In a conversation with Nick, he explaind he wanted to make the next Bad Seeds album in a residential studio somewhere in the english country side, away from it all so we could get lost in our thoughts for a LONG TIME !!
A long time for cave is ONE week.
He admits often that he has an impatiance for things.
I would also describe this impatiance as extreame focus and unparalleled keenness to capture a moment before "we all crawl up our own asses and its lost forever"
note: the 23 songs recorded for bad seeds album : Abatoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus were finished in 12 days !!!!
So Imagine my surprise when he said lets go for 3weeks
Luxury I thought ...but we may all loose our minds
Finding an appropriate studio for the bad seeds requires 2 things :
1) inspiring ambience , orat least a good vibe
2) plenty of vintage recording equipment and microphones that can handel the unexpected dynamics of such a wild band, in other words equipment built in the 60's and 70s
Finding a residential studio like this in England proved to be very difficult, I fact I couldn't find even one.
Crazy when you consider that all the best recording consoles from that era were made in Britain (Neve, Trident, Helios to name a few) it seems they were all sold to wise Americans in the 80s when SSL's were deemed state of the art.
So i searched further a field and came across a bizarre studio in a old mill in the south of france that was apparently once used by napoleon to have bright red unforms made for his troops.... so no one would see if they were bleeding. i fear the plan backfired as it made the tropes somewhat visible to the enemy.
The studio however is an Aladdin's cave of vintage ness run by the most wonderful family of music enthusiast imaginable. It's called La Fabrique and their website is:
I spoke to Warren and called Nick about it, he said " GREAT LAUNMOWER I'LL GO DOWN THERE AND HAVE A LOOK" ( he's quite loud when he talks )
A week later he calls me from La Fabrique : "MOWER, THE OVERHEAD LIGHTING IN THE STUDIO IS FANTASTIC... THERE ISN'T ANY ! ... I'VE BOOKED IT !!!"
A few months later we all arrive to the wonder of the amazing buildings, huge gardens, swimming pool, donkeys, and exquisite food served outdoors to the sound of hundreds of frogs in the huge pond nearby.
The idea was to make a album that really moves people, to capture a mood and take them away with the lyrics, to also NOT follow the rules of starting with drums as a foundation. Many of the songs started with unusual loops with bizare time signature created by Warren .
WARREN; Oi Mowesy ( translation: launay> launmower>>Mower>>>Mo>>>>Mowsey) "what do you recon of this loop, is it in time ??? "
LAUNAY : nope, it's out of time, and it's out of tune too
WARREN : Great lets use that one then !
And so began the great adventure.
Nick as always had many Stories and tales ready to be told, involving all kinds of crazy characters that needed a home. it was a case of experimenting and finding the right musical landscapes for them to live in.
Some times i imagine I'm a set designer for theater trying to arrange the furniture , alleyways, forests, for them to move around in.
This album and its setting was certainly different to most.
One highlight was the recording of the local kids choir,
12 charming FRENCH kids arrived with a few of their mums and a strict school teacher
Warren ( who lives in Paris and therefore speaks the lingo) conducted while the teacher meticulously explained English pronunciation : "Atencion Atencion !! No Pus No Pus... Puuuuuch ce skai e wey"
Forteen songs in all were recorded, and all in 2 weeks .
We spent the 3rd week crawling up our own asses trying to improove on what magical fell in place in the first two weeks.
Realizing this, we back tracked and called it done, and flew home early !
The album was then mixed in Los Angeles at Seedy Underbelly studios where Ive made so many of other records during the last 12 years. it was really fun having Nick and Warren there.
I don't believe i've another made album quite like this one.
Side note: technically speaking we started this album in Melbourne at sing sing studios in december 2011.
The day after the Grinderman gig at Meredith (just outside Melbourne) we went in to experiment with ideas by jamming for 3 days solid.
Out of these jams, came : Jubilee Street, Higgs bolson Blues and finishing Jubily street, some of these were over 9 minutes long.
Once we got to La Fabrique these jams were edited down, re arranged and overdubbed onto.