Pulverise are bringing back that nu metal sound, straight out of Leeds. Liam Carroll submerges into the quintet’s party fuelled tunes.
Surrounding their very own board game called Chaos Theory, Pulverise epitomise why nerds and metal go hand in hand.
The late 90s was a peak time for the metal genre, with kids wearing baggy pants, rocking their dreadlocks and facial piercings. Bands such as Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and Korn were releasing tracks filled with angst and energy. Recently, nu metal has seen a resurgence mainly in the US with bands like Cane Hill having a prominent nu metal sound.
Headed by vocalist Jojo Millward, the members of Pulverise grew up in the period when nu metal was at the forefront of the music scene, Jojo, 38, said: “It’s what we grew up listening to, as well as the 90s New York hardcore crossover stuff. For me, being mixed race, it was about finding music that I could identify with, seeing bands like Skindred and Dub War with their reggae and raga elements really spoke to me.”
Pulverise have now been hammering out shattering riffs for four years, right at the very centre of the nu metal resurgence. Guitarist Luke Helstrip, 27, said: “It’s cool that the genres on its way back however we do our thing because we enjoy doing it, as long as our music goes back to people having fun and you can bang your head to it then I’m happy.”
The stigmas around nu metal have always been about and will most likely continue forever. Still this hasn’t stopped the quintet from going with the sound: “We don’t really care what people think of the genre, we just think it’s fun and fortunately a lot of people have come along for the ride,” said Jojo.
The late 90s also saw the start of many females playing big roles in metal bands with artists, like Kittie, Coal Chamber and Evanescence all having female band members. Metal right now has countless female fronted bands who are some of the top names in the genre such as doom-folk outfit Chelsea Wolfe and Ukrainian metal band Jinjer.
With a female lead singer and drummer, Pulverise believe it’s now time to see an artist for what they are and not who’s in the band. Jojo said: “It’s amazing that female fronted bands have all this attention however I feel it shouldn’t be necessary now, it should be on a more level platform and there’s a danger of it going too far.”
The band have started to pull back from playing at so many festivals for female fronted bands, Luke said: “It’s great we don’t play as many anymore because we’re still playing at shows with just as many females except there’s no stigma.”
The music industry could probably take note from Pulverise’s assessment as Jojo said: “It’s about equality not exclusivity.”
The band also have varying lyrics, from songs about serious issues such as mental health to the more bizarre, in the topic of weird sex, Jojo said: “In this day and age, everyone’s more open about their sexuality, like one of the lines in our song ‘Filthy’ is, can I take a shit on your chest and it’s about whatever floats your boat really (laughs).”
One of the huge features of nu metal was the playfulness of lyrics, Jojo said: “We wrote ‘Filth’ in a very silly mood and it got a bit juvenile. A lot of bands write really sexy songs and stuff, but I can’t do sultry so I kind of went back to primary school in the lyrical department.”
The band self-released their debut album last year called Chaos Games. The album showed the full throttle energy of the group’s party-core vibe, whilst in Luke’s words also showing the bands: “nerdy side.”
Coming up with the idea of a chaos theory board game and even going on to create their own physical game. Jojo said: “It was an accidental idea as we made it as a prop but the more, we thought about it, we thought we could actually make this into a board game.”
On the idea of releasing future games as merchandise Luke said: “It’s going to take a lot of brains and that’s more than I’ve got. We would have to put some sort of drinking rules in it if we did.”
The quintet from Leeds all met through their clubbing days and have been close friends since. The closeness of a friendship however may not always mean it’s easier to work together. Luke said: “It’s definitely up for debate whether us being so close brings good work ethic (laughs).”
Jojo: “We’re all like family, but like every band we have some disagreements, usually after about 20 minutes we’d have worked stuff out.”
Pulverise are bringing back that partying nu metal sound but with their own twist. Their groove driven riffs, along with Jojo’s harsh vigorous vocals is complemented by the bouncy spirit of the band members. With that spirit seeing Pulverise bleed nu blood into the metal scene.