“We felt a bit like Make A Wish Foundation kids, just with way more beer...” - hmv.com talks to Slow Club
After moving into glossy, 60s loving pop of Complete Surrender, Sheffield duo Slow Club have returned to the folkier sounds of their earlier days for new album One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Any More (You can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page).
ake the album Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson headed to Virginia’s Spacebomb Studios to work with producer and singer-songwriter Matthew E. White and his freewheeling house band. We sat down with the pair to find out all about how the album came together, working in small town America and why this album was almost called Oooh Barracuda...
How did making this album compare to making Complete Surrender?
Charles: “It was a lot quicker. It was also a lot louder and more raucous, normally it’s just the two of us and a producer, so it’s quiet, but this time we were surrounded by energetic Americans, who love shouting and screaming.”
Rebecca: “It took a couple of days for us to stop giggling, but that lovely American spirit of enthusiasm is really infectious. We worked quite quickly and very hard.”
How did you get in touch with Matthew?
Rebecca: “We need a better story for this. We just asked him. We had a drink with him and asked if he could do it, then when he said yes, how soon could he do it? We were in the studio five months later.”
What is he like to work with?
Rebecca: “Very cool. He and the band were all brilliant, it’s one of my favourite experiences we’ve ever had. He’s very organised and confident and full of vision. We felt a bit like Make A Wish Foundation kids, making a record in the way so many of our favourite records were made, just with way more beer.”
Charles: “He’s a total pro. It’s very different to recording here, there’s a hangover from punk where people are a little embarrassed to be really good at what they do and get bashful around musicians. Everyone during this experience was just unashamedly confident in everything they did, it was weirdly refreshing. If they didn’t like something, they’d tell us right away.”
How did you find working in Richmond, Virgina? Is it a party town?
Rebecca: “We were jet lagged the whole time, it was great. We’d wake up dead early, be in the gym every day, start work at 10, have lunch, do overdubs, have a beer and then be in bed by eight. It was f**king great. It’s a really quiet town, I liked that. When I’m in New York, I always worry I’m missing something life changing, but here everything was so relaxed. That’s probably why everyone is so good, they’re all so well rested.”
Charles: “We had one day to do a bit of sightseeing, but only had eight days so it was pretty much all business. We went home via New York, that was a bit more of a holiday.”
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is it very different from Complete Surrender?
Charles: “We’re both quite different lyricists, that means there’s never really a thread, every song is quite self-contained. My side is a bit freer, less closed off, I spent a lot more time on my words, not just getting them done to get the song finished.”
Rebecca: “Complete Surrender is a record about one or two bad times in my life, it’s more like a time capsule and I’m really over the person it was all about, it’s nice to look back on that and realise that all that pain wasn’t for nothing. Since then I’ve done a lot of looking inside myself, it’s less ‘You’ve done this to me, I hate you’. Last time I felt very much like a victim, I’m more the baddie this time, I’ve been a bit s**t.”
Did you discuss the lyrics with each other much?
Rebecca: “We used to discuss everything in depth, now we don’t, but I like that, bit of mystery.”
Charles: “I like discovering stuff later on, to have songs that keep surprising you, you end up hearing things in completely different ways.”
Rebecca: “It’s like being a fan of the band and getting to be in the band as well.”
When did you come up with the name for the album?
Rebecca: “We hate naming albums. We went back and forth and back and forth. It’s a lyric on the hidden track, Charles suggested it and I grabbed it, he’s a lot more experimental than me, but I grabbed that one.”
Charles: “It was called Oooh Barracuda for an afternoon. But that didn’t last all that long…”
You’re back on Moshi Moshi Records again, how did that come about?
Charles: “They manage us, so we’ve always worked with them. It’s nice to be back on the label, they’ve always supported us so much. We played the record to Caroline (their previous label, subsidiary of Universal Records), but it wasn’t right for them.”
Rebecca: “It was more that we wanted to get on with it and were really ready to go and they needed more time to sort it out.”
Finally, what kind of live set have you got planned? You’ve got four albums to choose from now...
Rebecca: “We can tailor it more now. If we need to be a loud rock and roll band, we can be, but we can do a really quiet set too. We’re starting off with festivals so you can’t really play much new stuff, but we’ll work it all in eventually.”