CROSSBEAT Magazine (Japan) March 2005
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CROSSBEAT Magazine (Japan)
2005 March issue (cover page: Coldplay)
Date of the publication: Jan 18th, 2005
Special thanks to Megumi for translating the article from Japanese to English and for scanning these photos!
– We have heard that the next new album is a ‘2 piece set’. What’s the latest on the status of your work?
Dave: Well, this new album is totally different from what we have done before. We’ve been working on 2 types of albums…one is a rock album and the other is acoustic. Now we’re doing the rock album and it will take another month, I suppose. We’ll take a short holiday in the end of the year, then start to work on the acoustic album. We’ve all ready done 15 rock tracks and need to add vocals on that now. There are another 15 acoustic tracks and we’ll start recording in January. I think each album will be about 11-12 songs. These 2 albums are totally different work, but we’ll put them together and release as a new album. When we make albums, we usually put some mid-tempo song in between the hard tunes. But at this time, I want them totally separated. I mean, the rock side is harder than ever and the acoustic is really fucking beautiful than ever. We’ve recorded some of the acoustics version of our rock songs, however we haven’t made ‘acoustic songs’ from scratch. So I should say this is a totally different experiment.
– Wow, it sounds really cool! How did you come up with this idea of a separate rock and acoustic album on an individual CD?
Dave: Well, about a year ago… I took a vacation after the One by One tour. I was writing some songs for my own, and I wanted to make an acoustic album at that time. I didn’t know if it could become Foo Fighters work, or soundtrack for movies, whatever…I didn’t have any idea how to release it, but just wrote lots of acoustic songs. Then I listened through all those songs and said to myself, “well, wait… man, those are fucking beautiful and exactly the Foo Fighters sound!!”. At the same time I was writing heavy, tight rock songs as well and had stored as long as 5 hours total of music in my computer. You know, it was impossible to choose some of them and make just ONE album, so I thought we should make a 2 piece album at one time. If you want to party loud and go nuts drinking beer, put on the rock CD. If you get a hangover and feel bad the next day, listen to the acoustic one. When we release this new album, a totally different show only by acoustic musical instruments in a small venue could be possible on the day ater the fucking roaring rock show in a huge arena. I want to challenge whatever I see something new and interesting!
– Oh, wow, that’s such a great idea!
Dave: This is our fifth album and this year… oh! this is the tenth anniversary of the band this month. This might be one of the reasons I was going to have done something special and decided to try a”2 piece set”. We have made quite a few of songs so far, from slow ballads to heavy rock. But I thought that if we don’t do an album with acoustic songs which are placed in between… why don’t we do a ‘hard album’ and ‘acoustic album’ only? I thought that approach would be good to seek a deeper side of both types ofmusic. If we make one album with hard rock and acoustic together, then we have to have something like an ‘in the middle’ song to put in between, at least we had to do so. That’s why we wrote ‘Learn to Fly’ or ‘Next Year’. But at this time we wanted to put those kind of medium songs away, and wanted a rock album to be extremely heavy and tight, and acoustic album to be beautifully decorated with some orchestration. It’s fucking awesome so everyone will be surprised. It is actually Foo Fighters sound, perhaps much emphasized, and you may feel some spice on it more than usual.
– You have been working on the new album in your own studio, which was built in LA recently, haven’t you?
Dave: Oh yeah! I also have my studio in Virginia where the past 2 albums were recorded, but it’s quite simple and rudimentary because it’s in the basement of my house. You can see some sleeping-bags nailed to the wall for the soundproofing! The equipment is nice, but the studio is not so professional. And, flying to Virginia whenever we make album is troublesome as all of us are living in California now. So I thought it will be a good idea to find a place here. We looked for a right place for recording and rehearsal…then finally got a huge warehouse. I thought a simple studio like Virginia at first, but soon I was engrossed in thinking about its design. As a result, it became such a fucking good studio which is listed in TOP10 in LA that I even didn’t expect. It’s not just a rehearsal room but incredibly awesome like Abbey Road Studio. Yeah I want my friends to use this studio too.
– How is the change of the recording environment reflected in the new album?
Dave: One of the merits of having my own studio is that we don’t need to care about time. 7days a week, 24hours a day we can do whatever, whenever, whichever we like. If there is something that we don’t like, simply do it once again from the beginning. And, the good thing about the new studio is that we could always find something new as there is no one who has used this studio before. So I believe this album has a different sound from the others. For instance, the drum sound is much much bigger because it is recorded in the huge space. I think recent albums tend to have dry drum sound, so I wanted to revive it really a big good-old sound…… like we’re performing on the volcano or at the center of the earth. We are challenging something we haven’t done before by way of experiment, and we can do it as much as we want in my own studio.
– What are the different points in the production process than before?
Dave: The biggest difference is that we completed all tunes before we entered the studio. Usually we write or complete songs in the studio . But this time, we rehearsed and verified each tune over and over before we enter the studio…..which is the best sound?, which is most rock?, which is most tight?, which is the heaviest and so on. It took about six to seven months. This is the first time to work on it this way… of course, it is nice to catch the momentary feelings and power that arose at that time into the album. But if you’ve got a really fucking good idea, it would be better to take a long time -days, weeks or even months- to work on it, then we can make it much better. That is what we are doing on the new album. So…. the next one will be kicking your ass. On the One by One tour we started with All My Life every show and adrenaline ran throughout my body whenever I would hear that riff every night. The audience went nuts. Seeing that scene every night, we used to say, ***”hey, look, how on earth could we write a better opening song than this?”*** but now, we have this new song called “In Your Honor”, which is put at the beginning of the rock side. We have all ready decided to start our show with this song for the next 2 years. You know, it’s so crazy as hell, it’s as much as 100 times of All My Life!!
– Woah, sounds really great!! I want to listen as soon as possible! Well, have you had any guest musicians?
Dave: Not for the rock side but I’m thinking of asking various kinds of musicians to play. And again, this is the first time to do that… We really love the sound we play by ourselves, so usually we do not have guest musicians though Brian May played for “Tired”. But to the acoustic side, I’m gonna ask lots of musicians to play. I don’t want to tell the details yet, but I have this ‘musician-to-ask-to-play’ list on hand and it’s pretty long. If possible, I’d love to have guest for each song in any way…. to play accordion, to sing a chorus, whatever. I want many musicians to join, and make something you cannot imagine, or beyond your thoughts.
– Who is the producer?
Dave: Nick Rasculinecz, he did One by One. He’s like the band’s family and also one of my best friends, he comes to my mom’s house to have Christmas dinner. We love working with the people who know us very well. Working in such an interpersonal relationship makes me feel as if I’m on vacation everyday. He helped to do our studio. We get drunk every evening!
– When do you plan to release the new album?
Dave: We’re thinking in June. The title of the album has not been decided yet because we usually do it at the end. Well, we will finish recording by the end of February, mixing them in March and then….. right after that we’d perform some gigs and promotions, then go on the road and play and play and play!!!
– Glad to hear that, we just cannot wait!! Well, I think this will be the last question, but could we have your resolutions for 2005?
Dave: Yeah, to be a nicer person than ever. Healthy, wiser, be strong…. and I want to be a man who is good enough to have a good relationship with people all over the world. The year 2005 is the year of Foo Fighters to me, and the year for this band to make another step ahead. I never wanted to be No.1 in the world, never ever dreamt of it. But as long as power permits, we want to be the best band. We have been making progress and growing up. We don’t stop at the same point but keep challenging something new.
Interviewer: Hideyuki Ohtani, editor in chief @CROSSBEAT)