"We made an effort to not write about our bruised hearts this time…" – hmv.com talks to The Twang
As Birmingham indie types The Twang prepare for the release of their fourth studio album, we sat down with singer Phil Etheridge to find out all about it…
How are you feeling ahead of the record's release? Excited or nervous?
"A mixture of the two, it's been finished for a quite a while and I'm a bit sick of reading reviews, I just want the fans to hear it now and find out what they think. It's always a proud moment releasing a record though."
So when did you finish it up?
"September time. It was mixed and done by October. We've sat on it over the festive season, so we're really excited to get it out now."
You made the record with Rory Attwell, who's produced the likes of Big Deal, Palma Violets and The Vaccines, what was he like to work with?
"Amazing. He's a lovely lad. I was really chuffed he agree to do it, he was top of our list. There was no pre-conception, he liked our demos, we'd heard all these rumours that he was the King of Dalston, this weird King Hipster fella, but he wasn't, he was just like us. I can't speak highly enough of him."
What did he bring to the record?
"He works really hard, he won't clock-watch, he'll work with you until it's done and ready, which is exactly what we needed."
How did making this album compare to recording 10:20?
"10:20 was a really good experience too, we did in our own studio and it was going to come out on our label so there was no pressure. We could have just mixed our demos, like we did with 10:20, but we thought we needed to get something else out of the songs so we went with Rory. It was pretty similar really, except for the fact that we spent two weeks on a boat in London."
So what kind of record is this lyrically?
"It's less than introspective, we really wanted to make sure of that, 10:20 was like that, it was very reflective. We made a conscious effort to not write about our bruised hearts this time around. There are no sad songs this time, well maybe one."
You had John 'Simmo' Simcox in the band with you this time, what's he brought to the writing process?
"He produced the last album with us and ended up playing on that a bit. He managed us for a while and we sacked him because he was rubbish, but he ended up knocking about with us for a bit, we used to call him superstar crew."
"I always said to him we should write together and we did a bit for 10:20. He ended up being a good buffer between me and Jon (Watkins), we've been writing together for so long that we don't really like each other so we need a buffer! I wouldn't want to write another record without him."
How have the new sons been going down live?
"Really well, we've just been touring and people have responded so well to the songs. We're still selling our big places so we're dead happy."
So what's the plan for the rest of 2014?
"We're going to announce some more shows soon, we've got some festivals and hopefully one of the big ones comes in for us. We don't want to overkill it with the touring, but I think this record deserves a proper airing and the gigs will be better when people know the tunes."