INTERVIEW | Jack Brown (White Lies): “It’s going to be exciting for fans and definitively for us”

jack-brown

BR: How do you see “Ritual” in comparison to “To Lose My Life…”?

Jack: I think it’s a much different album. I think it’s a better record than the first album, something we’re all proud of. We’re just happy to have it finished and ready to release it. We’re ready to start touring and playing new songs. So, when you think about we’re very excited about it.

BR: “Ritual” has richer sound is more electronically oriented, actually synthpop. Why the change?

Jack: I think it will always be the case with the change in music between the first and the second album. It’s been two years since we made our first record and our taste and music style has changed quite a lot. We were listening to a lot of electronic music when we were on tour for the last two years. So, that’s definitively the influence. I don’t think we really considered what we were doing so much, because there are definitively some songs on the record which are more poppy sounding and more based on synth, but there are also songs on the record which are more guitar aggressive songs. Kind of sound we never approached before. We have aggressive guitar songs and in the same time songs we have songs on the record like “Strangers” which are more synth based.

BR: Debut reached number 1 in Britain, what do you expect from its follow-up?

Jack: I don’t know. To be honest we didn’t think that our first album had that potential, and we were really surprised when it became number 1. We try not to think too much about the charts. I think we’d just be happy if our fans that liked the first album would buy our second album. We’re not worried if it will have high chart admission or not. As long as people buy it and as long they like it. That’s more important.

BR: You were working with producer Alan Moulder, one of the best when it comes to alternative rock, on the “Ritual”. How was it working with him?

Jack: Amazing. It was great working with Alan because he makes the first album fall of and we knew straight away that we want to work with him on the new album. We are very happy he was interested in producing us, because he doesn’t produce so many bands these days. He does it more rarely than he needs to. It was quite an honor to work with him. He’s a really nice guy and I think that the fact we knew each other really helped our sessions. We got along very well ant that’s really important when you’re in the studio. It was great, it wasn’t awkward or anything like that. We just slotted in the studio quickly and had fun making the record.

BR: Do you think you’ll continue working with him in the future?

Jack: We’d love to. I think we are all happy with how this album came out. Further down the line, I think we’d love to work with Alan again, whether it’s producing or mixing. I think we have a really great relationship with him now, and I think it’s a relationship that we both want to continue and we both want to work on more. I hope we’ll work with Alan again.

BR: What have you learned from him that can help you become better at your work?

Jack: One of the best things about working with Alan is that he knows all the tricks. He’s been working in the studio for so long that he’s really a person you can talk to about how to get a certain sound. He definitively thought us a lot. We learned a great deal making this record. We are happy he was with us working on the record. It really opened up our minds to try new things that we would never tried before.

BR: After successful debut there are always a great expectations and a lot of pressure to succeed. Your new song “Peace & Quiet” even has lyrics which say “I feel this great pressure coming down on me”. How do you cope with this industry pressure?

Jack: I think the best way to cope with it is not to think about. The only validation we need as a band is from each other and when we’re playing live from the fans, as well. We had two very successful years of touring around UK, Europe and the rest of the world. We feel like we have such a good fan base and that we can do whatever we want to. The most important thing for us is that we are happy with the final product, and we love our new album a lot. Hopefully, it will be successful album, because we all of us think it’s better album than the first one.

BR: You’ll be playing at Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia in following weeks. How will the song list look like? Will there be more new album songs, or old ones? Maybe some cover song?

Jack: We’re going to do as much of the new album as we can, as well as some better songs from previous record. It’s really nice to have two albums to work with and pick songs from. In the first year of touring we had to play the same set every night because we had only few songs and all of the sudden we have 25 songs we can play, and it’s really about picking the right ones. It will be a mix. It will be a lot of new stuff, maybe even some songs that we never played before. We may do one or two covers. We quite enjoy doing that. It’s quite nice to play a song you know nobody we’ll know, for example. It’s quite an opportunity to play in the area of the world we never played before. This is the first time we’re going to go there and play a lot of great songs and hopefully have a great audience. It’s exciting for everyone. It’s going to be exciting for fans, I hope, and definitively for us to have an opportunity to play somewhere we’ve never played before.

BR: In Skopje, Macedonia, you’ll be playing at a Taksirat Festival. We’ll this be shorter gig, or will the festival crowd get the same treatment like at your solo shows?

Jack: I think we’ll try, regardless of where are we playing, to try and make shows equally special. I think that at the festival we’ll probably have to cut a couple of songs. I do think it’s important for bands at festivals to play a really god mix because we don’t want to play a whole set which nobody knows. We want to play some songs that people already have relationship with. We’re definitively going to play some songs from the first album, just for that show.

BR: Your music is often compared to likes of Joy Division, Editors, Interpol etc. How do you reflect on this?

Jack: In the last couple of years it’s not something to worry about. We never really got a lot of comparisons. The only band of the one’s you just mentioned that we like is Interpol, and we are quite an Interpol fans. But I don’t think we sound much like them, anyway. I think that comparisons will not continue with the new album, because it sounds so different from any of those bands. It will be a big struggle for people to try and compare us with Joy Division, Editors or anything like that. Hopefully, we won’t get this much comparison in the future.

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