"It's mostly a delirious reaction to discontent..." - hmv.com talks to Cate Le Bon
Eccentric singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon, who has collaborated with Manic Street Preachers and Gruff Rhys in recent years, releases her fourth album Crab Day today (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page) and we sat down with her to find out all about it...
When did you start work on Crab Day?
"It started immediately after the Drinks record was put to bed in early March of last year. It had been rattling around in my head, but I hadn't been able to sit and work on it out loud until Hermits on Holiday was done and dusted."
How did you want the album to move on from Mug Museum?
"I didn't really have a design of progression. You hope that naturally comes from more years spent on the planet and becoming more adept at your work."
You worked with Noah Georgeson and Josiah Steinbrick on the album, what did they give you as producers?
"Josiah is the most honest mirror you could look into which is priceless and hard to find and Noah is a calm brutalist which suits me perfectly. Together they have every angle covered."
How did you find recording in California?
"The studio was in the most spectacular setting on a mountainside overlooking the Pacific ocean. It most definitely suited and facilitated the wide open feel of the session."
Which of the songs on the album took the most work to get right? And which came together most instantly?
"We recorded the bones of the songs live and they all had their moments where something wasn't sitting quite right but the band I worked with are so astute they'd make the most subtle of changes and things would fall into place as if by magic . 'Wonderful' was the one that felt the most wrong to me, the way we'd settled on playing it felt like a pair of shoes I was trying to break in. Right before we went for a take I piped up and expressed to the band that I wanted it to feel and be played a different way and they all went "ok" and then what everyone played off the bat turned out to be the way it is. They made it so easy and joyous."
What’s the song on the album that you’re most proud of?
"'What's Not Mine kept growing and growing which I'm usually fearful of but I felt overwhelmed in a positive way by the outcome."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Does it have a unifying theme?
"It's mostly a delirious reaction to discontent."
When did you decide on the title of Crab Day? Were there any other titles in contention?
"No, it was Crab Day from the day dot and it set everything in motion for me in terms of visualizing the album."
For some of the early shows you’ll be backed by Banana, which is a real all-star band with Stella from Warpaint and Josh from Red Hot Chili Peppers, how did you put that line-up together?
"We are all friends who enjoy playing music with each other as Banana when everyones schedules align. The idea was floated in the final week of recording that it would be incredible to play the album in it's entirety with Banana as the backing band and although it seemed like an impossible dream we somehow pulled it off and it's been the most wonderful of times."