Though Brighton’s Cold Pumas will catch your ear with familiar, broad strokes of Joy Division atop a pronounced landscape of kraut rock-y repetition, their recently-released debut LP Persistent Malaise is — according to the band’s own songwriter/guitarist Patrick Fisher — a portrait of a band giving way to the new. Embellished by songs made rich with detail and complemented by a deep-seated love of simplicity (à la Pavement?), this trio’s work is an artful depiction of an fresh-faced Cold Puma’s you will instantly warm to.


First things first: What’s a Cold Puma? Is there a story there we should know about? (laughs)
Ummm (laughs)…There’s no great story or any wonderful, hidden meaning, unfortunately. It was a shortlist of just really bad names we picked as we were getting together (laughs)… and we just always thought, ‘Oh well, we can change it if we want to.’

I think most band names must come from a shortlist of really bad names, don’t you?
(laughs) Yeah, I guess with most of our favorite band’s names, if you really think about it, they’re terrible. It’s not to sound apologetic for ‘Cold Pumas’ but it is what it is. It’s certainly not my favorite part of the band, though. (laughs).

So tell me about Brighton — it’s poetically described in your bio as “The land of windswept piers…”
Well, Brighton is very windy so that is the first thing I’ll say about it. I’ve been there for the past five years or so, so I’m on my way to move to London now, I think. It’s perhaps been long enough now.

I liked Persistent Malaise immediately. Fog Cutter was the first song I heard and I was admittedly sucked in by the Joy Division-y repetitive bass and monotone vocals…
The Joy Division thing is really interesting because it isn’t a band that any of us have really listened to a great deal. There have been a lot of comparisons like that, especially with that track. Of course I know all their classic songs but I’ve never had any of their records or anything like that, so it’s quite strange but definitely that rhythmic element and monotone, English voice is there…

I noticed that the ‘kraut rock’ descriptor is used a lot in reference to you guys. Is there one band or an overall aesthetic that brought you together in the first place?

If there’s any established band we all agree upon, it’s Sonic Youth. That motorik rhythm is definitely there but I don’t think there are a lot of the other elements of kraut that I find a bit hard to swallow.

The first couple of times I listened to the album, I considered it somewhat upbeat. Then I read review where it was described as “filled with tension” and suddenly I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I guess it is a little dark…’
(laughs) I think it’s…cathartic…and somewhere between the two, isn’t it? It’s good to have something in between, I think.

What was your intention setting out in terms of how you wanted to sound?
When we were all playing early on — messing about and shouting and playing shows in practice rooms and bookshops — it was all about pushing the concept of repetition. That was always the originating thing. The early 7-inches we did though were different; it was more about delay. In that sense, you could say with this album we’ve gone against what we doing previously. More than anything, I wanted to have something that I could listen to at home. I felt like what we’d been doing up to this point was passive and I wanted something that was had more with a more “song-based” approach. It wasn’t so much that there was an intention to sound a particular way on this album as there was an intention for us to change.

Lyrically speaking, what kinds of stories are we hearing on this record?
(laughs) I suppose the majority of it is about a relationship breaking down. I’m pretty single-minded when it comes to writing and it’s not so much about big statements but about analyzing the finer details. The lyrics tie in to the music to a degree but I write them, and as long as the other guys like what I’ve done, they stay. I’m not representing their views or opinions or whatever (laughs).

So what are Cold Pumas like live?
We’re definitely louder…I don’t think we’re the most exciting band to watch if you’re looking for people making a big, physical impact. That tense element we talked about earlier is definitely there and there are also times when its more…euphoric. Really, we’re just self-involved (laughs) and I suppose you’re just watching us be very involved in what we’re doing rather than interacting with the crowd in that classic rock show way.

What’s been the highest point for you in the process of putting this record together?
The actual finishing of the album and knowing that it’s done is the main thing, I think. It’s going to be out there and there will be satisfaction of going into a shop and seeing it; it’ll be great. The process of making it, though – looking over the artwork and all the minutia of the many details – that’s what brings the most satisfaction. Everything else is just a bonus.

Out of all your favorites, what one song in this world do you feel is perfect?
Hmmm…wow. I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but personally? I’d probably pick a Pavement song — something like Here because it’s a classic ballad and a very, very simple song. It might be easier for me to choose an album though, like Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.

Because I think that album marked a turning point for me when I was about 15. I got it on holiday — on my birthday — and we were camping; I remember listening to it in the tent with headphones on. I think there was a lot about it I didn’t get at the time because it was a little discordant for my ears at that point, but it was the first album that influenced me and it has just never lost its luster. Ten years later, its still one of my favorites


Stream Cold Puma’s Persistent Malaise LP (released via Faux Discx, Gringo Records and Italian Beach Babes) by clicking exactly here. The LP is preceded by 7-inches Jela (2009), Beat Mystery (2010), and Fourth Date/Dawn Lobby (2011).


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