"This record is more self-help than self-loathing" – hmv.com talks to Manchester Orchestra
Atlanta's Manchester Orchestra are pretty much the definition of a cult band. Their sprawling, heartfelt and very different take on American indie rock has made them one of the world's most beloved bands. As they prepare to release their fourth album Cope, we called up singer Andy Hull to find out about its making…
Your new album Cope is days away from release, are you excited or nervous at this point?
"More relieved than anything, we put the record up for streaming yesterday (March 26th) and the reaction's been really good, so it's more relief."
How long has the album been finished for?
"We finished everything in early November time, we worked on for the whole of last year. It took us several months, all in all, not including the writing of the record. That took most of last year to do."
Was it a difficult record to make?
"Not really, we're a very thorough band, we spent a lot of time getting things right, making sure we've got it down absolutely."
How much did you record for the album?
"We went in with 15 songs, recorded 13 of them and the two that didn't make the record are being used for the deluxe edition."
Did you go in with lots to choose from?
"We wrote a lot more than that, we always go through the same thing, a kind of trial and error process when it comes to picking songs."
You did the record with Dan Hannon, what does he bring to the band as a producer?
"Dan's worked on every record we've been a part of, this time he more served as a seeing eye. He'd drop in for a couple of hours everyday, make sure we were on the right track, he'd help us tighten up songs, add little touches. In terms of production it was the most hands on we've been as a band."
How did you feel this album moves on from your last LP Simple Math?
"It kicks the door in, it's purposefully meant to be loud and fast, Simple Math was more of a floating album. We wanted to make a fun record, that felt like the right thing to do, these felt like the right songs to be writing, something a lot more straightforward, every album should be different from the one that went before."
And what kind of album is it lyrically?
"This record is more self-help than self-loathing, it's a little more glass half full than half empty. That's kind of where the titles comes from."
How did you decide on the artwork? It's very simple and stark.
"I saw it in my head, I thought it'd be really cool as a live backdrop, just these big wide letters, we didn't delve too much into artwork, I just wanted it to be simple and powerful."
So what have you got booked in for the rest of 2014?
"We're touring a tonne, we'll be on the road for the rest of the year, and into next, we want to still be touring this record come next year."
Are you going to be playing a lot of the record live?
"We hope so. At least four or five songs. We're getting quite into doing longer sets, they're getting up to two hours, so we can get through a lot."
Manchester Orchestra's new album Cope is released on Monday (March 31st). You can check out their back catalogue in our download store here.