Manchester Orchestra open up about new album Black Mile To The Surface...
As they hit the UK this week, we sat down with heartswelling rockers Manchester Orchestra and their guitarist Robert McDowell to find out about the making of their new album Cope...
How did you want this album to move on from you did on Cope?
"We are not fans of repeating ourselves, so after Cope/Hope, we knew we had to find something new. Andy (Hull, singer) and I were lucky enough to do an entire a cappella score for the movie Swiss Army Man. It forced us to throw out the rulebook and push into new sounds. We brought that into the new album process."
You worked with Catherine Marks and John Congleton on the album, what did they bring to the process?
"Both are sonic geniuses and have amazing ideas. That is a huge help! But they also had a positivity to them that made you feel creative and trust their feedback."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right?
"Both 'The Maze' and 'The Mistake' were songs that we were loving but knew needed one more push. John Congleton came up with an idea when we went to California to finish the record. That sparked a chain reaction that finally finished those songs."
And which came together most quickly?
"Honestly none of them. The writing aspect and live recording was very smooth. But we didn’t want to settle into our old ways. So we took our time and made sure each decision was the right one."
What kind of album is this in lyrical terms? Is there a theme to the songs?
"If I had to pick a theme it would be family."
When did you settle on the title of Black Mile To The Surface? Were there any other titles in contention?
"Not until the very very last minute. We had gone through a couple options but nothing was sticking. We were telling a friend and he asked to read the lyrics while listening. He picked that line out of 'The Gold' and it stuck!"