Getting To Know... Pharmacists

After spending much of the last few years building and developing his sound, William Porteous now brings his Pharmacists project to the wider world with his riveting debut single 'Heart Of The Nation'.

Channelling a wonderfully broad and driven indie-rock energy for his initial offering, 'Heart Of The Nation' makes for a dazzling introduction to his sound so far. With its bold and shimmering hooks set to his wondrous vocals throughout, he is kicking things off with a wildly enjoyable opening number here.

So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and what has been inspiring him most over the years.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

The harp. Jokes. It was the drums. I remember hearing rock n roll by Les Zep and thought it was from a different planet. You never forget that.

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

Classic rock. Led Zep, Hendrix, Quo. I was about 17 when I moved dramatically, almost overnight, into The Libertines, The Cribs…the rock n roll revolution.

What was the first album you remember owning?

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers - Into the Great Wide Open. Majestic album.

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

Buddy Holly - Weezer.

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

I have to be in an oxygen tent for twelve hours…again just joking. I never have any time for rituals, sadly. I’ll probably have some Guided by Voices or Weezer on during the day and just fill my head with their genius and hope to God it rubs off on me…

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

There are too many! Idles blew my mind when I saw them in Berlin. Problem Patterns from Belfast, an incredible all-girl punk band. I love metal so Green Lung work wonders for me.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

If they were still going with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Seeing as they’re alive I’d say Weezer, maybe at Koko.

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

This sounds daft but the vibes. It’s always been the same. Being in a room and creating either on my own or with the band. If you get lucky and find a gem then it’s just the most personally joyous secret. You feel full up by something pure.

And what is the most frustrating part?

Gigging to six people at The Bell and Dragon or some shithole. Which is probably why so many people give up.

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

Albert Hammond Jnr once bought me a beer in a dive bar in New York. I didn’t know who he was until later that evening. He told me I should just “fucking form a band and make the magic for myself/yourself.” It sounds odd but it really resonated with me because he wasn’t being a prick he was just being honest and cool. It’s not the Ted Talks it’s those small bits that breakthrough.


Pharmacists' debut single 'Heart Of The Nation' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.