"There's songs on there about escapism, love, nostalgia...all the best stuff" - hmv.com talks to Sunset Sons
As they release their debut album Very Rarely Say Die, we sat down with surf-pop rockers Sunset Sons' drummer Jed Laidlaw to find out all about how it came together...
When did you start work on the album?
"We started it in Nashville at Blackbird Studios about 18 months ago. It's taken a little time to come together and get it right. That place is amazing. So much history there – the vintage instruments and equipment they have is unreal."
You worked on the album with Jaquire King and James Lewis, what did they bring to the recording process?
"Jacquire is just an amazing guy, and a good friend now. He has a vision and a way of working that's inspiring. Every day we'd spend time in the morning choosing the right instruments and finding sounds, then track live in the afternoon until we got a magic take. It was great for us as essentially, we are a live band. James is a fantastic producer. We worked with him on our first two EPs and he helped us find our sound, right at the beginning. It made sense to finish the record with him."
What were you listening to during the making of the album?
"The album has taken a little while to be ready as we have been touring so much and we kept writing new songs that we wanted to give an opportunity to go on the record. We listen to all sorts of stuff on the road. The classics, like Springsteen and Tom Petty, are on a lot. We've all been loving the latest Alabama Shakes record and Beck's Morning Phase has been getting a few spins."
Which of the songs on the album took the most work to get right? And which came together most instantly?
"We actually recorded 'She Wants' on three separate occasions which is funny because it was one of the first tunes we wrote and took about 20mins. In the end, we remixed the original version. Sometimes, it's like trying to bottle lightning. And if you got it right the first time why try again? Every day is a school day."
What’s the song on the album that you’re most proud of?
"I'm most proud of 'Lost Company'. It's a real song about a very real subject. And it sounds like a celebration. It brought a few tears when we were all listening back to it finished in the studio."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Does it have a unifying theme?
"Lyrically, we draw on life experiences. It's very rare we write about something we don't know about. There's songs on there about escapism, love, nostalgia...all the best stuff."
When did you decide on the title of Very Rarely Say Die? Were there any other titles in contention?
"There were a few others but I can't possibly tell you. The title came from something Rory said in the van once. He kinda got something the wrong way round after a late night. It really fits our story too."
What are your plans to take the album out live? Are you booked for many festivals?
"We have a load of festivals in the UK and Europe this summer. We kick off with Isle of Wight which should be great as we played there last year and had a blast. The following weekend we’re headlining Goldcoast Oceanfest down on the beach in Devon. Not bad considering we were first on a couple years ago! We can’t wait. We love a festival."