What was the dynamic like between the band members, considering it was during the production of this album that Graham left?
It was really sad, and a shock, when Graham didn’t turn up for the first session. But we sat down and decided that we all wanted to carry on and hope that he’d join in when, or if, he was ready. That had a really galvanising effect on the other 3, because once they decided to carry on they had to show that they could do it with or without Graham. So they were very focussed, very determined to make a different type of record.
What were the pros and cons of recording in Morocco as opposed to a more conventional studio setting?
Morocco was very inspiring even before we went. Damon had been there for a music festival and was buzzing from the amazing local music he’d heard, so that had an effect whilst we were still in 13. Going to Morocco got us out of London and away from the distractions and attention that the band had there. We’d been working short fast days and Morocco allowed us to slow down and really concentrate on finishing the details on the stuff we had already recorded, as well as inspiring a few new songs. It also gave Damon the space to focus on lyrics, so a lot of the final vocals were recorded there. The studio that was built for us there was great so I also started mixing the record out there and finished off when we bought the studio back and set it up again in Devon.
Can you recall some of the microphones and pre-amps used for the recording of instrumentation and vocals?
I’d just built up a collection of Russian valve mics, vintage Lomo valves and Oktava ribbons and some more modern mics made by a company called AEG, and they generally have a nice bright and crunchy sound, really clear without being too “hi-fi”. For pre-amps we used my little Neve 542 desk a lot and some Chandler LTD-1s. A lot of the guitar and bass sounds were DI’d, often through synths or pedals.