EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Five Minutes with PVT’s Frontman Richard Pike

In Magazine by The Playground Staff Comments

PVT (formerly Pivot) are an Australian/British band made-up of three members. PVT released their debut album, Make Me Love You, in August 2005. It was well-received, thanks to widespread support on alternative radio and a nomination for a J Award by national youth broadcaster Triple J. In late 2005, the band added Perth (and now London) electronica artist Dave Miller to their lineup. Then in 2008, Pivot signed to UK label Warp Records, and have now returned after a long hiatus.

Here we caught up with singer and producer of the band Richard Pike, to discuss their collaboration with Modeselektor, their views about Trump and the dreaded Brexit, not to mention that awkward name change of their’s a few years back…

Before Morning Mist you took a long break, was this to re-access where you where going with the musical direction?

From my perspective I haven’t really had a break personally. I had a kid! He’s almost 2 now. Dave (from the band) also had a kid. But even aside from that we’ve all been busy. Creatively I’ve been busier than ever. I’ve got 4 other half-written records that I will release eventually I hope. Laurence has been playing drums with several other bands – Jack Ladder, Szun Waves with Luke Abbott. None of us are stopping. We’re all on fire.

It must have been a pain having to change your name from Pivot right?

Yeah,kind of a pain. It’s mainly a problem with the internet. We’ve still got both names floating about. The guys that tried to sue us have done nothing with the name – I almost want them to succeed so it’s worth it. But really, they’re time-wasters. Their music, it’s suburban band competition 5th place at best. And that’s fine, there’s a place for everything. But, you know, like Prince said before he died: The internet is a fad. And I don’t blame US Pivot for us changing the name. I blame the internet because years ago we could have co-existed. The internet takes as much as it gives. A lotta left-wingers are trying to make sense of Brexit and Trump right now. How did we let it happen? But it’s not uneducated folk, poor folk, white-lash, immigration, decline of manufacturing industries to blame, leftist elitism – it’s the internet. It’s fake news. It’s the Facebook echo chamber. People don’t get a balanced view of anything. Subsequently the world is horribly divided. And the virtual reality we were promised has now seeped into reality reality.


You collaborated with Modeselektor a while back, do you plan to do more of these with other artists in the new year?

Honestly, no plans. But I’m very open to things right now. Anything could happen. When you say yes to things the cosmos opens doors for you. I haven’t spoken to Modeselektor for a while, maybe I should. They’re an inspiration those guys. All cylinders firing all the time. They’re a real powerhouse. They pretty much get on a plane every weekend to play somewhere in Europe. And they never disappoint. That’s the way to do it.

You previously cited Brian Eno (having also performed at the show he curated) and Bjork as big influences on your music, who else has made a significant impact on your sound?

Big question. From the start Eno and Bjork were inspirations because they’re firebrands. They only want to push the envelope and don’t care who comes with them. That takes a lotta guts. We’ve always tried to follow suit, as best we can. I guess we always loved musicians who are like that regardless of genre. One of my heroes is Keith Jarrett, the jazz pianist. Another is Bill Callahan who’s always followed his own path. Tom Waits, Nick Cave are mainstays. We’ve got Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen gone – and we’re still trying to crack the puzzles they left behind. My buddy Alex Cameron made a cracking record that he’s been touring for 3 years now. Then there’s the electronic world. We’re big fans of the Border Community label. James Holden is inspiring and forward thinking, shunning dance now. I love what Anna Meredith is doing, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Holly Herndon. But no matter what I keep coming back to Depeche Mode, Aphex Twin, Kraftwerk, Vangelis. You know, the hitmakers.

Who do you think are some of your contemporaries in the Australian electro-rock underground, that we should keep our eye on in the New Year?

Haha. I struggle with the term electro-rock. Maybe because rock in it’s purist form is dudes with big hair playing power chords. I hate power chords. I guess coz we have the occasional bassline or guitar part it becomes some kinda rock mongrel. My guitar background is actually in jazz. Electro-jazz sounds way worse though, doesn’t it? But truthfully I have more of a history with that terminology. As far as Aussies in the same sound-world, I wouldn’t know. We’ve always felt completely separate from any scene Down Under.

Not on purpose. It’s just the way it happened. Everyone is trying to sound like James Blake there at the moment. Which, you know, is fine. It’s a wave. But it’s not what we sound like.

Do you have another album/Warp compilation planned up your sleeves in 2017?

Well I hate to break the news, but haven’t released on Warp for a long time now! Since 2010. Our current label is Felte in the US. They’re great. We’re releasing our new record ‘New Spirit’ with them on Feb 17th, 2017. It’s a cracker. And it’s more Fantasy Beat than Electro-rock.

And any confirmed dates for a European tour yet?

Nothing solid but I would say keep some space in your diary for an April EU tour!

Checkout their comeback single below:

PVT – Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend (Official Video)

Taken from PVT’s upcoming album ‘New Spirit’ – Out Feb 17, 2017 here

Pre-Order ‘New Spirit
Get ‘Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend