Track-By-Track zum neuen Album der kanadischen Indie-Popper…
Dieser Tage erscheint das neue Album von MODE MODERNE. Hier sind exklusive Kommentare von Phillip Intilé, Clint Lofkrantz, Sean Gilhooly zu den Songs von Occult Delight – im Original und gänzlich ungebügelt…
STANGLE THE SHADOWS
Sean: It became obvious early on that this should be the album opener. It’s been awhile since I heard the start of an album fade in. I like how Phil’s vocal is a bit distant, it really adds the atmospheric vibe. I get excited when I think of what we started with (guitar strumming over drum machine) to what we ended up with here. This song has a melancholy feel but also some optimism.
Clint: I was really digging on Wild Nothings Golden Haze and it made my fingers write some weird guitar. The track wasn’t complete until we put an acoustic guitar on it. It was sweet to come up with a well thought out bass line for once that I didn’t just rip off from Peter Hook ;)
Phillip: We are born as inquisitive creatures but somewhere along the line we lose track of that instinct. We stop asking questions. Sometimes it’s because we’ve been hurt or embarrassed, other times it’s because we’ve been made to feel that we are incapable of understanding or unworthy of knowledge. Sadly, most people simply fall victim to complacency which is a terrible disease of character. The desire to strangle ignorance is what I call love.
C: „Hamburg“ (as the band calls it) was written in Hamburg Germany in 2012 while the band was there for a mini festival. We were all starving after an all night train ride from Paris and everyone went to get food but Phil made me stay behind in the hotel with him to work on this idea he had for this weird structured song. I was not in the mood! I asked my band mates to bring back McDonald’s cheese burgers for me to eat and they didn’t! NOT GROOVY!
S: I love the original demo for this which I think was the strongest demo I’ve ever been involved in. It actually sounds really close to the finished track on the album. I think it had to do with recording in another country.
P: I love Clint’s bass line in the verses and I love that tension and release that occurs in the pre-chorus, Lyrically, it’s very passive aggressive. You have to speak to people in the language that they understand. If this is what your love looks like I can do without. It’s surely not the most vitriolic track on the album but I think my dissatisfaction comes across clearly.
THIEVING BABY’S BREATH
S: When we demoed this, I played the synth, and Clint was on guitar or bass and Phil of course sang. It started with a couple of chord progressions I had that I was interesting in seeing if Clint and Phil could help shape it into a song. Clint had ideas right away about how to arrange it and adjust the chord structure and Phil began quickly riffing words and melody over it. When we got into the studio we tried out different ideas with electronic drum sounds and synths, including a mini moog which we used for the arpeggiated line.
C: This song has a lot of meaning behind it. It came from a weird transitional point for the band. It’s probably the most „fuck you” song we will ever write, fuck the haters!
P: Sycophantic slime suckers surely suffer. Separate FOREVER from NOTHING.
S: Clint’s guitar lines really drove this song from the demo to the finished track, from single picked notes to chords we built it up to a crescendo at the end. I wanted to follow Clint’s groove and do something syncopated but stripped down in the verses.
C: If you ever heard the demo of this song you would think we were nuts. I was listening to a lot of Zola Jesus and I like a lot of the beats that she uses. How is it that our seemingly unusable demo became a well structured weirdo pop song?
P: I’ve been deceived by lace and in this way I am not unique.
S: This song kept changing and changing from demo to final track from vocal melody to instrumentation. Phil’s original melody line for the verses was interesting but it couldn’t quite be resolved fully and he was struggling to come up with something. One morning he came into the studio all excited because he had figured it out. It became even more poppy that I thought it would and it ended up being our first single!
C: After all the fan mail I have sent to Peter Hook (to no reply) I came up with the laziest bass riff possible. Phil got really inspired and wrote the most Feminist empowered lyrics of the year for a pop song, up there with all the Kid Sisters‘ and Iggy Azalea’s.P: The song is a call for the re-education of men through violence. Here in our hometown of Vancouver we keep hearing about all of these random sexual attacks against women. I would love to see young women target men who are known degenerates or men who dress and act a certain way. I have a vision of a man having to second guess the bejewelled t-shirt he’s wearing because he doesn’t want to become a target, the same way that young women are told to watch what they wear. History has proven that violence is a justifiable means, let’s humiliate the oppressor! Cherish the night!
S: To me this is the one of the high points on the album, a great way to close Side 1. Like with other songs we got the different parts more or less down during the demo phase. Clint’s guitar as a guide and Phil adding words and me adding rhythm. For the studio I experimented with different drum machine patterns underneath the verses. I remember Clint wanting loud builds leading up the the choruses. Thru the process we worked on the arrangement and asked Rebecca’s mom come in to add some violin. From demo to finished track, building it was one of the most satisfying creative endeavours I’ve been a part of.
C: I wanted a massive sounding chorus thank god for good drummers!
P: A rallying call for introverts and outsiders. Drawing up battle plans, avenging affronts. Voodoo dolls. It’s such a strange sensation when passion sways from worship to disgust. Only two letters separate revere and revile.
S: This was a bit of a surprising track for me. Clint and Phil had recorded a guitar and drum machine demo but I wasn’t as familiar with the song as the other songs. For me the star of this song is Clint’s bass track. It’s really aggressive but melodic and it was great fun to record the drums with it.
C: I always wanted a song with tambourine for this band, we all owned Cindi Laupers „Time After Time“ single when we were kids.
P: This is my favourite track on the record. Guitar, bass, drums, synth tone, perfection! I was surprised at how quickly the lyrics and phrasing came to to me. What is perceived as weakness will keep me resolute while time shatters your teeth.
S: One of two songs on this album that were around before I joined but existed in demo form and were performed live. Believe it or not it took a while to get it to the point where we were all happy with it. Phil’s idea for fuzzy bass was a good start and just arranging the guitar and synth parts while retaining some space we felt was important. Phil and Rebecca’s harmonies really clicked and we got it quite dance-y.
C: This song is actually called Countach, as in the Lamborghini Countach, which is a mid sized super car that was featured in Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run 2.
P: We’ve tried recording this song with three different drummers, five bass players and two guitar players. It turns out all we needed to do was dress Clint up in a leather one-piece and record the bass track while he rode a motorcycle.
DIRTY DREAM #3
S: After sorting out the structure when demoing we ran over this song in a practice space so Clint and I could make sure we got the rhythm right. I like the guitar riff and Phil’s dream-like vocal painting.
C: We have a strong sexual prowess in this band. We are lovers and fighters and punks. Introverted yes but with a longing to make a very deep connection.
P: The second of three song title homages.
S: This is one of Rebecca’s greatest synth lines. She has a knack for phrasing that really blends with Phil’s vocal. As with a few other tracks on the record this has acoustic guitar, ride cymbal and a sensibility that helps point to a different sound for the band. A great example of Phil’s wry humour here.
C: This song is very special to me! We were staying with our lovely friends Flowers in London UK. It was a beautiful weekend, we took photos in their English garden, ate pears and wrote this song after a night of psychedelics.
P: Routine crushes creativity. Split my skull open, rummage around with a soldering iron, stitch my forehead with a kiss and something lovely might come out of my mouth.
S: This is the other song that was around for a few years. When we set out to record this one it was like starting with an open canvas for the arrangement. We tried different things, brushes on the drums, organs, a chilling distant BG vocal from Rebecca.
C: Written a long time ago as a demo, we finally figured out how we wanted it to sound on a record and we felt it fit perfectly on Occult Delight. One can only hope these lyrics inspire a third MODE tattoo.
P: Mode attempts to write a country song and ends up with pathos all over their face.
S: We originally had an idea of having two distinctly different songs in the same track. We recorded the drums and bass part for an really upbeat second part with the idea of joining it with the quieter more emotional first half later. But as time went on it kept getting pushed further and further to the end of the process as we focused on other songs. At one point we had to admit to ourselves that the two parts of the song weren’t going to join together very well and we should focus on building the first half, in other words, have a delicate end to the album. Sometimes you have to make hard choices when recording and the shaping of songs and this was one of those times.
C: The song believe it or not was inspired by Roy Orbison’s „Running Scared“. We wanted a dramatic feel, something you would hear in a film. By far I think it was all our favourite song to record, Rebecca’s mum played the beautiful violin in it and admittedly there were some tears shed.
P: Perspective is everything, seek perspective.
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