Getting To Know... Ponte Pilas

After establishing themselves with a flurry of fresh and explosive indie-rock jams these last few years, Berlin-based outfit Ponte Pilas have now delivered their long-awaited debut album 'Old Enough To Know Better'.

Channelling a wonderfully rich and dynamic direction from start to finish, 'Old Enough To Know Better' perfectly illustrates their glittering tenure to date. Filled with bold and exciting textures, a vibrant atmosphere, and killer hook layered throughout, they are certainly looking to turn plenty of heads with this one.

So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with lead singer Calum Bolland to find out more about his background and what has inspired him most over the years.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

My first instrument actually was the viola, which I loved playing. I was classically trained for many years throughout school. I also played the Scots fiddle, touring Europe with a school ceilidh (traditional Scottish dancing) band. If the voice counts though, I always enjoyed singing and even spent some time in the National Youth Choir of Scotland. I like to think I’ve left behind these stuffy, classical roots though now as Ponte Pilas are a little more rock ’n’ roll.

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

I was into classic rock from a young age, that was the first type of music I remember consciously listening to. We didn’t have a computer, so my uncle used to burn me CDs of music featuring AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Guns ’n’ Roses for me. He was always sure to include something a little more ‘highbrow ‘ on there though, I remember one CD where he had snuck on Mrs Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel to mitigate my heavier leanings.

What was the first album you remember owning?

The first CD I bought was Meatloaf’s ‘Bat Out of Hell’, an album I still love. Rest in Power to the big man!

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

There are a million songs I wish I’d written, but if I had to pick any one right now it would probably be Life on Mars by David Bowie.

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

All of the band members enjoy writing musical ideas, so generally what we do is squirrel away voice notes and fragments locked away in our own rooms and then come together to share these. Or, if the ideas are shite they are pretty quickly shot down. If something has legs, if the rest of the band react favourably, then we try to flesh it out a little bit and build upon it. The eventual song generally is a mad Frankenstein’s monster stitched together from these disparate influences. And we don’t jam. That’s band policy.

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

The Chats consistently blow my mind, and they’ve been drinking heavily from the AC/DC font of influence too. The Viagra Boys are one of the best live bands out there in my opinion too, and I caught IDLES this year which was a delightful kick in the teeth.

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

If we ever shared a stage with Iggy Pop, who is a true rock ’n’ roll deity, I think I may retire. Go out on a high.

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

The money. Haha! No, the chance to share our music and to drive a room to manic, cathartic release in the hour or so we share with a crowd is a joy like few others. It’s probably the greatest high you can experience.

And what is the most frustrating part?

The professional music game is one designed almost entirely for consumers. Which is great! We are also consumers of music, of course. But when you see just how difficult it is for small to medium bands to “break through” it can be quite depressing.

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

Show up on time. Heard that from an interview with Alice Cooper years ago and couldn’t agree more. Being late isn’t rock ’n’ roll, it’s a waste of everyone’s time and pretty quickly you’ll earn a reputation as a bit of a dick.


Ponte Pilas' new album 'Old Enough To Know Better' is available to stream now. Have a listen to it in the player below.