Having spent 2011 touring solidly, Newcastle outfit Kira Puru & the Bruise are hitting the road once more for their ‘When All Your Love is Not Enough’ single tour. Pearl Davies spoke with Puru about fashion, touring and the digital age.
You were supporting the Snowdroppers in Newcastle when I saw you perform live. What musicians do you listen to and learn from?I think people probably expect my taste tobe more traditional and retro, but a lot of the stuff I listen to is contemporary. I love Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave, The White Stripes, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Arctic Monkeys. I’m listening to a lot of Sharon Van Etten at the moment — she’s a great songwriter. Portis head and Radiohead are major influences. Of course I’m influenced by Etta James and Nina Simone and those old-school divas. But, musically, I listen to a lot of contemporary stuff.
I’ve noticed that in your dress sense and style, you tend to go for a more traditional, old-school fashion: Originally it was just a style I really liked —I’d been doing it for years and years. But that’s all starting to change now. I guess I’m trying to re-invent myself. I think a lot of people are expecting a different style of music from us because of how I present myself. But of course the ladies of that era are definitively beautiful and they did do something to inspire me.
You always seem to have a glass of red wine in your hand when you perform — is that a comfort thing? It originally started because I used to play keys in the band and I stopped that because I wanted to focus more on my singing. I felt naked without having something in my hand, so it is a comfort thing, but I am a girl who likes to drink. [laughs]
‘When All Your Love is Not Enough’ — what’s it about? It’s basically about the end stage of your relationship and how hard that is… trying to find a way to make things work when you feel like there’s no salvaging [it]. It’s the despondent feeling that you get in your heart when something’s ending and there’s nothing much you can do about it. It’s about relationships — the shit part.
What are your thoughts on the illegal downloading of music? Well, with any band, you need money to tour; you need money to do a decent recording that reflects who you are. To know that there are people out there stealing something that you could be making money on is infuriating. It’s basically impossible for any musician at this level to survive off music alone so all the musicians that I know are in a constant struggle to make enough money to be a musician. They have to have another career and other skill sets. This then doesn’t leave enough time for them to put 100 per cent into their music. It’s just the way that it is and I don’t think there’s anything we can do to stop that happening— all we can really do is embrace that change. If you think the music is worthwhile, it’s worth buying. Personally, if I downloaded music and loved it I would go out and buy it. If people like what you do they’ll come and see a show or buy the album.
What do you like best about your touring? Well, when I come back from a tour I feel stagnant and bored. It’s pretty inspiring travelling the country, meeting new people and seeing new faces. Before the band, I hadn’t travelled that much, and I’m actually quite fond of it and the three guys, whom I love to death. Some of the best times I’ve had [have been] with them and I think they understand me — an amazing quality. When you’re on the road for 12 hours at a time, you can’t escape smelling and seeing each other, whether you like it or not. We’ve met some amazing people, some great bands and, well, I like drinking! [laughs]
Kira Puru & The Bruise perform at the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Friday April 13 with The Preachers, Boat friends and Steve Smyth.