Back Story: Veronica Falls - Waiting For Something To Happen

Behind every album there’s the story of its inception.

Back Story: Veronica Falls - Waiting For Something To HappenPhoto: Emma Swann / DIY
Posted 1st February 2013, 3:00pm
It's been a little over a year since Veronica Falls released their debut long player, and despite their packed schedule over the last twelve months, they've somehow already found the time to record the follow up. After a short 'throwing keys wrapped up in their socks out a window at us' situation, we let ourselves into guitarist James' flat, and forced them to tell us everything about 'Waiting For Something To Happen'.

Let's start with the basics. Where was the record recorded?
Roxanne: Our friend [ex-Test Icicle Rory Atwell] has got a recording studio on a lightship boat.
James: It's like a converted boat, that they put a light on the top, to warn other boats. And now it's docked permanently on the Thames, and just completely kitted it out into one massive studio.
Patrick: Halfway through the day, you can feel the rocking start. But then most of the time it's just on mud.

Did you have to learn the art of writing the second album on the road beforehand?
Marion: You need the right conditions. It doesn't really work out for us.
J: When you write songs at home, you're relaxed. On tour, you get to the hotel room and you just want to sleep.

You had to re-record your debut after you didn't like the original version you'd recorded with a producer, and wanted to record it live instead. Did you stick to that method this time around?
P: This time, we did it all live from the start.
R: We've worked out that works the best way for us, musically. Because it's quite primal, and we need to have the energy together, and that works the best.

Did you have a producer, this time then?
R: No, we just produced ourselves again. I think the thing is, we didn't need a producer, because we have a really strong idea of what we want.

Has your experience the first time around put you off working with a producer then?
J: I think with the style of music that we do, you don't really need a producer.
P: It's a bit weird to have someone who's not been there since the start of the song to come along and say, “that bit's rubbish, get rid of that...”
R: We have enough arguments between ourselves, without bringing anyone else into it.

The record itself, in terms of the sonics, sounded a bit lighter than your debut. Would you say that's fair?
R: I think that too. Maybe it's because we weren't as used to playing them, we weren't as hard with the songs. It's not as tough as the first record.
J: You don't want to make the same record twice.
R: We also got really tired of being pigeonholed. When you start a band, you don't really think about those things, you're just seeing what comes out, it's quite lighthearted.
P: But when people are saying things to you, like, “are you depressed?” and once you've heard that same thing a million times, it's like, no, no, we're really not...
R: Even if it's subconscious, you're still thinking, let's make a point of not doing that again.
P: Let's not hear that “goth” thing again.

I'm presuming that having ex-Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde as your label boss must mean that you get a lot of freedom and understanding from Bella Union?
P: I think it's nice to have someone who's been in a band looking after your record, because he's been on the other side.
R: I can't imagine what it'd be like if that wasn't how it worked. If you couldn't do whatever you wanted, that'd defeat the purpose.

If you've been given the freedom to make the album exactly as you want it, it seems stupid to ask whether you're happy with it...
R: It's really hard to be objective at this point. It's quite an ordeal, recording an album. I don't know yet!
P: It's hard to listen to music subjectively, especially your own. And especially this soon.
J: Ask us again in a year.
R: We don't hate it...
J: Even if we'd recorded a record that we thought was amazing, we still wouldn't say that.

Veronica Falls' new album 'Waiting For Something To Happen' will be released on 4th February via Bella Union.

Taken from the February 2013 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.
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