- 11 Apr 01
Here, Hot Press profiles some of the home grown artists who've launched new releases in time for the Christmas market. Puppy Love Bomb
Puppy Love Bomb are one of these fantastic pop bands. They trace their lineage from The Beatles to Husker Dü. They concentrate on melody, on strong, hook-laden choruses, on bubbling energy and on stories of teenage love in trouble.
Puppy Love Bomb are three young lads from Dublin: Marc Carroll, vocals, guitars, keyboards; Neil Dowling, drums; and Alan Cullivan, bass. They got together late ‘91, played some “shit” – minus the hot – live gigs, and did rakes of demos.
Now, suddenly, Puppy Love Bomb are a “next big thing.” However, with the way the music media is today, that stamp carries less and less weight. Marc Carroll is a well-sussed character and he brushes aside such tags. As far as he’s concerned, the band are going to do it their way; exactly their way. “From the very start, we were big-headed enough to know we were quite good at writing songs,” he states.
They were also big-headed enough to dismiss the Irish music scene. “We had a big problem with all these fake ideals of how to be in a band in Ireland,” Marc says. “Because I think it’s all crap. I don’t think these bands really know what they’re doing or saying or what they’re really about.”
So, Puppy Love Bomb went to London. Not too impressed there either, they weren’t. “I hate London,” Marc says. “Can’t stand the place. The little ‘scene’ over there is just as bad. We’ve seen it first hand. Like, fucking idiots.”
This conversation leads on to the British music media and their continuous attempts to manufacture ‘great’ bands and ‘great’ scenes. Having reached a new low with the utterly abysmal New Wave of New Wave, it would be easy to see them as desperate little nationalists, trying to make Britain Great again. Marc has noticed all this and also how sections of the British music press virulently attack American bands.
“The British press seem to be at war with the American rock industry, and I think it’s brilliant,” he says. “You have your NME and Melody Maker, and they’ve been breaking American bands over the last couple of years. And they’re sort of saying now: ‘It’s your turn to break our bands.’ And America goes: ‘Piss off. Because your bands are crap.’ And I totally agree with them. Suede won’t do anything in America. You don’t go to America, go on MTV and go: ‘We’re Suede and we’re miserable’.”
The last thing Puppy Love Bomb intend to do when they tour America over the next couple months is to seem miserable. It’s not that they have set out from day one to impress America more than England or wherever. However, they do love the energy America and its music creates. And they have always been big, big fans of Bob Mould.
“We just did three weeks in Europe with Sugar,” Marc says with a smile, “and that personally has been the biggest thing in my musical career, because of my love of Bob Mould and Husker Dü. The very last night in Leeds, he joined us onstage and we all played ‘Ticket To Ride.’ And the place was electric. And the last time Bob Mould had joined a band was with REM in Los Angeles. So, here he was with three knackers from Dublin. So, that was really good.”
Marc Carroll loves his music. He keeps well in touch with the business side because he doesn’t want to get ripped off. He’s a fan, a professional and a realist. “I don’t want to claim to be the best thing since sliced bread,” he states. “Because we’re not. I could name you fifty other bands who I think are. We’re just trying our best to write guitar songs. We’re a mainstream rock band who write damn good pop tunes.”
Marc is delighted that the band are getting so much fan-mail, though he has a warning for those devoted to previous singles: the next record is going to be very different. “I think the next one is going to be a bit mental, to be quite honest with you,” he says. “We’re just going to go for that heavy sound. That when you press play or when you put your needle down, it’s just going to go: Boom!”