A well overdue update on how things are going in the studio:
Very well, thank you very much.
It’s mad to think we’re recording our fifth album. 6 years ago we went to Toronto to make number one, ‘Hold On Now, Youngster…’, in what was, with hindsight, quite an ordeal, and now we find ourselves in equally glamorous Bethesda, North Wales, making number 5.
Bethesda is the perfect location for us to be recording. We prefer to record somewhere reasonably isolated, and where we can stay onsite. The nature of the way we record means there will inevitably be days where you have no recording duties to carry out, but it’s nice to still be ever so close to the studio, so you can constantly pop your head into the control room to see what’s going on. The studio is located about a 10 minute walk from the highstreet, so daily strolls there are a must. Bethesda is a quiet, working class, Welsh-speaking town and I’ve really taken to it. Good, honest people and decent pubs.
We’ve 10 more days of recording, and I feel like we’re keeping to schedule better than we ever have before. Usually we find ourselves scrambling and panicking the last couple of days, but there’s no reason that should be the case this time. That’ll mean we’ve more time to work on the final flourishes of songs. Backing vocals, percussion and any other frivolities that might spring to mind. With ‘Hello Sadness’ I recall us finishing off group vocals as we were loading the van ready to leave. No need for that this time.
Personally, this is the most I’ve enjoyed any recording experience. Obviously it helps that the Confederations Cup and Big Brother have started now, and we’ve had Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice too, but the whole living arrangement and the atmosphere within the band has been conducive to great times. I’ve nearly finished writing lyrics for all the songs too. I never start writing before we’re in the studio, because I feel like a phoney if I’m creating ‘art’ under any motivation other than time pressure. I know that’s not ideal. But the songs are really fucking strong, and sounding huge, and it’s been an absolute pleasure to write for them.
I’d like nothing more than to list off songtitles, as that’s the sort of thing that makes this seem REAL, but we need to drip-feed this stuff, so here’s a couple of acronyms for the time being, of songs that I’ve already recorded the vocals for and are near completion - ‘TTBTLT’ & ‘A, B’.