Photo by Constance Mensh
This article originally appeared on Noisey Australia.
Two words that you can almost guarantee in any press relating to Purling Hiss and Mike Polizze are "shred" and "J Mascis." From his early days in Philadelphia three-piece Birds of Maya, Polizze has developed into one of the best, if under appreciated, guitarists that combines the right amount of melody and distortion.
The four-tracks on the new Purling Hiss EP Something (released today) were self-recorded at Polizze’s Philly home. He played on all instrumentation and while they still "shred," it’s a rawer sound that harkens back to his 2010 album Public Service Announcement. Put on some headphones, crank “My, My, My," and you could be mistaken for thinking that the Ramones released an album on Homestead Records circa 1986.
Polizze will be playing some upcoming solo Purling Hiss shows as well as a few weeks supporting Kurt Vile & the Violators. Tour dates below.
Noisey: You released Meandering Noodle an EP of instrumental and largely improvised recordings. The focus is usually with your guitar playing but the vocals on the new songs are cool.
Mike Polizze: There are very minimal vocals on Meandering Noodle, yes. But they are there a bit and especially on the track, "When I’m Gone." It's a very limited tape I self-released a few months ago of mostly guitar-oriented jams and noise.
Birds of Maya have become such an influential band with members going on to join the groups Spacin’ and Watery Love, plus and your solo work. What were the early shows like?
They aren't too far off to what we are today. We've been a band for almost 12 years. Always a three-piece and same members, and play when we can, on special occasions. There will be some more stuff we are doing later in the year you'll hear about.
An early quote that describes your audience as, “All types of greasy weirdoes have been crawling out of the woodwork to see them play. These cretins get all worked up and then they push up front to swing their filthy hair around.”
That's pretty accurate! Our fan base is mostly middle-aged, balding, bearded men with beer bellies to be more precise.
What do you think of the new Spacin’ album?
It's fantastic of course! Hands down. I play on it too. Just a little. I haven't gotten my copy yet. But I was living with Jason and Eva when they were making it, and I got to hear the process, so that was real fun.
You’d have your share of Motorhead and Bowie records. How did the death of Bowie and Lemmy affect you?
It was extremely saddening to hear they passed. I got to see Motorhead years back, and am very inspired by Bowie's music. I taught myself how to play "Modern Love" the other day. Bummed to see them go.
Purling Hiss - 2016 Tour Dates:
March 18 – Brooklyn at Alphaville
March 31– Asbury Hall Buffalo *
April 1– Cleveland Heights Grog Shop *
April 2 – Columbus at Newport Music Hall
April 3 – Bloomington at Bluebird *
April 5 – Milwaukee at Pabst Theater *
April 6 – Champaign at The Accord*
April 8 – Lawrence at Granada *
April 9 – Nebraska at The Waiting Room *
April 10 – Iowa City at Englert Theatre (Mission Creek Festival)*
April 11 – Columbia at The Blue Note *
April 12 – Tulsa at Cain's Ballroom *
April 14 – Houston at House of Blues *
April 15 – Austin at Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre *
April 16 – Dallas at Granada Theater *
April 17 – New Orleans at Louisiana Republic, *
* = Purling Hiss solo opening for Kurt Vile And The Violators
'Something' is available now from Famous Class.