There's always been an electronic element to the band, but it's come to the fore on the new record. How do you adapt to that as a guitarist?
"The initial difference is how the songs start. In the first two albums our chief songwriting tool was the guitar, whether they were electric or acoustic. And now, on the last album that's kind of changed. The songs might start with a sample or a drum beat that sparks an idea. So as opposed to being the primary melodic tool, the guitars have become another layer among many.
"On the record the guitars as buried quite low in the mix compared to the last album. And it's only when you see the show live that you realise how many guitar parts there are. So with this record it kind of took on a new life when we started touring it, because we realised that, to an extent, it had to conform more to who we are as a band. Which is, in essence, a four-piece guitar band with two guitars, a bass and drums."
What effects were you using for this record?
"This has been the big thing with my guitar playing for this record. A lot of the time in the studio we were trying to make guitars not sound like guitars. So yeah, there's a couple of synth pedals we used.
"I think there's a company called EarthQuaker Devices who have a pedal called the Bit Commander. I use that quite a lot. It makes the guitar sound like a synth basically!
"The Eventide PitchFactor got used quite a lot too, which does what it says, it changes pitch and adds harmonies. It's quite an interesting pedal but quite hard to use right. It was Ben Allen [producer] on the last album who introduced me to that, and we ended up stealing his ideas when we produced this one ourselves [laughs]."
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