"We went into this trying to create an ultimate bar jukebox record..." - hmv.com talks to The Menzingers
As they release their new album After The Party, we spoke to Tom May, frontman of punk rock firebrands The Menzingers...
When did you start work on After The Party?
"We really buckled down and started getting into a routine at the beginning of 2016. It was a lot different this time around because we had our own space and an open schedule. I think it will go down as one of the most relaxing periods of my life honestly. It was an all around great experience getting ready for the studio."
How did you want this album to move on from what you did on Rented World?
"We went into this trying to create an ultimate bar jukebox record where each song stood on its own while also being a great full listen. I suppose we wanted to move on in a way that mirrored our growth outside of the band. Do a little bit less searching for who we are and more embracing what we like about ourselves."
You worked with Will Yip on the album, what was he like to work with?
"Will Yip is the most focused, hardworking, and yet somehow most pleasant person I have ever worked with in any facet of my life. They're gonna write books about that kid I tell you..."
What was the song on the album that took the longest to get right?
"A few of the songs went through drastic style changes and had to be knocked down and built back up brick by brick. If I recall correctly 'Your Wild Years' went through a slow post-punk almost countryish kind of phase before we finally smashed it into that driving and jumpy tune it turned out to be. There wasn't too much delicate nitpicking. I think often times a style is there or it isn't. Once you've got the song you can play it a million different ways that will work or won't, but its essence is there."
And which came together most quickly?
"'Livin Ain't Easy' came together in a few hours. I think we had it basically wrapped up in two practices. It's funny because that song is most unlike the rest. Maybe we all tapped into the same thing over those 24 hours. Maybe we were just stoned."
When did you settle on the title of After The Party? And why?
"I'm not quite sure when exactly but it was during the writing process. It's a versatile title that can be applied to the vibes of the record."
What are your plans to take the record out live?
"We have several tours coming up in the UK and the US. We can't wait to start playing the record live. There is a special one-time only experience we'll get for the first several months where the songs are fresh and new and the live show is still a bit untainted. It's not that you reach a point where you get sick of playing the same thing, but it’s that you reach a point where you get sick of playing the same thing."