The Besnard Lakes är nu albumaktuella med sin femte fullängdare A Coliseum Complex Museum som släpps 22 januari på Jagjaguwar. Albumet är deras mest genomarbetade hittills och leder bandet in på en ny, lite öppnare och ärligare väg. Vi fick möjligheten att ställa några frågor om bland annat albumet via mail. Frågorna och svaren finner du här nedan.
How does it feel now that your album is recorded and set for release?
It feels fantastic! We’re very happy with the results and can’t wait to go out and support this release.
Describe your writing process. How do you write songs? Is it always the same routine, for example it starts with a melody or does the way you write songs differ from time to time?
Most of the time, we have bits and pieces that we take into the studio and then finish the song there. I suppose having a studio as available as we do (but not all the time) gives us the ability to make records like that. But it isn’t always the case; with our new record there were several songs that were completely fleshed out before we went into the studio to record them. For a few of the songs, and this is the first time we’ve done this in a long time, we recorded bass and drums live off the floor. The only other instance I can think of where we recorded like this was when we recorded “Devastation” off of “The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse”, but that was done with so many musicians at once that it seemed more like a Phil Spector-ish session. But the way it usually goes is that we have an initial melodic idea, we build it into a song structure and layer it accordingly and the vocals almost always are done last. That’s the rule for the most part.
What is new about this album? How have you reinvented yourself?
I think that the songs are tighter and catchier on this album. Some of the song lengths are shorter too, they’re less broody and ponderous, more open and accepting. The previous record was made in the wake of my father’s death and this album is a logical progression from that, and that’s what I mean by the songs being more open and accepting. Oh, and we have 2 new people in the band! We have Sheenah Ko on keyboards and vocals and Robbie MacArthur on lead guitar. That’s also been an influence, they’ve brought a new vitality to the band. Not to show off but we’re a very attractive band with these new additions, ha ha 😉
What can we expect from your live show? How do you change your sound from the albums to the live shows?
Well, now that we’re a 5-piece rather than a 4-piece band, we’re able to play the songs somewhat more like the album versions, but with a little more urgency to them. When you listen to an album you want it to unfold organically and to take your time with it. When you see a band live, and because there is an entire discography to be taken into account, there is a bit more of a tendency to speed things up, and to dance around with the arrangements somewhat. But even if there is more of a rawness, there’s a balancing act with the intricacies of some of the vocal arrangements with the new tunes. With Sheenah singing too it sounds more balanced, in that male/female sort of way. And Robbie is just a force of nature – he’s a true rock and roller in every sense! You know, it’s like I said before, it’s a new energy kind of thing, and because Jace, Kevin and I are so familiar with each other’s musical styles, we are the grounding influences of the band. Jace is also happy as can be that he can totally rock out on guitar now, as he used to cover keyboard parts, so that has also added a new dimension to the live aspect.
What comes into your mind when you think about Sweden/swedes?
Hockey players, good-looking people and many different kinds of soured-milk products!
What does the term “indie” mean to you?
It should mean “DIY” as in “Do It Yourself”, and that could really be the case as every aspiring bedroom musician literally can do it themselves nowadays. But it is one of those terms that seems to have become somewhat meaningless and maybe even misused. It means everything and nothing really, ha!