“West London meets West Coast”. Sweet Sweet Music talked to Jamie White about the new self titled record, the sound, Split Enz, adding a middle 8 quickly and being in between albums.
How did you record ETB?
We had recorded our debut album ‘Suburban Sunshine’ at Bonafide Studios in London, and felt very much at home there, returning to record the new album either side of our American tours.
There was a wealth of material to pick from, but we took a little longer finishing up. Unlike previous studio sessions, we were a little more sought-after and suddenly aware of the expectations and demands on time.
Some songs we started recording were held back as they didn’t appear true to the album. It’s important that a collection means something, has some connection to the collaborative feel, rather than being forced into consideration.
It’s easy to do, new always sounds better when you’ve lived with songs for a long time, but we took our time and tried to deliver without prejudice.
A song like The Light sounds like it has been around for ages (that’s a compliment). Did you know you had something during writing and recording?
Thanks! From both sides, writing and recording, we knew we had a single in the making. It was an attention grabbing, high tempo upbeat song, which made us all smile. Once recording was finished it became the firm favorite for the album opener and set-closer. I felt it was going to excite when I started writing it.
The music flowed easily, and everything aside from the middle eight came out in one parcel, from the intro to the end section. Having the lyrical hook, title and music was encouragement enough, and within a day I played it to Mattie (O’Toole, former guitarist) and we finished writing the lyrics and added a middle 8 very quickly.
Through recording it sounded great. It didn’t grab any more attention than other tracks, but that was probably because we were so committed to creating an album instead of hammering out a group of songs.
Naming the new record ETB. Does that mean you have found your sound? What changed since Sub Sun.?
We have never knowingly searched for a “sound”. Our individual influences and varied musical backgrounds can be heard through the music, and comes together organically to create the ETB personality.
The self-titled album was something we always wanted to do, a ‘this is us’ statement hopefully without the pomposity sometimes attached to it. The main changes of note from the 1st album were the personnel, with Siôn joining to replace Mattie.
Many of the same engineers worked on the album, although Elliot (Boothe, ‘Suburban’ cohort) had moved on by then, and Peter (Keeble, who mixed ‘Suburban’) took a job outside music .
The experience gained from recording the 1st album helped polish our techniques and create a finer 2nd
She tells you she will decide on a 5 song mix tape if there’s going to be a 2nd date or not. Which 5 songs?
Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield ,
I Got You – Split Enz,
Always the Sun – The Stranglers,
Dead Flowers – Rolling Stones,
Sweet Is The Night – ELO.
I think I’d keep the tape myself, and spend the evening in.
If you could tour the world with two other bands, who would they be?
Iron Maiden (because they fly their own Boeing 747) and ELO (because it’s Jeff Lynne). However, we’d be open to offers from anyone.
What will 2017 look like ? How will you promote ETB?
2017 is hopefully going to be the year of the festival for us, and playing over the UK and Europe.
There are still two singles to come (including The Light) but we are close to being ‘between albums’ that period of time where the new material starts to become too electrifying to ignore. T
here is a stack of demos for the 3rd album, being added to regularly. The only question is whether to make it a double album or not?