Manchester’s The Whip have been working hard on their new record ‘Wired Together’ and we thought that now would be a good time to catch up with guitarist and vocalist Bruce Carter to chat about the album and plans for the rest of 2011.
“We’re so up for touring this beast once it’s released”
S] Can you talk us through the creative process for ‘Wired Together’ – what have been some of the more enjoyable parts of the recording process?
B] “The seeds we’re planted for this album the second that we finished the first album. Demo versions of all of these songs have been floating around the band and people around us for a long time. We had such a busy touring schedule for a really long time that we had to draw the line and get in to the studio. We’d been recording demos in dressing rooms and in the middle of the night in Ibiza or driving around America on the bus, but we needed a base and some time to get the album nailed down.
We tried to find the right producer for a long time and tried out sessions with a lot of different people. Then we met Jagz Kooner, who’s work I’d loved with Primal Scream and the Saberes stuff he did with Andrew Weatherall, and he went on to produce the record. After a few hours of being in the studio together it felt great and I remember a real moment where he messed about with some of our synth parts in Ableton and I knew he would be the man for the job.
We rehearsed with him for a few weeks before moving down to London for the best part of last year to slog it out. We recorded the live instruments in Club Ralph, a studio run and engineered by our talented friend Mark Ralph. The desk in there is Conny Plank’s old desk that he produced Kraftwerk’s legacy through. He’s working with Hot chip in there at the moment which I look forward to hearing. Everything sounded great so we took all the sessions to Jagz’s ‘shoebox’ room in The Rolling Stones old rehersal space and 60’s hang out on Scrubs Lane in London.
This is where we got down to the serious work of going through every pop and squeak to make the synths sound great with Jagz, together with him we worked so hard and took all the songs to the next level. Every one was really pushed to make their input the best that it could possibly be so we’re really proud of the record. I must admit that we all started to go a little bit crazy towards the end of working on the album but I guess you have to give it your heart and soul. It all feels worth it now as we’re so up for getting back out there and touring the beast once it’s released.”
S] Can you talk us through some of the tracks that you have released already – ‘Secret Weapon’ and ‘Slow Down’ for example, and the thoughts behind those – is there a constant theme?
B] “The whole album is about what we have been up to since the first ones release. We’ve been on a crazy journey all around the world and things got really intense, wild and great! We’ve seen some amazing places and met some crazy and beautiful people, I guess lyrically I just wanted to talk about what we’ve been going through.
‘Slow down’ is the last song on the album and it for me is the feet coming back to the ground after the rollercoaster has thrown you about. But at the same time it’s lifting you to a higher level ready for more too, which is exactly where we are now, ready for more and refreshed and ready to get back out there and do it! ‘Secret Weapon’ is a really positive song about finding strength in adversity from within yourself when you need it, we’ve all got a secret weapon in there. I had to find mine on the road, find yours and use it.”
S] Do you feel like there are any major dancefloor anthems on the record that might perhaps rival the success of ‘Trash’?
B] “We love playing songs like ‘Trash’ even after playing them live so many times. Playing live so much, we learned what our strong points were and what fans loved about the band. We’ve tried to cram as much of that in to the second album as possible but at the same time add more depth with lyrics, stronger music and bigger drops. The new stuff’s been really getting people moving live on fresh ears which has been great.”
S] Is there a track that you feel defines the state of The Whip as a band right now?
B] “There are a lot of songs that are on the album that sum us up right now, we just made the record, so it’s kind of summing up exactly where we were at the tail-end of being a band constantly on the road. I guess making an album is like documenting where you are. There’s a song on the album called ‘Intensity’ that talks about us being ‘wired together’ in the middle of all the madness which shows where our heads were.”
S] What about personally – what things outside of music are acting as the main inspiration for the band right now?
B] “I guess since we wrote the album a lot of things have happened. We’ve become a lot closer creatively through making this album. There have been line up changes and things rearrange themselves as a result of that, for us it’s been a massively positive change and I’m really looking forward to being creative as a band with new songs. We’re definitely going to get the new set of new material done much faster that this album was!”
S] How are you looking forward to touring the new material?
B] “I can’t describe how much I’m looking forward to doing it all again for round two. We’re dipping our toe this Summer, we played Wireless Festival recently and the new stuff went down a treat so we’re all excited to see people’s faces buzzing on the new songs once they know them and the album comes out.”
S] Are you still working at crossing genres with this record and amalgamating electronic and rock influences or is there going to be a lean towards one or the other?
B] “We love lots about old analogue synth sounds and the ways that you can manipulate them. We love the energy of live pounding instruments and we love to dance. There is so much scope for what you can do in a room with a load of instruments, so we keep pushing ourselves. There more song-based vibes on this album but more dance vibes too, it’s got more crammed in to it. More value for money in there hard times of ours.”
S] If you could put The Whip’s music to any existing film soundtrack – what would that be and why?
B] “Ha! That’s funny you ask, I tried to picture 1984 or Brazil or the beginning of ‘Terminator 2’ for the first song on the album, ‘Keep Or Delete’. It’s a tune about picking up the pieces in the midst of all the madness of some post-apocalyptic fall-out. The album as a whole, I guess would be suited to something like ‘The Shining’ if there was a massive sound system and festival taking place in the hotel with a yellow brick road leading to the ‘Wizard Of Oz’ tent in the garden hosted by Robocop.”
For more information (and to pre-order ‘Wired Together’ visit the official The Whip website.
The band will perform at the following dates in September.
7 – London Hoxton Bar & Grill
9 – Glasgow King Tuts
10 – Manchester Ruby Lounge
You can preview tracks from the new album here: http://soundcloud.com/southernfriedrecords/sets/the-whip-wired-together/s-RMEip.