Since the release of their second album, ‘Happy People’, and the subsequent tour in 2015, Peace seemed to disappear, leaving legions of devoted fans asking ‘where?’ and ‘why?’. The answer, the studio, in the small town of Woodstock (yes, like the festival), New York to be exact, to work on what is shaping up to be the Worcester quartet’s seminal work.
“We started writing the first song that’s made it on to the record in the summer of 2015” Harry reflects, a day after the album’s second single ‘Power’ hit the airwaves for the first time in 2018. “Then we’ve been working on it fairly non-stop since the end of 2015, all the way through to recording it in September last year – so, it took a pretty long time, almost two and a half years.”
Spending this amount of time on the album was all a part of the plan, however, as the band knew they wanted this album to sound different from their previous two offerings. “We wanted to have like a year of inactivity and then work on it over a long period of time because we did our second album and our first album very very fast” explains Harry. “I think the last album was truly all over the place, but it was a very…experimental album, whereas this album felt more focused on just trying to find the live power of the band and put it on record.”
After so long in the making, the b-town boys finally set things in stone, tucked away in small town America, armed with sugar, spice and everything nice (and a few guitars), ‘Kindness Is The New Rock and Roll’ was born. You’d think recording an album and all the pressures that come with it must be pretty stressful – not for Harry and the Peace team, it was a breeze. “The actual recording of this album, the final commitment to getting it down on record was the most enjoyable part, to be honest. We went to Woodstock to get away from it all and it was just a completely new experience for us recording in an environment like that – it was really exciting.
“I remember hearing the album back for the first time, it was really strange, because in the past every time I’ve heard something back, I’ve freaked out and changed it a million ways and eventually had to change it back to how it originally sounded. But, this time we heard it and we just loved it, we didn’t make any big adjustments – that was it, we got sent the records fully-mixed from Ryan, our producer, and we just said ‘yup, it’s done’ – that’s the first time that’s ever happened.”
The album then takes a more sombre, melancholic turn as you journey through the track list, with ‘From Under Liquid Glass’ standing out as one of the most important songs on the record, due to its poignant and personal account of Harry’s struggles with his own mental health. “I didn’t find it too difficult writing ‘From Under Liquid Glass’, because I didn’t write the song for the band really” explains Harry. “It started as a bit of a cathartic process writing it, and then I just started showing it to more and more people on our team – so actually writing it was really comfortable. I guess there were some moments where I kind of doubted if I wanted to use a song that was that so personal on the record, but then that’s the whole point of being in a band isn’t it? That act of committing every part of yourself to the art, rather than using the art to hide that part of you.
“The fan feedback for ‘From Under Liquid Glass’ has been really great. We’ve had lots of people message us saying they’ve found comfort in the song, which is why I thought it was the right move to release it in the end – if people can find comfort in the song or just feel less alone, then that’s job done.”
As much as Peace wanted to maintain the energy they’re famous for on this new album, they also wanted to concentrate more so on constructing a sonic journey of sorts for the listener. “I didn’t want to just do banger, after banger, after banger” Harry asserted confidently as he described the purpose of the album. “We can really sort of churn out big, explosive, instrumental music now, that’s what we’re really good at and we do a lot of that in our live shows – but for this record to serve its purpose, I felt like it needed those moments, but also a lot more stuff that translates on to record better.
“We wanted that sort of front-end energy, then for the end, we wanted the listener to bliss-out a little bit. We wanted a different shape to the record in comparison to the previous two that were just full throttle from the off. I remember when we decided to release ‘Power’ as the second single a few months back, I felt like our fans were begging for something new from us musically – so I knew it had to be this big, empowering track. It’s literally about power in music, the music giving people the power to do whatever it is they need to do. Whatever it f**king is that you’ve got to do, put that tune on and get it done.”