Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO is he?
San Felu is the solo project of P J Pearson. You may know him as one half of cinematic alt-rockers Liu Bei, he is also co-writer and featured musician on Grace Lightman’s Vapour Trails, and live performer with Waylor (Matt Taylor from Dry The River’s new project).
But why did P J Pearson started playing music in the first place? “I think the question to why play music is a question I ask myself more and more as I get older” he tells. “It’s in no way a stable living, and it can be so pitifully cut throat. But I can’t help but think I have a duty to music. It’s consumed my life, given me a skill set, and spat out some priceless stories and friends. I’m incredibly lucky to be a working musician, but the rewards are most definitely in the detail.”
“Apart from why carry on being a musician, I started because my schoolmate on the bus made me a few mix tapes of Nirvana and Skunk Anansie and the Fugees. After that I never really thought of much else.”
WHAT is he singing about?
“Ha, singing is a nice way to put it, I’d say rambling but… Sanctuary Blues was the title of a failed attempt at a short story, I liked the concept, but thought the writing sucked, so I moulded it into a piece instead. I’d have to reference ‘Sirens of Titan’ by Vonnegut as an influence on the second verse, with a few true events thrown in. Essentially it’s an amalgamation of ideas that flip flop between fiction and fantasy, as well as being a continuation of the first single Cape of Good Hope.”
WHERE is he from and how have the places he’s lived in shaped him as an artist?
“That’s a thoughtful question and I often think how surroundings can affect your output. Personally, inspiration comes in strange waves, being on a mountain won’t necessarily make you write about being on a mountain, if that makes sense. Location is not the root of inspiration. I write a lot of lyrics in the car, or when I’m in bed, usually at moments when I have no distractions. Lyrics always come first for me. It’s the most important ingredient.”
“I can’t deny that I grew up in a beautiful part of the world, the South West of England is certainly a law unto itself, bohemian to say the least in its music. For me though, living here effects the way I approach writing, the sound and colour of the piece, not the narrative.”
WHY the name San Felu?
“Well, aside from it being a misspelling of the Spanish resort Sant Feliu, which translates as Saint Felix, it doesn’t really have any special meaning. I think it may have been a lyric in a Bullet Union track, and I poached it from that subconsciously, but I had no idea it was a town until I did some digging, hence the spelling. Pretty boring reason really. Sorry. ”
WHEN can I see him live?
“I’d love to reel off a string of headline dates, but currently there’s none booked. Anyone wanna see it, I’ll come play your living room….”
LYRICS I came down to earth on a satellite somewhere // Near the cape of good hope // And covered in rags they were taking your picture // You had cut all your hair // And I was there in the back of the church with Diana // If god gives you landmines // You hand him back flowers // It’s Sanctuary Blues // Sanctuary Blues // These Sanctuary Blues // Everyone stood like Halloween costumes // Pretending that death was a friend of a friend // So I rode for Jerusalem // With an artichoke heart // On the back of a fire engine // Handing out lemons // If anyone asks // It’s the church of indifference // And people // People are just like leaves // Moving in no direction // And I try not to read them all // And people // People are just like leaves // Left floating in the bottom of my tea // And I try not to read them all // These Sanctuary Blues // I was there on the edge drinking coconut water // And in glorious gesture you leant me your bible of Frankie O Hara // Where you’d marked out the pages with candy bar wrappers // And everything matters // It’s a matter of atoms