Their recent album New Spirit was put to bed almost two years ago (although only released this year) and as they polish up their live performance in time for a few shows throughout September, Cyclic sat down with Dave Miller, one third of London/Sydney based trio PVT to learn whether there is a secret to maintaining momentum when one of your band mates lives abroad? Together but apart? According to Miller the process applied to New Spirit was that the majority of the work, was actually done all in the same room, although with Richard living overseas, there were some constraints.
“We didn’t really progress until we were all in the same city and we really did 80 percent of the work when he was in town. It was super intense,” reflects Miller.
The album before, Homosapiens, I’d spit out a flute or beat, over the fence type of collaboration, whereas this one was much more on the spot and organic, I prefer that in the room approach, it’s slower when you’re not in the same country. He adds.
For over a decade brothers Richard (based in London) and Laurence Pike along with musical comrade Miller (Sydney) who formally joined in 2005 PVT(pron: Pivot) have motivated each other in their desires to make quality records. Attracting audiences that span the jazz, fusion, electronic landscapes the breadth of each individual’s interest combined with the process the trio applies is what Miller attributes as delivering diversity in their creative outputs.
“I feel like we’ve changed our process every time with each new record. For New Spirit we really wanted to limit the instruments, so I’m pretty sure there is no bass guitar, and a tiny bit of guitar, at the same time it’s not a lot, so we really wanted to reduce the scope of instruments. Those were the songs we wanted to write at the time, that was the challenge we set ourselves,“ says Miller.
In finding inspiration for both their live show and overall direction in sound, Miller cites artists from the UK’s Border Community stable, James Holden, Luke Abbott (Szun Waves) and Nathan Fake as his current inspiration and shares that vocalist Richard is fascinated by the Vaporwave genre right now, while drummer Laurence’s many side projects including Szun Waves and his solo drumming extend his outputs down various avenues.
“Laurence has spare time outside of PVT, so he’s been spitting out lots of different bits and pieces over the last couple of years, and as he’s one of your more creative beings this appears in different ways, I guess that’s the output.
“If you put out more records or different projects – how that feeds back into what we do, I’m not sure? It’s more along the lines, that we’re not going to suddenly put PVT records out as side projects, there is always different angles, different instruments we’ll focus on.”
And how will these varying creative outputs translate to their live show? Miller suggests that the reduction in instrumentation on the New Spirit record also helped shape their creative output live.
“The dream is to tour with nothing, so rather than touring with 8 x 10 bass amps, we’ll turn up with nothing like a DJ, while that wasn’t the impetus we really wanted to limit our instruments live too.”
Musing: “you know some people might want to hear the songs as they sound on the record but there is a bit of difference between what we do live and the record.”
Miller freely admits to only enjoying playing if there are people in the room, recent shows in Europe were a test run for how Australian audiences will receive the current album material.
“If there’s people being able to input and bounce off, that’s good. This record compared to the last couple we are able to change the songs up a bit more, keep them a bit more free, it’s less sort of start stop pop stuff – here is the start of the song, here is the end.
“There is a bit more fluidity around what we can do, so that’s really fun, and it’s fun for us,” he says.
And while Miller is adamant there will be more from PVT with Richard continuing to be based in London, he’s unsure yet what exactly that new material will look and sound like.
“I think whatever we do next will be far weirder. That’s as much as I know. There will be another record, we haven’t looked at it, that’s my only guess, I guess we’ll discuss it when Richard arrives next month.”
PVT play the following shows:
Fri Sep 15 – The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney
w/ Nico Niquo & Dongelis
Sat Sep 16 – Northcote Social Club, Melb
w/ Nico Niquo & Corin
Thur Oct 5 – Babushka, Perth
w/ Lower Spectrum & Eraser
You can find out more here.