"This time around we trusted our instincts and went purely for how the songs made us feel" - Embrace talk new album Love Is A Basic Need
Embrace take their time with things these days. Love Is A Basic Need, their seventh studio album, comes four years after their last LP, itself their first for eight years. As the album comes to CD shelves, we spoke to guitarist Richard McNamara about cost control, writing about love and loss and how Love Is A Basic Need came together...
When did you start working on the songs for Love Is A Basic Need?
"We kept writing when we finished the last album so there was no specific date. It was just a natural transition between the two."
How did you want this album to move on from your self-titled album?
"I think this time around we trusted our instincts and went purely for how the songs made us feel. In terms of production, it's pretty much the sound of five guys in a big room with a few violins thrown in to make us sound professional..."
This is your second album self-producing, were you ever tempted to get an outside producer in to oversee the process?
"It's more about budget constraints really... there's not a lot of money flying around in the music industry these days so. We'd love to work with Youth again because it'd certainly make my life a lot easier, but there's a cost consideration."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Do you think there’s a theme running through it?
"I think when we're doing our best songs we tend to talk about love and relationships in all their beauty and awfulness. That's no different this time!"
Which song on the album took the longest to get right? And which came together most quickly?
"All the songs came quite quickly in terms of their writing but production wise 'Never' took the longest. I think there are four different versions of it kicking about with different singers, in fact, my daughter did the first duet with Danny (McNamara, singer). I don't think there were any songs that took that long for us. The fastest I would say was 'Horseshoe In My Glove', probably because of the nature of the recording and how bare it is."
When did you settle on Love Is A Basic Need for the title? Were any other titles in contention?
"Actually, we were a little worried at one point because it had been the title of an exclusive EP we sold at our Secret Festival... but it was always the best title for me."
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"We like to keep things simple. Just the five of us so there's nothing too ambitious in terms of personnel but sometimes running the strings on samplers can be a bit of a head-scratcher. I'm hoping we can cover the whole album over the course of the tour playing three or four each night as well as all the favourites of course."
How will you pick your live set? You’ve got seven albums to choose from now...
"We've got a core of about 10 songs that form the meat of the set that we have to play or we get death threats so we normally start there and add rarities and new songs that we think we'd like to play or that the audience will appreciate."