“I took some acid the other week and listened to Fucked Up's complete discography and it was life changing. I definitely recommend doing that if you're into anything cool, at all,” says Pears guitarist Brian Pretus when asked what he’s been listening to. He continues, nonchalantly, “The only way society's stigma about drugs is going to change is if literally everyone just comes out and says ‘I like to do drugs,’ because most everybody does do drugs, and that's because they like to, because they're awesome!”
For the past three years, Pears has left a wake of devastation across more than one sub-genre of punk. Blending pounding hardcore riffage with unexpectedly catchy harmonies, Pears is a mix of disparate sonic influences. Pretus describes the band’s live sound as, “a four person panic attack train, going eight thousand miles an hour straight to your feel-zone,” which isn’t far off the mark. Last year the band released its second LP, Green Star, to rave reviews. After spending the year touring nonstop in support of the album, Pears took a tiny hiatus.
“We took January and February off so we could sit around and have anxiety and go bankrupt and figure out whether we wanted to live or die, and that was great,” Pretus muses.
But Pears, much like a shark, must keep moving. The band has already started writing for not one, but two releases – a split with a yet-to-be-announced band and their third full length. The band is also hitting the road again for a US tour with Fat Wreck Chords labelmates Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and Masked Intruder in April before heading to Europe in July and August.
Weirdness is expected to abound, as it has on every Pears tour. Pretus claims he has a terrible memory, but shares an insane experience from years ago, “Our old band played a show in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and a kid brought his dead grandmother, in a casket, in the back of his truck bed, to the show, and brought us outside and showed us, because he thought we would think that was cool.”
It would be impossible to comprehensively list Pears’ influences. Aside from Fucked Up, Pretus has a laundry list of what he’s been listening to lately, subtle nods to which I’m sure will pop up in the band’s new material. “I’ve been listening to this band White Reaper a bunch, I saw them like five or six months ago and they blew me away live and now one of their songs is stuck in my head almost everyday lately. Dillinger Four, as usual, Frenzal Rhomb, as usual, the new NAILS album that came out last year was really awesome, this band Full Of Hell put out a split with them recently, but I've been listening to all the other Full Of Hell stuff a bunch, they rock. The new Descendents album was enough for me for all of 2016.”
When it comes to tattoos, the ever over-caffeinated Pretus has plenty to say, “I want to shout out the tattoo artists that have given us free tattoos on tour! Jack from Arms Aloft, he did my best tattoo, a big penguin on my arm, it’s literally perfect and he did it in like 15 minutes and it was amazing because it didn't hurt even a little bit. And I have a pretty lame pain threshold, so it was very impressive. Jackie Jones from OKC, she’s an amazing lady and works at Hard Luck Tattoos, she’s amazing as well. This dude Elmo gave us rad tattoos once in Kansas City. He works at Skinquest Tattoos. And the last one would be this dude Karl from the Australian band Beerfridge. He gave us tattoos of kangaroos with broken arms, on our legs.”
With their nearly revolutionary sound and intense live shows, Pears have quickly built a cult following, some of whom have taken the love to the next logical step – a Pears tattoo, which is a subject that makes Pretus incredibly humbled, “I can literally remember what all of them look like. I mean, when we saw the first guy who got one, it was just a tattoo of the four pears silhouette on the cover of our first album, on a guy’s wrist, I mean it was nearly unbelievable to us. We we're beyond stoked that someone cared about what we do that much to actually get a part of it tattooed on their body forever, we we're just so stoked to actually have that kind of effect on somebody, the same way Descendents had such an effect on me that I got a tattoo of their stuff.”
“It really does mean a lot. That's the kind of stuff that balances out all the bullshit we go through and never having any money and reconfirms to me that everything we're doing is totally worth doing and it makes me wanna do it for the rest of my life, which is very tight.”
Definitely check out Pears on bandcamp and on tour in a town near you.