By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn
We caught up with Pure October to talk about their debut full length album, the Gullible Guide to Getting By. We all know that high school, and life in general, has struggles and ups and downs, so follow "Charlie" through his adventure on this album. You'll want to get to know Pure October early on, this pop-punk band from St. Louis is one to look out for!
You originally formed after a school talent show, and have evolved into an energetic, pop-punk band. How this this come about?! Were you planning on starting a band prior?
SP: The band has kind of a wacky history. To start, I’m the only standing original member of the band. The original lineup comprised of my best friend Roman (now in St. Louis based metal band, Arkangela) invited me to join Pure October as their original rhythm guitarist. After a lengthy and dramatic falling out, I met Alex for the first time in between sets during our high school’s talent show. While we were chatting he casually brought up how he wanted to be in a band. A few weeks later we brought him to practice, and in turn he introduced us to Tom and we’ve all been best friends ever since.
Your debut full length, “The Gullible Guide to Getting By” was released just a few days ago (September 15th). Can you tell us how “Charlie” came about, and his overall journey that takes place on this album?
AE: I don’t exactly remember when the idea came to me, but I think it was around the time I was graduating high school and going to college. I had learned a lot in my senior year about how things tend to work when you grow up and just life lessons overall. That’s basically how the story of Charlie and the Gullible Guide came about. It’s a full translation of life lessons that kids learn in high school and how they translate as you get older.
Who designed the album cover? It’s so awesome, and definitely ties the themes together. Did the different images come from different songs/ the idea of school in general?
SP: Thank you! It took a long time to sort out the album art. We wanted to make sure that we captured a real ‘school-doodle’ type of vibe. Everything on the cover is what we imagined Charlie would be doodling on his desk while he was waiting for the bell to ring. Every doodle on the front cover has some sort of tie-in to either the overall theme of the album or to an individual song. We decided as a band that we’re going to let the listeners decide how to piece everything together. The art was created by our really talented friend, artist and fellow musician Echo Morse from the band Creature Illicit.
Which bands were some of you biggest musical influences while working on your latest recordings? (I can definitely sense some Neck Deep and ADTR vibes!).
TG: For sure! Neck Deep and A Day To Remember are definitely some of our biggest influences. I think we all have a ton of different bands that influence us from metalcore, to pop punk, to even just things you’d find on top 40 radio. I think it’s pretty evident throughout the album that we didn’t stick too much to just one style of music because we have tracks that are pretty radio friendly like “Disappear” and “Something Special,” but then we also have the very heavy leaning tracks like “I am an Island”. You’re totally right. We all listen to that type of music and we all agree that Alex has that kind of ‘Pop-Punk’ voice, which really adds to the overall feel.
You’ve already shared the stage with some incredible bands (Dangerkids, Vanna, etc.). If you could set-up a dream tour with two other bands, who would it be?
AE: Ooo that’s a hard one. I guess if we had to set up a dream tour it would probably be with Neck Deep and/or A Day to Remember. Honestly a tour with any band that we’ve admired and looked up to would be awesome!
TG: It would be sick to tour with the guys from Pierce the Veil. We were lucky enough to see them play at the Firebird, after their date at Pointfest got cancelled. That might have been the last time anyone will see them play a no guard/no barrier show in a club. Being able to jam with those guys would be a dream come true.
SP: Oh and the nerds in Waterparks.
What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?
TG: The main event that we’re trying to promote right now is our upcoming album release party. It’s here in our hometown of St. Louis at the Firebird right off Locust Street. It’s September 30th and the show starts at 7pm! We’re trying to have a mixed-genre show to bring a more diverse crowd to the show. We have our buddies Noah Fence and Lou McDon rapping to start off the night, followed by some emo pop-punk tunes from our good friends in Old State. Tickets are only $5, and if you’re from the St. Louis area, we’ll hand deliver you a ticket and sing a song or two, just for you (don’t worry, they’re available through the Firebird’s website too)!
Beyond that, we’re excited to play with As We Are on November 25th at the Way Out Club. There’s a rumor going around that a pretty big band is going to be hopping on the bill; however, it’s under wraps for the time being…
Obviously we have a few secret shows that’ll be coming up throughout the month of October too, so keep your eyes peeled. :)