For a band that emerged a little less than 3 years ago, is not a little thing supporting names such as legendary The Jazz Butcher Quartet and The Jasmine Minks. They are called The Pacers, come from London and their sound is a fine blend of 60’s garage & psychedelia. Read the following one and get to know the band, and above all…Catch them live on April 15th at The Lexington…

Who are The Pacers, and why should we get to listen to you?

The band was started by Alexander Friedl and Harry Stam a little less than three years ago. We were both getting tired of the bands we were playing in at the time, and since we listened to the same music we decided to start a new one. Our drummer Jamie has been with us for about two years and we’ve just found a great bass player, Sean, who joined a few months ago. As we spent a good part of last year with various people filling in on bass, it’s great to finally have found the right man for the job.

How do you feel about the upcoming gig April 15th at The Lexington along with living legends The Jazz Butcher Quartet & The Jasmine Minks?

Can’t wait to play with them, love a lot of the bands from the Creation Records era, and The Jasmine Minks are great! Their new song is quality!

Your sound is a fine blend of “60’s psych/ garage and freakout psychedelia”. How did you end up with this sound? Which bands have influenced you most, old and current ones?

As far as influences go, the two bands that pop up first are probably The Stooges and The 13th Floor Elevators. There are obviously many other bands that we take influences from as well, but those two in particular have helped us find our sound.

That said, we try not to worry too much of having a specific sound. Sometimes you’ll listen to an album and all songs will sound kind of similar. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we just like to have a pretty broad spectrum to work in. So some of our songs are really fast with lots of fuzz and noise, and some songs are slow and drony, and some are just more like classic pop songs.

Tell us a few words about the excellent video for ‘Losing Touch’… How did the collab with director Robert Johnston emerge?

Rob was a friend of previous bassist. He really liked our band, and offered to shoot the video for us. Basically, he came up with the idea for the video, and we pretty much just followed his instructions. It was shot over the course of a day at Highgate forest and at our bass player’s house. It was good fun, although we always get a bit weirded out being in front of the camera and having to act.


How would you describe the psych London scene at the moment? Any interesting acts we should check out?

It’s pretty good, there are a lot of psych nights around London, we’ve played a lot of them and go to them quite often. There’s generally a really good vibe, and lots of people who know each other. Bands like Green Seagull, Dead Coast & Carnivals are great bands that you should check out.

How is a “typical” Pacers’ song coming to life? Is it a band’s work or someone bringing the main idea and the rest experimenting on it?

Usually Harry and Alex work out the base and structure of a song before bringing it to the rehearsal room, where the song kind of comes to life, and everyone gets to put their own touch to it. It’s just easier to do it that way, working on the time-consuming parts at home, and then spend rehearsal time working out the details.

‘I’m Down’ is a typical garage tune coming straight form the 60s era! Do you feel you belong to this era then? How is living and creating in 2017?

Not really. We just like the music from that era, but there’s no point feeling like you belong anywhere else than here and now. In 2017, there are still loads of people that are into our kind of music, there are lots of good bands and people come out to see gigs, so there’s really not that much to complain about. But definitely love all things 60’s.

What does garage music mean to you? A few words about it? The same please for psychedelia…

We guess for us Garage music is energy, rawness and noise, we think it goes hand in hand with psychedelia, it should make people want to get up and dance. Throw in some psychedelia and it takes you to another place

Planning any release for 2017? In general what’s ahead for The Pacers?

We have a new single coming out in roughly a month or so called ‘Mirror Man’, just putting the finishing touches to the video for it. We also finished recording a new batch of songs last month, so we’ll definitely have another single coming out later this year with he hopes to put a full album out next year. Also looking to play around the UK more this year so looking forward to that.

Photo credits: Sylvia Ewa

Christos Doukakis