Glasswerk chats to Pure Reason Revolution

Next week Reading favourites Pure Reason Revolution return to the live music scene and will undertake their most ambitious headline tour so far. Expected to be between 30-40 shows it will cover, The Uk, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia and more….

The UK tour kicks off with a much anticipated live return to Reading on March 5th at Plug N Play as part of Glasswerk’s “Revelry” club night. This is the first night of the fore mentioned tour and promises to be a blast. If you haven’t been lucky to catch them live in the past, Pure Reason Revolution bring all that is good in rock ‘n’ roll, an infectious blend of contemporary dance rhythms, pop hooks, sublime vocal harmonies and ‘huge’ rock riffs to our musical taste buds.

Now signed to Superball Music their second album is due for release on March 9th (available on pre order now) and promises to be equally provocative as the debut The Dark Third. Titled “Amor Vincit Omnia” it is likely to once again take a musical journey but this time of a very different kind…with influences as varied as Justice, NIN and Depeche Mode. Angry in parts, a few shades darker elsewhere but still with their signature harmonies and those big riffs! Unlike their debut album two is produced/recorded and almost exclusively mixed by songwriter/guitarist/front man Jon Courtney but Paul Northfield (who co-produced The Dark Third) appears with a mixing credit on two tracks.

The live band are; Jon Courtney (vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming), Chloe Alper (vocals, keyboards, bass), Jamie Wilcox (guitars, keyboards, vocals) and Paul Glover (Drums)

We caught up with Jon and Jamie to find out the latest…..

The tour

You are about to start a UK and European tour and release your second album? Is this living the dream, why you play in a band?

(Jamie) Yeah I guess you could say it is living “the dream”, for all of us it has been a dream to play music and we have been very fortunate to get these opportunities to go out and play.

30 odd dates, is that the longest PRR tour to date?

(Jamie) This is definitely the biggest tour we have done to date and also it’s our first headline tour in Europe, so it will be a new experience for us but we’re definitely relishing the challenge, and also it’s like having a little holiday when we’re out of the country.

Your about to go on tour again, do you genuinely enjoy being on the road? What is it that you like the most? Like the least?

(Jamie) I absolutely love being on tour, it’s my favourite part of being in a band. For me I just love meeting new people, seeing new places and having the opportunity to hang out with the rest of the guys and experience cool stuff you would never normally see on an average day.
The part I like the least I guess would have to be spending so much time apart from the closest people to you for a long period of time….oh….and also not having a good cup of English tea in the morning.

You have a big fan base in Europe, how do audiences at home compare to the Europeans?

(Jamie) Over the last 2 years we haven’t really toured in the UK so it’s a little hard to say how the audiences differ now.

I mean there’s the obvious part of the language barriers but it does make me feel really bad that everyone knows how to speak English and I even have trouble with that one!!

What is the strangest thing that has happened to you whilst away on tour?

(Jamie) Well on the last tour we were taking a ferry ride over to Santander in Spain. It’s like a 21 hours trip so we were really hoping for a relaxing journey but just as we parked up and starting to take our luggage out of the van, we all heard a massive crash and bang, the next thing we knew there was liquid pouring out of the ceiling on top of Paul, James (our tech) and Andie (tour manager)
The first thing that springs to mind when something like that happens is to laugh, point and take the piss out everyone involved! Well that happened until the stench of oil hit our nostrils and immediately our laughter turned into, what the hell has just happened?
It turns out that it was hydraulic oil from the ferry roof mechanism.
After many a “discussion” with the ferry people they agreed to wash the damaged clothes but they still stank of oil and were stained.

Does “what goes on tour, stays on tour” apply much to PRR?!

(Jamie) Exactly, this is why I can’t answer that question!!! (cough cough) There probably are a few things that stay on tour but usually we’re in bed by 9pm with a cup of horlicks??

Looking at the tour itinerary what jumps out as a place/show that you are most looking forward to visiting/playing?

(Jamie) Every UK date on this tour will be great to play; we haven’t been out in the UK for so long, so to be able to play in this country again will be enjoyable.
For all of us, having grown up in Reading means we are definitely looking forward to that show. It will be great to seeing some old faces.

Will a tour that long take its toll? Who will crack first?!

(Jamie) I hope the tour wont “take its toll”; we have been out many times before and for a few weeks at a time which does make you appreciate coming home but when you are home there is always the week or so of post tour blues.

Who will crack first??

(Jamie) Don’t tell him I said this but I think Paul will be the first to crack; he does love his English cooked food. Jon and I can pretty much live on bratwurst, salami and cheese flaps forever. But to help us cope with missing England we will be taking a years supply of Tea.

Which country is the best to tour?

(Jamie) I think every country has it pro’s and cons. I always like France and Denmark, they are amazing, everyone is so friendly but then I honestly can’t say I dislike any country we play in.

The Album

The second album, Amor Vincit Omnia, is released on March 9th…..can you give us a hint of what to expect? Is there a change in direction at all from the first album?

(Jon) It’s more ferocious in places…& also more stripped back…heavier/quieter…the bitter/the sweet…& less whimsical…less carefree…more paranoid…greater depth of sound design… more synths..less guitars perhaps?…but some of the earliest PRR demos had no guitars even…we have no rules…its wanton abandon!…Of course our sweet choral harmonies & melody are still prevalent…that’s one of our defining characteristics…& more direct lyrically…more direct all-round…

How does the 2nd album compare to the first?

(Jon) I guess this record more direct….Amor Vincit Omnia…love conquers all….Errmm…… I Wanted it to convey the euphoria of love, coupled with the inevitable bitter endings & sadness of lost love,…& to represent a number of different human emotions in-between…a bunch of depraved love songs really… the clandestine deceiver…

As a band, how do you go about writing an album? Is there one or two of you coming up with ideas or is it a free for all? What is the PRR writing dynamic?

(Jon) I write & record pretty much everything… Paul plays live drums on some tracks…I then hack em around….everyone sings I guess….people kind of come along as & when they please while I’m recording…

Translated from Latin “Amor Vincit Omnia” means “Love Conquers All”, what was the inspiration for that title?

(Jon) It’s a re-working of the slogan emblazoned on my old school blazer. The original motto reads Truth Conquers All.

How do you feel about this album? Does it contain the bands heart and soul?!

(Jon) I think as a whole band we’re really behind this album.

What expectations have been set for the album? Do record sales still count in this day and age?

(Jon) Not like before but the recordings still drive everything along and live is healthier than ever before?

The gig at Plug N Play next Thursday

It’s been awhile, when did you last play Reading? Are you guys looking forward to your return as much as the Reading faithful?

(Jon) We are looking forward but I think we also feel more ‘under scrutiny’ than anywhere else but I’m sure it will be fine.

I expect this will gig will be packed with familiar faces, was it intentional to play Reading as the opening date of the tour?

(Jon) No, it just came in late and it was the only date available.

Do you have fond memories of playing in Reading as a young band trying to make it? What memories do you have?

(Jon) The afterdark was always my favourite show….I broke my first guitar string onstage there! Humm…& was weird doing a gig in an environment where you’re usually rather inebriated!

Next Thursday gig is not to be missed.

For tickets visit:

To find out how to get hold of a copy of “Amor Vincit Omnia” and for everything else visit:

Share this!