload music and share it."
"Luckily, a lot of music fans are also geeks and they sought out my music from all over the world. Those small movements got the ball rolling and TPT never stopped. Even if at times the ball was rolling slowly, it was always moving. Now of course, everyone is plugged in and it's never been easier to get your music heard. Yes, there is a lot more noise, but if you are good enough, you will get noticed," he elaborated.
"When I was a kid, the only way to get noticed was to grab a record deal. And that was fiendishly hard to achieve. Most people I knew in bands just gave up. I think the digital age has fuelled more longevity in artists," he added.
Regarding the impact of streaming services on the music industry, he said, "There has been a sea change but I am not sure if it's all doom. People say kids don't care about the physical product at all and that may be true for a lot of them. But the resurgence of vinyl isn't just confined to old hipsters. Just the other day I was in my local music store and a shy young girl approached me to sign her vinyl copy of one of our albums. I don't think we should make any presumptions about what the new generation will be into."
Soord continued, "Home taping didn't kill music in the '70s. One thing that does need to change is the business model for streaming. I am an advocate of distributing subscription in a fairer way to support smaller artists. At the moment, all the streamers follow the Netflix model. Pay a fixed amount and get access to everything. This should be changed. If one of our fans paid 10 bucks and only listened to TPT for the whole month, we should get the lion's share of that 10 bucks. Imagine how much better that would be for other emerging artists."
For young and aspiring musicians and bands, he said, "If there was just one piece of advice, it would be to play the long game. Don't chase success. Just focus on the passion, and keep that passion. I know that sounds cheesy, but I strongly believe that's all you need to know."
On their definition of success, Soord said, "My bass player and I talk about it a lot. The Pineapple Thief has become way more successful than we expected. When I was a kid, all I wanted to do as a musician was to form a band and play a gig. I did that, so I then set a goal of becoming a professional musician. Getting shot of the 9 to 5. I did that and it was one of the best days of my life."
"So, as I said just now, we no longer chase success. We just focus all our energy on making the best possible music that we can. As soon as we stopped agonizing over why we weren't selling more records or playing bigger shows, we sold more records and played bigger shows," Soord explained.
For their New York fans, they concluded, "People have been calling for us to come to New York City for years. Now, we've finally made the trip. I know you're gonna have as much fun as we are."
To learn more about The Pineapple Thief, check out their official website.
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