2009 promises to be a busy and rewarding one for PURESSENCE, Manchester’s most consistently acclaimed guitar band.
Currently recording material for a new studio album in 2010, the 7th September this year will see the band release ‘Sharpen Up The Knives’ a collection of the band’s favourite recordings alongside brand new material.
Puressence will tour the UK this autumn and will headline their biggest UK show to date at the Manchester Apollo on Saturday 14th November.
Singer James Mudriczki and drummer Anthony Szuminski are both devoted Blues and Vital Manchester City caught up with them on all things MCFC with questions from the Vital MC online community…
How did you become Blues? – Was it because your Dads supported them or were you influenced by your school mates?
James: ‘My Hungarian father was a Blue…God rest his soul. So I naturally became a Blue because he was.’
Tony: ‘I always remember preferring City but your mates do seal your allegiance and that was James (whose family are all massive City fans). I remember listening to the derby in 1989 at Maine Road when City beat United 5-1. That just confirmed it for me.
‘I came over from South Africa in 1987. My team there is the Kaiser Chiefs and I don’t think that the band from Leeds are good enough to use that name!’
Which past and or current MCFC player do you admire the most and why?
James: ‘Steve Lomas.’ (James is adamant that after SL scored a goal he once developed a hard-on!)
Tony: ‘Colin Bell is the King but that’s not my era, so for me Georgi Kinkladze. He was amazing to watch but also frustrating at times and he is how everyone tends to describes City – Mercurial!’
Has the band ever worked a gig around a City match? Do you get to watch the matches?
Tony: ‘Yeah, we all love our footy so we can work around it; I share a season ticket with my brother so I see most home games.
James: ‘If we are playing a gig on a matchday then we usually find a pub that’s showing the game…or a launderette.’
Are Puressence coming to Copenhagen any time soon? Northern Portrait would be a great support.
Tony: ‘We played in Copenhagen in 1997, would love to go again!’
How long have you followed City and how often, if at all do you get to see live games (home or away)?
James: ‘Since I was 10 years old. These days I never get to the game because I’m either with the family, absailing…or skint!’
Tony: ‘Since around 1987 and as I said earlier I get to most home games these days.’
With Kevin (Kevin Matthews – Bass) reportedly being a Reds supporter do you give him a hard time?
Tony: ‘Yes, but he holds his own and Lowell (Lowell Killen – Guitars) is a Mersey Red so he is used to getting the flack from all angles.’
Puressence – “Don’t know any better” – other videos follow
Do you meet and talk about City much with other City musicians?
James: ‘Yes, why only last week I was discussing City’s defensive frailities with Lionel Ritchie in Dry Bar on Oldham Street.’
If you had to trade places with a City player for a day – who would it be and why?
Tony: ‘Robinho-just imagine if you had his talent, what you could do if you mixed it with being a true Blue.’
James: ‘Stephen Ireland. I’d spend all day in front of the mirror trying on various wigs.’
Would you ever consider, if offered, playing a live gig at Eastlands?
Tony: ‘Where? Outside the pie shop?! That would be an amazing dream come true for two of us at least. Don’t think Lowell would mind, but I think we would need a stand in bass player for the night!’
James: ‘Definitely, but it would probably be in the kitchen!’
How do you keep up with City news when you’re on tour and do you have any future plans to do a gig in the Far East?
Tony: ‘You can follow City anywhere now so that’s not a problem, we will travel anywhere for free beer and crisps!’
James: ‘Talksport, Radio 5 live and newspapers when we are abroad.’
Oasis’ Gallagher brothers are not scared to show their Blue colours either on stage or during interviews. Do you share the same passion?
Tony: ‘I’ve never been into wearing footy tops even at games, but that doesn’t stop me being passionate about Manchester City though. I suppose we could have a civil war on stage about what team we all support, it would add to the entertainment, or the lack of it.’
James: ‘Not really. We don’t get asked about it that much if I’m honest.’
Did you have musical backgrounds? How did Puressence get together? How did you pick the name Puressence?’
Tony: ‘We all learnt our instruments in the band after all being inspired by the Stone Roses Gig at Spike Island. We used to be called ‘Presence’ but Lol Tollhurst (Ex Cure) called his new band that so we changed to Puressence.’
James: ‘We picked it out of a bingo machine!’
Do you come across many fellow blues in the music business or are there loads of rags?
James: ‘There are all-sorts of filth and fornication in this trade my friend!’
Tony: ‘There are a lot of City fans in the music industry, I’m sure I saw Mike Joyce (The Smiths drummer) at a game once with his son and I believe Reni (The Stone Roses drummer) is a Blue but sadly there are a few reds as well. Mani (Stone Roses/ Primal Scream) is a Red but you can forgive him because he is Mani after all! Well ok then, maybe not..!’
The ultimate accolade for any songwriting Blue would have to be which one of your songs would you like to see the team walk out to?!
Tony: ‘Yeah, I always feel a bit envious when ‘Pounding’ by Doves gets played before the game and ‘Spread your Love’ by BRMC sounds great for the players to walk out to. I would love to hear ‘Sharpen Up The Knives’ before a Derby Match. Any track would be a massive honour.’
James: ‘This Feeling.’
When you compose a song, which comes first the music or the song? How do you know that that’s the one you record, or is that a daft question and the answers obvious?
Tony: ‘Its always different, sometimes James will have a rounded idea that is almost complete, sometimes a song can be born from a bass line, groove or melody. We do work in a lot of different ways.
‘Some songs sound great in the writing stage but don’t make it to sounding great on the record whereas other songs come alive in the studio. It’s always different.’
What are your views on City’s new found status within the world of football?
James: ‘It remains to be seen. We’re not even on the radar yet but we will be with the passing of time.’
Tony: ‘I want the charges at City to step back and to employ a bit of class. The money is amazing but for me the proudest moment as a City fan recently was how we observed the Minutes silence impeccably at Old Trafford last year and then went on to beat them.
‘The Kaka saga was a shambles. I do want City at the top and to be competing with the best clubs on the planet, but its more important how we go about it than actually getting there at any price.’
Really enjoying your last studio album ‘Don’t Forget to Remember.’ Taking me back to World Of Twist and the timeless tunes of the Inspirals. Great work lads! Why have I not heard of you in the past as you seem to have been around for a while? – Any tour plans?
Tony: ‘We’re just a well kept secret! We will be touring later this year.’
You can visit PURESSENCE on MySpace by clicking www.myspace.com, or to access to their official site, click here.
‘Don’t Forget To Remember…’
‘Roaring anthemic tunes of industrial chart strength.’ – New Musical Express
With thanks and respect to Jimmy and Tony for taking time out to link up with Vital MC.
Very many thanks to Bruce McKenzie at Townsend Records for Puressence Management and Andy McMahon at Puressence Info for making this happen.
Big cheers to Vital MC regulars Danish Blue, Buzz Lightyear, fifthcolumnblue, Thaibluefan, eighthsin, Doody, Barney Daniels and Tudor for their valued input.
**FOLLOWING ROY HARPER, SWP AND PURESSENCE, STAY TUNED FOR MORE VITAL MC STAR INTERVIEWS IN 2009**
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