“We didn’t set out to write a ‘girl power record’, but that’s what we’ve done” – hmv.com talks to The Pierces
As they prepare to release their fifth album Creation, their 80s-influenced album which melds bouncy pop and country melodies, we chat to The Pierces, a.k.a Alison and Catherine Pierce about the making of the record, why they were forced to scrap the album and change producer and why this is an album all about empowerment...
Your album is finally out on Monday (September 1st), is it fair to say you’ve probably had it finished for a while?
Catherine: “It’s been done for a long time, so we’re so happy to get it out. We’ve kept missing release deadlines, so this is a big relief.”
Alison: “It’s been very frustrating, we’ve seen it pushed back a couple of times and we’ve just been sat on it. It’s so exciting for it to finally come out.”
How long did the album take to make?
Catherine: “Quite a while, but we had a false start. We started out with this producer, who is very talented, but there was no chemistry and he wasn’t giving us what we wanted. So we had to start over and go back and regroup. We then start working with Christian ‘Leggy’ Langdon and it just flowed from there.”
What was the problem with the other sessions?
Catherine: “When you’re in the studio and working it’s difficult to step outside, but when we sent it to someone else, we felt weird about it. We were taking it home and thinking ‘This isn’t making us feel like it should do’."
Alison: “You know when you’re listening to a record and you can tell it lacks emotion that it’s not working. The guy is super-talented, but he didn’t work well with us.”
Were the sessions awkward?
Alison: “All sessions have good and bad moments. It wasn’t that. We liked the time we had with the producer, it just didn’t come across at all.”
You’re being very careful to not say who it is…
Alison: “Because we’ve got nothing bad to say about the guy, he’s done great work and he’ll continue to do great work.”
You finished the album with Christian ‘Leggy’ Langdon, who has been your guitarist for a while, was it strange with him acting as producer too?
Catherine: “He’s got so much passion and so much vision. He just brings so much to the table.”
When was it all written?
Alison: “Over a period of about a year.”
You write separately, is it an even split between the two of you on the album?
Alison: “No, this time Catherine wrote more of the songs. I was in the middle of a bad time, a bad break-up, I was staying on couches and with family. I need privacy when I write, I can’t do it with people around me. Without privacy, I ended up floundering. Catherine ended up stepping up a bit in terms of volume.”
What did you want this record to be?
Catherine: “We want every record to be different. We change a lot as people between albums, what we have to say keeps changing, so we wanted to reflect that.”
As an album, it’s a lot bigger in scale…
Alison: “Leggy loves to make things epic.”
Catherine: “He gently lead us in that direction, we were a little unsure at first, but we got into it.”
Alison: “The production fits the songs really well, the tracks really suit a much bigger production.”
What kind of record is it lyrically?
Catherine: “I think a lot of it is about empowerment. That wasn’t intentional, it just felt like we were in a really empowered place in our lives. We didn’t set out to write a ‘girl power record’, but that’s what we’ve done.”
Alison: “A lot of it is inspired by finding power within yourself and making yourself happy. That’s really the album’s unifying theme.”
The Pierces’ new album Creation is out on Monday (September 1st) and can be pre-ordered in hmv stores now.