"The music needed a new, fresh perspective" - hmv.com talks to The Pineapple Thief
We chat about the making of epic new LP Your Wilderness with The Pineapple Thief mainman Bruce Soord...
When did you start work on Your Wilderness?
"I got started in December 2015, I thought I could nail it in eight weeks, but I was a little over optimistic there..."
How did you want this record to move on from Magnolia?
"The music needed a new, fresh perspective. As much for my own sanity than anything. I made a decision to step back from the production and performance and see where the record took it's self. It was terrifying as up until now, I've been a control freak. But when everything came together, I was a very happy bunny."
Has the way you write songs changed over the years? Or do you write in the same way as you always have done?
"I used to faff about in my studio playing around with sounds, sometimes I would spend weeks going nowhere. Now it's all a lot more efficient. Writing always starts with me and my acoustic guitar. And I've learned to realise quickly if an idea is good enough, rather than wasting weeks in the studio polishing a turd. One thing about the new album is that I wrote nearly all of it on a baritone acoustic guitar, which is fairly unusual. It's basically an acoustic guitar, but much fatter and deeper in sound. And harder to play! But it put a new, darker edge on my songwriting."
Can you sum up the album lyrically? Is there a common theme or do the songs sit apart from each other?
"Yeah, it's about separation, estrangement and reconciliation."
When did you settle on the title of Your Wilderness? And why?
"The title came right at the end. It just came to me after seeing Carl Glover's cover. 'The Wilderness' is how I see the future. Not just mine, but also everyone's future who is close to me. Terrifying as it is sometimes..."
Were there any other titles discussed?
"Yeah, but they were all crap! Fend for Yourself was a working title for ages. But my wife told me it was terrible. Coming up for a title for an album of music is a horrible thing to have to do."
Tell us about the artwork, how did you come up with the idea?
"Well it was Carl Glover who suggested the concept based on a load of photos he had been collecting since he was a kid. The booklet has loads of eerie images of people and it fits the concept perfectly...."
What was the song on the album that took the longest to get right?
"'Tear You Up'. In fact, I was so stuck Gavin Harrison (who sessioned on drums for the record and plays in King Crimson) actually helped me finish it. I was burnt out and I had already missed our deadline. He said 'Bruce, send me what you've done and I'll lay down some ideas'. And he did exactly that and it all came together nicely at the finish line."
And which came together most quickly?
"'The Final Thing On My Mind' - I always knew I wanted to write a song like that. It was the first song I wrote. First songs usually come together the quickest."
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"Watch this space - I can't imagine taking the album on the road without Gavin on drums. We're seeing if we can make it happen...."