Peace are Happy People – for the moment, anyway

Have your say

Peace are aiming high – if you catch them on the right day, says their frontman Harry Koisser.

The indie four-piece are about to hit The Pyramids on their latest tour but, as Harry told The Guide, they’re playing the long game.

Described by The Guardian as a ‘textbook gobby fop’, Koisser is in more reflective mood on the day we speak.

The Worcester-based group are two albums in – Happy People hit number 12 on its release in February and it seems their label, Columbia, are happy to give them time to grow.

‘I’m quite fortunate that I’ve been allowed to stay in the music industry a bit longer than most people who don’t get absolutely huge,’ says Harry. We’re quite lucky that our record label sees a lot of potential in us, which is good because we probably would have been dropped by now.

‘Commercially we’re not a huge band, we don’t sell millions of records. We’ve managed to get two albums out of them so far, I’ve kind of had the time to get comfortable. I think a lot of people are thrown in and don’t want to say anything that will offend people. I don’t care any more.

We’re quite lucky that our record label sees a lot of potential in us, which is good because we probably would have been dropped by now

Harry Koisser, Peace frontman

‘We’ve been lucky that we’ve stayed moderately relevant for four years now.’

When Columbia first came for the band, Harry claims to have been bemused by the attention.

‘I had no idea what was happening, to be honest. They were coming to see us and saying: “You’re excellent”, and we were like, ”no, we’re not”. We only had three songs, and one of them was only a repeated loop.

‘But I have to give them credit that they saw some potential and that we’d write some songs, and they’re still believing now that we’ll go on to be this unstoppable fantastic band. I still can’t see, it, but maybe I’m shortsighted.’

So far the band have grown with each release, hitting higher chart spots and playing in bigger venues.

So where does he see the band’s trajectory heading?

‘I’m sure by the time I’m 30 I’ll be a lot older and a lot angrier. I think it’s quite nice to have music to throw that canvas on.’

Warming to his theme, he goes on: ‘When I was 19 and we got signed I was trying to do a very delicate watercolour. Now I’m 24 it’s a bit sloppy, so by the time I’m 30 I want to be chucking the red paint at the canvas, setting fire to it and kicking it over.’

But with one eye on his rock-mythology, he suddenly adds: ‘No, that should be 27, shouldn’t it? We’re on the right path for a true traditional rock’n’roll tragedy.

‘I’m kidding.’

But the question of how big they can get is one that has been taxing Harry lately.

‘Right now, this what we’re contemplating. Our manager and the label are saying you’ve got so much potential to be bigger, and I’m kind of like, I’m not going to try to do anything, that’s not what I’ve ever done. But they’re saying the potential is in the songs, it’s a strange one.

‘Do you want to stay at this level where you play Brixton every two years, then every five, and it’s downhill from there? Or do you want to see how far you can push this?

‘If you wake me up on a Friday at 1pm, I’m like: “Yeah, bring it on! Book the arenas, let’s do it”. If it’s like 7am on a Sunday, I’ll be like: “I’m out, let me sleep.”

‘My opinion can be quite polarised.’

He’s also coming to grips with famous fans – former Pompey striker Peter Crouch was spotted at one of their gigs, and has now ended up in their video for Gen Strange.

‘I was never hugely into football,’ says Harry. ‘And the thing is, the ones who were massively into football, the passion they put into football, they met with an equal passion of hating me and my mate.

‘We were generally hated by the sporty, football crowd, for whatever reason.

‘But now it’s been a cultural crossover. Now he’s coming to my gigs, and I’ve got more into football. I met Rio Ferdinand at Glastonbury and he was really nice as well.

‘And the guys at school who were not particularly keen on me – Adam who threw a bin on my head in year eight – I’m hanging out with your idols now.’

Peace are at The Pyramids on Wednesday. Doors 7.30pm. Tickets £16.50. Go to