"We really wanted to develop things sonically without losing the energy..." - hmv.com talks to The Temperance Movement
As they release their new album White Bear, we sat down with The Temperance Movement's Phil Campbell to find out all about how it came together...
When did you start work on what would become White Bear?
"We actually first started writing White Bear during soundchecks whilst on tour in Europe in 2014. When we got back to the UK after that tour we started taking those sound check ideas and turning them into fully fledged songs."
What was the first song that came together for the album?
"Three Bulleits, that song came together during our first recording session for the album at Fish Factory studios."
How many songs did you end up choosing from when narrowing down the final tracklisting?
"I think we had about 15 songs fully recorded when it came to the time to choose the final track listing."
You worked with Sam Miller on the album, what did he give you as a producer?
"Well firstly Sam is an amazing engineer. When we record we generally work very quickly and we know that Sam will be capturing great sounds as we go. As far as production goes, everyone in the band has great ideas and between us we had a pretty clear picture of where we wanted this album to be, so a producer who came wanting to impose a vision of their own probably wouldn’t have worked."
"Having worked with Sam a lot over the last couple of years, he really is one of us, and not only contributes great production ideas but also knows how to help us get the best out of the band when we’re recording."
How did you want this album to move on from your debut album?
"On the debut album we were very strict with ourselves about it being a real representation of what this band sounds like playing together, in a room. With White Bear we really wanted to develop things sonically without losing the energy of a live take. We gave ourselves more time to experiment with sounds prefer going for a take, and there were overdubs on this record which didn’t really happen on the debut."
What’s the song on the album that took the most work to get right?
"Without a doubt 'Lorraine'. We knew it was a good song, but the melody can lead you down a certain path and our early versions of this tune were more ‘country’ than we wanted this album to be. We flipped it on it’s head a bit in our last couple of days in the studio and that version is what you hear on the album."
Can you sum up the album lyrically? Does it have a unifying theme?
"I think one of the main things about this album is that you can’t sum it up lyrically, it’s a lot of ideas swimming around with no real conclusion or answers, just a lot of questions, which is pretty much how life is for most people!"
Where did the title White Bear come from?
"It refers to a book about thought suppression by Professor Daniel Wegner called White Bears and other unwanted thoughts. It was initially a song title but as the process of making the album started to consume us the notion of the thoughts that you can’t get out of your head struck a chord with us."
What are your plans to take the record out live?
"We start our UK tour on Jan 16th. It’s been a while since we played to a home crowd and they’ll be some of the biggest shows we’ve played. After that we tour Europe in early Feb before heading over to Canada for a 3 week tour in February and March. Then in early summer we’ll be heading over to the US to tour the album there."
The Temperance Movement's new album White Bear is out now.