We had to prove to ourselves that we wanted to make this kind of record. It was made in a studio situation that wasn't “live”. In the past we all played together. With this one we laid it down, part by part. And you can hear the space that ensued through the recording.
pic courtesy of Lord Bun
Incendiary interview 65daysofstatic - part two
IN: Your new LP is a very 1970s sounding record.
J: I'm so glad you said that because our idea, our blueprint for this record's soul was Harvest by Neil Young. It's quieter than anything else we've done but if you turn it up you get a real depth to it.
P: Obviously there are bits that are really loud it's just coming from a place that isn't fake you know?
J: A Man Needs A Maid is very powerful but its just a voice and a piano. And it sounds like a voice and a piano. And when that fucking orchestra comes in it sounds like an orchestra rather than giving this (prevalent) idea that everything needs to be compressed on a record, and turned down so we can safely ignore it.
P: It becomes style rather than something that demands your attention. Even if people don't like this record, I'm glad we did it because in some ways it's scary. Listening to it on ipods or in cars isn't going to be as rewarding as listening to it on your home stereo.
IN: I like the fact that the LP seems softer due to being piano led, and the sense of space...
J: We had to prove to ourselves that we wanted to make this kind of record. It was made in a studio situation that wasn't "live". In the past we all played together. With this one we laid it down, part by part. And you can hear the space that ensued through the recording. And as a kick on from this LP, we are looking now to get back to creating a really raw sounding record.
P: That is going to be difficult, because as a band gets more successful, the band in question is "blessed" with increased production values from a studio. Generally what happens then is that - unless a band has that certain something extra - the records they make sound more mature but they miss the urgency and frustration. I think we are still young enough for a band to have been able to avoid the criticism of making a softer sounding LP that is trying to go all mainstream, all Coldplay or something because that's not what its about. With the next record we want to keep hold of our lo-fi fire.
J: I do think that this record has that; you've just got to turn it up. The guitars on there are still loud and they've been recorded really well. There are really aggressive moments there. I also think this is the first record where we've realised its impossible to capture our live show on record.
P: Our conscious idea of going out and documenting a collection of songs lends itself really well to the attempt to record it in a different way.
IN: I find your music very daring, emotional music. Is this emotion and fearlessness taken from outside sources or from within?
P: When we started we hadn't been to all these places. I guess it's just seeing what's around you, and the more you see the more it fuels you. And it fuels the same thing. The stuff you thought when you were eighteen, nineteen years old. You know, everyone makes terrible music... No matter where you go, what you learn, the same fundamental frustration of trying to communicate in a meaningful way is still there.
J: At its lowest level all we want to talk about is what all those things that influence us as a group, growing up, living in a band unit, we have a fantastic ability to write music together for eight hours a day, then fall out in the worst ways you know, complete divorce and then leave the rehearsal room and go and have a drink together. So much power is removed from people in modern life, and here we are, we have a band and it's a human, everyday process. You are willing to work eighteen hours a day and stay poor just to keep the band going, it's infinitely better than having a structured work pattern, and have the ability to meet lots of people feel things and see things and record these emotions in our music ad make things that will last.
IN: What did you used to listen to?
P: When I was really young I was fortunate enough to have parents who more or less consistently played me New Order, which led to me wanting to put computers and guitars together. New Order and Meatloaf to tell you the truth, that kind of drama that Meatloaf provides is fantastic. When I got to NME reading age it was people like Orbital and Prodigy who were incredibly important. And then Mogwai came around when I was sixteen or seventeen and when I was growing up in Manchester - they came around the same time as Oasis, and I was never an Oasis fan - and to be involved in something that wasn't Oasis but was very much "then" was very important.
J: The NME is a magazine of lists now.
IN: There's such a confidence issue about modern life; everyone has got to have lists of things to hand to bolster their confidence. They are a pain in the arse... lists of things to do to get fit...
J: Go for a walk... We have a faith in people not to accept that what they are told is important isn't...
P: And you can still come back to the fact that most of the world isn't like our Western culture where consumerism gets more fierce by the day. It is reassuring, I suppose.
J: You can choose to exist outside, like the punk scene in Sheffield, which is brilliant. It kind of regenerates itself, but none of these bands are interested in getting famous. I am a big fan of that idea. All you can decide to do is to put yourself out there. We've chosen to stand up and fight the fame thing which doubtless means we'll get a whole load of criticism from those who want to listen to the new Kaiser Chiefs record. But that's fine.
IN: Finally what kind of biscuit to 65days enjoy eating?
P: When was the last time I ate a biscuit? God erm the biscuit of truth.
J: I love biscuits. We used to get ginger crunch creams. They were special. I'd like to make a ginger fortune cookie, replete with message of course!
To return to part one, click here...
Words: Richard Foster.