Nicholas Owen


One of the most interesting and impressive debuts we listened to this year so far, is definitely Pumarosa's, The Witch. It was released last May and has already stolen our ears and hearts... A 54-minute breathtaking sonic adventure that can be hardly compared with anything else around, electronic space rock waves that take you by storm and finally leave you dazed and stunned... 10 long compositions running from at least 4 minutes to even 7'30" and sung by the engaging and unbelievable voice of Isabel Munoz-Newsome, with Honey and debut single Priestess sticking out and haunting your soul instantly. Not that the rest of the songs are not equally formidable and qualitative, the whole album is a solid and highly addictive music statement that captures your attention from its very first notes of the opening track Dragonfly... Must listen!

Pumarosa are a five piece based in London, consisting of founding members Isabel Munoz-Newsome (vocals, guitar) and Nicholas Owen (drums), who were soon accompanied by Tomoya Suzuki (saxophone and keys), Henry Brown (bass) and Neville James (guitar), who was the last to join the band. The Basement had a very cool chat with Nicholas and we are more than happy to share it with you... 






The Basement: Hello Nick, so nice to have you and Pumarosa in the Basement. We recently had a glimpse on a photo of Isabel in a hospital. So, how’s her health, is she all right? 
Isabel is doing really well thanks; she is making a speedy recovery

The Basement: You are coming from London. Are all of your members Londoners ? How did you meet and start composing music?
We are all based in London and met there. We were all involved in different musical projects and over time they converged to become Pumarosa!

The Basement: When did you start the band and what is the meaning of  your name “Pumarosa"?
We have been gigging as Pumarosa for three years now maybe? I can’t remember. Time flies. A Pumarosa is a lurid jungle fruit that grows near the equator.

The Basement: Let us know more about the production and all the arrangements of the LP… Who did all these?
The album was produced by our now dear friend Dan Carey. Most of the songs were arranged and had their shape before we recorded them. But a lot of it was an open process - both us and Dan were very open to alterations.

The Basement: Is there a central idea behind the record ? If we are not wrong, heard you speaking about reflections of London's life, like in “Red".
It isn’t conceptually about any one thing…but there are themes, lyrically and musically that kept cropping up…as you say, something cinematic about cityscapes, about release.

The Basement: “The Witch", already a female name to call an album. Do you believe women are still treated like witches nowadays?
I think it’s saying, the power of the icon of the witch has long been buried, burnt at the stake. The witch interfaces, aware between natural and spiritual environments.

The Basement: What are the main influences of the band? What you've been listening to lately?
Influences range far and wide. Just been listening to Tom Waits on the way home.



The Basement:  Your sound seems to be a blend of PJ Harvey, Björk and Warpaint style. Can you specify the kind of music you write? 
We have given up trying to work that out!

The Basement: Are you satisfied with the final outcome ? We feel it as a pretty powerful start for you, so mission accomplished?
Yes, it was an exciting process. Of course there are things you would want to change, but also makes you keen to move on, write new things.

The Basement: This was a truly wonderful debut. What do you have in mind for your future?
More writing…something taking shape

The Basement: How’s your life in London ? Do you have any other jobs except from music ? Any free time?
Tomoya masterminded the Hatton Garden jewellery heist and totally got away with it…so he is living comfortably off those spoils, probably for a long time. Jamie is a professional cat psychologist.

The Basement: We would like you to comment on the political situation of the UK and generally the things going on in EU and US. Do artists have to speak up?
It’s been an interesting time…the status quo sailed nearly too close to the wind by the seat of their pants. There is a new ideological politics bubbling beneath the surface, tabloids got a spanking, more young people voted, that bloody allotment communist is coming to get you while you sleep!

The Basement: You were recently touring on Australia and Japan. Are you soon playing any other gigs in your country or abroad?
We have a few European dates dotted around the summer and I believe there is some talk of going back to the states in the Autumn

The Basement: What about long term plans? 
We’re quite bad at making all kinds of plans…but definitely get back into the writing as soon as we can.

Thank you Nicholas, thank you Pumarosa!


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