With album 2 now on the visible horizon, Dan talks about how well the recording is going, and the fun the band are having putting it together…
WebMaster: How much fun are you having recording another album? Does it feel different to when you were doing the first one?
Dan: The fun level is off the scale. It’s wonderful to be back experiencing what happens when we all get together and just make some creative noise. The outcome has been really satisfying and I think there’s a decent possibility of a relatively special album, at least personally.
It’s a very different vibe to the first album, for me at least, but I think I can speak for all of us when I say that with ‘Wired to Earth’ we were experimenting and seeing what we could produce between the 4 of us. To be honest, it was nerve wrecking. Here I am working with my guitar hero, which is nerve wrecking enough, but also remembering that Dave Gregory spent most of his career working with someone who’ll be remembered as one of the greatest songwriters of all time. So getting into rehearsals and saying ‘ I wrote a little tune, want to hear it?’ was daunting to say the least, but Dave was gracious to say the least, in fact it was a real eye opener for me. Present Dave with an idea and he brings so much to it. It is different now, we’re much more comfortable presenting ideas than we were before, which in itself leads to more ideas.
WebMaster: How do you feel about the progress that’s been made so far? How much has the band recorded?
Dan: It’s a time consuming process that simply can’t be rushed. We’re all very busy, Spirits gets one night a week religiously, to try out ideas and arrangements, and when we’re happy we get into the studio. So it’s not like we’re in a studio for 2 months writing and experimenting, our time together is limited and precious, so we need to make every moment of rehearsal and recording count. One of the great things about the new approach in the studio is that we’re recording much more of it live. All in together, makes a big difference to the feel.
WebMaster: Is there a track or part that you’re particularly excited about?
Dan: Right now there are 2 that I’m excited about but only because these are the latest tunes I’ve been getting the guitar tracks together for. An Instrumental called ‘Carnivore’ and a song called ‘Garden State’. Mark has really grown as a song writer and Garden State is certainly one of my favourite things that he’s come up with. Having the opportunity to arrange and orchestrate guitar parts together with Gregsy for a song like this is such an honour
WebMaster: Has there been any particular moment during the writing/recording that you’re not going to forget?
Dan: Yeah, recording a track called ‘Summer Now’, our first live session, just all playing it together in the live room, then hearing the joy in our producers voice when he said, ‘come and have a listen!’ and hearing it back. The noise the 4 of us can make together, hearing it like that on the other side, was a real moment.
WebMaster: How do you think the new album is going to compare to the last one? Do you think it will be recognisable to fans of the first album, or is it likely to be quite different?
Dan: It’s definitely progressed, but the buds of the ideas that were there in ‘Wired to Earth’ seem to be bearing some fruit now so to speak. I think this is easily our best stuff, but it’s still just 3 guys from Swindon and one ‘possibly should be sectioned’ Australian just seeing what noise they can make
WebMaster: What gear have you been using mostly so far?
Dan: Well, there’s quite a bit of Flying V action on this album, which is too much fun, with my main recording amp being a LazyJ J20, truly wonderful amp, and also using a couple other things like a little 20watt Plexi and my old Vox’s for some different parts. Dave has his plexi and his Matchless in the sessions, which is an astonishing sounding beast in his employ. Surprise surprise, I’m using lots of pedals, but not just for the sake of it, just trying to draw out some sounds that support the song.
WebMaster: Which part of the entire writing-recording-polishing process do you think you enjoy the most?
Dan: There’s a moment for me personally when I’m writing something when I know either it needs to be erased from my memory and never spoken of again, or I think it might have legs. That’s the moment that I never forget, that initial inspiration and realisation that there might be something. Then hearing it in the hands of the guys is when it’s taking shape and they start to add themselves to it, you just can’t buy that sort of experience, it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of
WebMaster: When do you think you’ll be happy to say the album’s done and release it?
Dan: We’re tentatively saying September release but it’s when its ready when we’re happy with it and not before. After the surprise and very welcome reaction to ‘Wired to Earth’, I think we all appreciate the potential of the band as well as the new content which we think is worthy of time being spent on it to be done properly. We’re doing all we can to get it done, but it’s ready when it’s ready. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.