INTERVIEW: PJ Bond | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Like the majority of Xtra Mile’s roster, PJ Bond owes a great deal of thanks to Frank Turner for picking up an acoustic guitar after Million Dead split in 2005. Xtra Mile was operating as a hardcore label at the time, and founder Charlie Caplowe was sceptical about the new direction the label was taking; fast-forward ten years and they now boast a folk/punk focus that gives their artists an enviable freedom.

Having signed with the London-based label in 2009, New Jersey-born PJ Bond has gone on to release five albums and has garnered a strong reputation for his storytelling approach that has been likened to Springsteen and Dylan. May saw the release of new record Where Were You? before he headed off on a European tour, which he feels is an element of his career that enables him to really showcase his passion. “There are times when I play [in Graz, Austria] that make me feel like this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing. A sweaty set of new and old songs, people dancing, swaying, and giving me back everything I was putting out and more. Starting the tour in these cities has proven to be perfect.”

“I am constantly battling negative thoughts and balancing them with incredibly positive ones”

Despite actively touring for more than twenty years, PJ has only ventured to Newcastle once, and his gig at Nerd Hutch on Monday 13th July will be a donation-only show. Bond’s latest release received critical acclaim across the punk and folk channels, with his charming whimsical tales, murmuring vocals and bluesy acoustics combining to take his audience on a journey filled with heartache. Calm The Corner’s acoustic storytelling style offers a nod to Nebraska-era Springsteen, while 87 Broadcast’s radio friendly sing-along perfection and the country-tinged slide guitar of Seer make for an eclectic listen.

“What you’re hearing these days is very much a meeting of my past and present musical lives; I am constantly battling negative thoughts and balancing them with incredibly positive ones.” PJ explains, going on to describe his lyrical inspirations. “I see things in the world in the lives of my loved ones and in my own life, and I try to make sense of them. If you, as a listener, are able to join me on the journey, that is wonderful, and I suppose speaks to the fact that we are all experiencing this crazy life in some of the same ways.”

PJ Bond plays Nerd Hutch, Newcastle on Monday 13th July.

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