Track-By-Track zum Debüt der britischen Shoegaze-Band…
Dieser Tage erscheint der erste Longplayer von CHILDHOOD. Hier sind exklusive Kommentare von Sänger BEN ROMANS HOPCRAFT und Gitarrist LEO DOBSEN zu den Songs von Lacuna – im Original und komplett ungebügelt…
LEO: We recorded that 2012. That was the first recording we did. We didn’t even were a band when we did that though. I was drumming on it, so that’s why the drumming is not like good. It was the first song that we wrote properly together. Actually it was like the first collaboration between me and Ben.
BEN: That was an emotional day! We were both in our pants. It’s very up-beat and I think, when we first made it, it kind of paved the way for what we were gonna do with most of our music. It kind of brings together everything we like about what we do. That’s why it’s a favourite. It’s catchy and poppy, there’s a certain degree of nostalgia in there, there’re heavy guitars… it definitely formed some of the things.
LEO: We recorded it again with Dan Carey to put in on the album. That was pretty easy actually. We were playing this for so long live we literally did it in a couple of days. He made it a bit better and built like a natural environment. It sounds like we’re more comfortable in playing it now whereas the other sounds a bit like we done it in a day and like we were really nervous about it being finished. Also we had a fourteen year old girl singing the chorus in the studio.
BEN: Yeah, we like the sound of young people on our records. She’s the only person who’s just nearly in childhood to do the record. She also sang on “You Could Be Different”. “Blue Velvet” is like a nostalgic look back to Brixton in South London where we come from. We were living there at the time we wrote it, so it’s more a bit of longing for this place we call home. Realistically it’s really over the top. Romanticising something that much is quite over the top. We got back there in the later songs, the more modern ones, and they are about the reality of coming back to this romanticised nostalgic place and it not actually being that great. Everything changed. The landscape, people – it’s all about money and social advancement and it lost a bit of its charm. A lot of the record is about this sort of disappointment.
YOU COULD BE DIFFERENT
BEN: That one is one of the later songs. It’s actually about a woman that I have coming to me in the night. Sometimes I have this very horrible nightmare. I just keep carrying this vision of this girl with me. It was a bullet head that used to come up and kind of tore me and I couldn’t get her away. I just hated her. And when I wrote that song she didn’t come back.
LEO: She’s haunting me now instead. She’s awful. So I understand what he’s saying.
BEN: Oh, she’s cheating on me!
LEO: That was really fun to record actually. We had a lot of pedals and vintage guitars!
AS I AM
BEN: It’s probably our most modern sounding song…
LEO: And that was quite a band effort! Our bassist came up with a chorus and the lyrics for it and Ben came up with the verse. We kind of built it up slowly. It’s one kind of being in the studio and kind of experimenting. It was Jonny’s idea to completely change the big to that kind of stabbing synth sounds in it.
BEN: I made Tom call Michael, a friend who helped us recording quite a lot of the record in the early demo stages, and he arranged that song as well. It was really a joined effort like three in the morning and five of us in the studio like trying to make that song fit. But it turned out right. We are happy with it. I guess the lyrics are quite ambiguous but also quite obvious in the chorus.
RIGHT BENEATH ME
BEN: Really hazy one! It’s my favourite track really. I like that one. I just like the space in it. I think it’s a nice song to listen to, just for the calming nature. Makes me feel quite satisfied! It’s just like “Ah, I can breath now!”. It’s a reflective atmosphere. It was actually the first thing we did. It came up last year.
LEO: It took quite a while I remember to record that one. Can’t remember anymore when we did it. I think we were using too much reverse reverb maybe?
LEO: Okay! But it took ages to play like the riff in tune for some reason. We spent about hours tuning the guitar
BEN: That song is kind of about the reality of our home in London. Like about the changing environment and people and the idiocy of people that don’t have any kind of respect for natural surroundings. It’s kind of like this ode to Brixton. Sort of a cry for authenticity or something like that.
BEN: That was the last song I recorded for the album. I made it on my own and I really liked recording that one ‘cause we did it with that weird beat thing, didn’t we? We used a drum machine on that one actually. We did “Tides” with a drum machine as well. It was kind of a different way of recording it. Kind of a more exciting and newer way. It’s probably the most melancholy track on the album with that last line “Fading, it all falls, feelings and all.” But we didn’t dwell in depression for too long.
LEO: That one is about Brixton again. It’s about a preacher we saw there. A guy kind of shouting the name of the lord.
BEN:… in extreme passionate way. And I was impressed by how passionate he was. So he inspired us to write the track ‘cause I thought like “Why can’t I have faith in my own kind of thoughts?”. That’s what the song is about.
LEO: It’s a very fun song to play live as well. We normally play “Right Beneath Me”, then there’s a moment of quietness and then suddenly it explodes with “Sweeter Preacher”. And then the party is going nuts. It’s very easy to play so you can jump around.
BEN: Drum machine track! One of the funkier ones. I like it ‘cause it of all the layers. Every time I listen to I would notice a new texture or a new sort of sound that I’ve never noticed before. So there’s lots of little hidden kind of jams in the production. It’s nice to sort of come back to. It’s not just straight-ahead sound. We did a really cool thing with that actually because we had a beat, but I didn’t like it because I thought it sounded a bit too clean initially, so we did it with that old tape machine that Leo bought from a charity shop. Then we ran the beat through the tape machine like it’s from the 50s so it sounds really kind of rustic. I quite like the idea of putting a really slick beat into something like an old tape machine. It’s kind of a respect to this sort of modern era and sort of what has been before and I think that’s what we try to do with music sometimes: sort of showing our respect to that influences from the past.
LEO: That’s the only song that we haven’t actually played live yet. That’s an interesting thing!
BEN: But the only reason we haven’t played it live yet is we’re too lazy!
LEO: As a band it’s been the hardest for us to try to get it together live because we haven’t tried to do something like that before.
BEN: But it’s good though ‘cause it’s pushing us. It requires a lot of technology. We gonna do it for you!
BEN: Very poppy psychedelic with a snappy beat. That’s kind of a constant thing of some thing like “You Could Be Different”. We like chugging beats sometimes.
LEO: It’s quite an old song as well! Went through quite a lot early strange forms until we set the structure.
BEN: It’s the only song that we played in three different versions live. There’re three different songs basically.
LEO: It was very strange in the early stages. And again it was quite collaborative work. The chorus came to Ben in a dream and I had this riff and the verse. We recorded that on a boat. On a shaky boat that makes you feel sick. Live we extend this one into a five minute krautrocky jam.
BEN:It’s fun and it’s cool ‘cause I get an excuse to not have to sing that much.
BEN: That song is two years old. It came together very quickly. I remember I spend one night working on that. I was waking up in my house with the vocals and I was singing very loud. I really love that song ‘cause it has those calming moments of space and then it works up to this very thick and like rich textured explosive bit and that is what we have tried with the album on the whole. So I think it’s cool when this philosophy also works out in one song.
PAY FOR COOL
LEO: Just a stupid riff I wrote. I write a lot of stupid riffs. It’s just another live favourite. Dan was doing some crazy things with percussions on that like with kind of teacups and literally smashing them around.
BEN: There’s some much teacups on our album! He was running with this teacups and this bottles of like champagne and he was like “Play that, play that!” and I was like “Oh my!?”. Playing on it sounds so stupid! And then he heard that and he was like “That sounds amazing!”.
WHEN YOU RISE
BEN: We made that in a riff and we played that in a sound check in between recording time. We went on a tour a bit and me and Dan, we used to play this riff together which Dan actually made. And then we were playing it in the studio when we coming back and there he was with all these distortion pedals and his drum machine and he like smashing it and going like “play that, yeah yeah yeah!”. And I was like “STOP! That’s it, that’s the song! Just leave it!”. But that was one thing that Dan was really good at: really just going for it and forcing us not to really give a shit. It’s good to have that kind of spirit in the studio.
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