Day Twenty: Friday 17 June 2005
Steve has another go at the drums on the song (Working title – It’s Alright, It’s O.K.), he is not happy with the groove and wants to try and better the feel of yesterday. Always striving for perfection is Steve. Once Steve is happy, we have a go at ‘Mercenary Skank’ (again included on the EMI demos). Something feels wrong, we try and turn it into a sort of ‘Babylon’s Burning’ Ruts kind of thing but it isn’t working, the track is what it is. We troop back up to the control room. We end up in a discussion about what sort of record we want to be making. There is a pressure to honor the vibe of the tracks we presented to EMI to get the new record deal, but this feels like a step backward. We decide to put on the EMI demo, instantly it is obvious that we have to / want to move forward not go back. We decide to continue with the recordings. James wants another crack at the guitars on ‘Raindown’. We bring the track up on the computer. I put some acoustic guitars on the song so that James has abed of rhythm to work on while I’m playing something about it starts to bug me…. it’s not right. We are all in the control room and the atmosphere is getting a bit heated, are the guitars not working because the drums aren’t right? Does it sound like U2? Stop right there…. let’s have no U2 on this record (and no Coldplay for that matter either). We all appreciate what those bands do, some of us more than others, but the comparisons have been around for too long. Let’s not get into “Who did what first or second” or “Who influenced who”. We all know the score. If U2 aren’t going to vacate our space, then we’ll have to move into another space all together. You could say this is the defining moment of the record. This is what has been lying unspoken between us for the last few weeks. It has taken this song to bring it out into the open. In frustration I went downstairs and turned up my amp and started to play ‘Raindown’ in a completely different style. I started with some stabbing guitar chords and before I could get to the chorus, James, Craig and Steve have followed me down and are joining in. It has a kind of post-punk angular feel. From here on in the atmosphere around the record changes, it’s as if we have broken through tho the other side. We’ve had a glimpse of the future and now we know where we are headed.