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What kind of new directions did the band embrace during the making of The Weight Of Your Love, and did any of that have to do with the gear you were using?
"There had been very few guitars on our third record – it was mostly synthesisers, artificial drum sounds and so on. With this one, it does go off in a slightly more orchestral direction, but at its heart is a rock album.
"A big factor in the making of this record, the way that it sounds and the tools we used to make it, was the decision to go to America. That led us to a studio in Nashville, called Blackbird Studios. And the beautiful, analogue gear that they've got there is just insane. Millions of pounds worth of microphones, thousands of drum kits.
"All the gear we were using had been bought-in from Abbey Road by this eccentric studio owner – he was a Beatles maniac, who was also loaded! And he’d bought up this old gear and made an incredible place. It is old fashioned in its working methods, with tape machines and so on."
Did you use any particular methods in the studio to capture a sense of spontaneity, or to prompt great performances?
"Yeah, Jacquire King - the producer - is very much about musicianship, and he wouldn't go into drum takes or any recorded part and fix them on Pro Tools or whatever - which is done a lot. With all the songs on the record, we did takes from start to finish and picked the best ones, and that’s how we moved the tracks forward.
"A song like The Phone Book, which is a stripped down band performance, was an example of it being late night in the studio, the lights down low, everyone having their part and facing each other to perform it as well as you can, and capture that magic."
Do you believe in happy accidents?
"It's not scientific, is it? You can't explain why one take is better than the other: there's just that natural ebb and flow when you have more than one person playing together. I think a lot of the producer's job is to notice when one take is better, and Jacquire has a very strong opinion about which parts work best."