"We write lyrics you can relate to. You don't have to get stoned and unravel hidden meanings" - hmv.com talks to Loveable Rogues
Once one of Simon Cowell's protegees after they came fourth on Britain's Got Talent, Loveable Rogues are now independent and doing things their own way. We chatted to mainman Eddie Brett about the making of their album This And That...
Tell us about making This And That (which you can preview on the right-hand side of the page), what was it like to record?
"We never really got the chance to record much during the beginning of the band due to financial reasons – we had a few demos put together through favours but that was about it. When we finally started to put a whole album together (initially through SyCo, our former record label), recording studios became our offices which was really quite crazy. At first I was nervous and a little uncomfortable recording tracks as I felt the pressure of everyone watching me. I remember thinking 'if I don't get it right first time they are going to think I'm sh*t!’. I always wanted to record my guitar or vocals as quickly as possible just to get it over and done with, but over time I became much more confident. I relished being in front of the mic and would even get naked just for a quick laugh. Now I only leave the booth when i'm completely satisfied that I have done the job."
When was the album written?
"'Love Sick' was written about 4 years ago... 'Honest' about 3, and then the other tracks came flooding in once we started to record in various studios and writing sessions spanning from about 2 years ago, right up until about 2 months ago. We recorded this album one song at a time so the writing process was ongoing and it was never finished until the deadline. It meant that if a song was written and we deemed it better than existing recordings, it went in. Once we had about 50 songs we all sat down and wrote our favourite 13. Luckily, bar a couple, the three of us we had all picked the same songs so there weren't any arguments and hissy fits."
What inspired it lyrically?
"There are all sorts of lyrical references on the album; 'Love Sick' is unsurprisingly about heartbreak (a classic song theme. Can’t go wrong with a bit of heartbreak). 'This and That' - Selling sweets at school, 'Story About Me' - being trapped within your surroundings and nobody actually knowing who you are. 'Mr. Piano Man' - watching everyone with their girlfriends and just feeling isolated."
"'Sweet Lovin' - When you’re on the train/bus and you see a really fit bird and because the journey is so long, your mind has enough time to drift off and imagine a life with her. However you never have the bottle to talk to her so never actually see her again. In this song, you do talk to her. Our lyrical themes are quite literal and honest, a few metaphors and splashes of cockney rhyming slang but nothing too intense. We write the sort of lyrics you can relate to. You don't have to get stoned and unravel hidden meanings."
What’s the song on the album you’re proudest of?
"I’m really happy with 'Story About Me'. It was one of the last songs to be finished so maybe it just feels fresh to my ears but I like the journey the song goes on and the brass gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it (A little ‘Brucey Bonus’ bit of trivia - It was recorded by the UB40 brass players). After writing the song i had a vision of what i wanted it to sound like but the finished product has exceeded my expectations and it’s enough of a reason on its own for anyone to buy this album."
You worked with Red Triangle Productions and Sonny J Mason, what did they bring to the making of the album?
"Over years of working with both parties we have built up great relationships which really helps in the studio space as you feel completely comfortable and there's a a level of trust creatively. These might sound like really insignificant things but during the recording process you rely on being on the same wave length. At 4am, after sixteen hours of writing and recording, when your ears and brain have gone to sleep you need to trust your fellow man is making the sort of decision you would. Red Triangle and Sonny J Mason have awesome instrumentation and helped bring the songs to life in ways the three of us couldn't."
Tell us about your departure from SyCo, was it a mutual thing to depart from the label?
"When we first signed the deal everyone was on the same wave length. Great. Fantastic. By the time the first single had gone out and the second was in the works, things were completely different. We are nice lads and so don't burn bridges. When the second single was being decided upon, we couldn’t all agree on a direction. We had a very clear vision of the direction we wanted to go, and the label had theirs. Both understood where the other was coming from, but neither side would have been happy compromising. The band and the head of SyCo sat in the board room one day and said 'Thanks a lot, lets call it a day' (Probably the most un-rock n roll story ever!)."
How are you finding life as independent artists?
"Everything seems quicker... If we want something done we discuss it and go and do it. It doesn't have to go through different chains of management before we approve. With the label it would take ages to make the the smallest of decisions. You have a greater sense of ownership over everything you are doing and are never having to do something you don't want to, so your head is in a much better space creatively. We don't have as much money behind us as a major so have to be a lot more clinical with what we do but this means that no opportunity is wasted."
What’s the plan for the rest of 2014 for you guys?
"The plan for 2014 is to try and sell as many albums as possible - so all sorts of promo and single releases will take place once the album is out. In November we shall be embarking on some naughty moustache nurturing and also our second headline tour. We are in talks about a couple support slots on some great tours (but I cant really say anything yet. Sorry to do that annoying thing when people say something but then don't tell you everything). And then next summer the festivals will start over again and hopefully the album would have done really well and we can get some decent slots at all the big boys. 2014 = gig, gig, gig... And then start recording album two!"
Loveable Rogues' debut album This And That is out now in hmv stores.