-what have you been up to since the last album cause youve been quite busy, havent you?
Yeah, a variety of things, not the least of these the arrival of Paul and Is son, Ben.
hello Ben if youre listening! although he probably wont recognise me... but yeah, he was born in January and prior to that weve been recording, starting to record the album and we initially hoped it would be finished by Christmas, but it turned out I couldnt
actually record my vocals properly because I was pregnant!
-ohh what's this I heard about the vocals and you having the box on your head as well?
ah YEAH! thats right!! it might have been the new single Coming in From the Cold
-ha, Im imagining it now, the video, with you with box on head!
Were not actually in the video! Unfortunately yeah, Alun was on a promo trip when we were doing it, so we decided that if we all couldnt be in it then none of us should be! But anyway, we had to go back in the studio in February and basically what with coming off the end of The Great Eastern and getting back into running the label and then we had a great invitation to write a soundtrack to a video of Joe Coleman's work.
-ah right, I was gonna ask about this - it was the Barbican show, wasnt it?
yeah it was, it was fantastic. We were basically asked to write a soundtrack to a video of his paintings - and his paintings arent for the faint hearted, and he tends to do what Id call visual biographies in that he depicts a certain character. all of the people he paints are of a very tragic life, very interesting, usually dark, subversive characters like Jayne Mansfield, Ed Gein, like that. And what he does is he paints them in the centre and then paints little depictions of events from their life around the perimeter so in many respects the painting has so much going on - a bit like a contemporary stained glass because thats often what Stained Glass does as well - it tells a story in parts roundabout the edges, as well as the central character.
- cause you put music to that, didnt you? how difficult was that?
it was a really really big challenge because Alun and I were both used to writing independently on our own and writing from nothing really, from scratch and now we had this basis to start from, we had to represent something from a musical point of view that we were given initially from a visual which was a completely different way of working. We struggled for quite a while wondering how on earth we were going to tackle this, so what inevitably happened was instead of Alun and I writing independently all four of us, the band proper we just started writing together. From scratch, and that was the first time wed ever really done that! I mean, there were admittedly a number of tracks that Alun and I had little ideas that were songs we were already working on independently and we brought them in but in the main its the most collaborative work weve done as a band and it worked really well
-how many songs from this made it onto the new album? how did it?
well what we did was one long continuous piece but there were distinct sections that ran into each other - and the distinct sections, various elements, did make it into some songs on the album. so it gave us a real strong basis on which to write this album. And one of the challenges that came off this Joe Coleman episode was that the Joe Coleman thing really forced us to write really strong music without any melody sung. And if you get that right, which I believe we did, then it allows you to write music of the same, of real power. Youre basically trying to vocally emotion what youre seeing on the screen, and youre trying to create an even stronger atmosphere with the sound as well as the sight and if you can do that without melody being sung on top of it, and lyrics, then you really have got something really strong. And so we had that, and we took it to the album but the challenge was to try and fit melodies over something that was already quite busy. And it wasnt as easy as we thought it might be! Because in order to fit a sung lyric and melody over an instrumental piece you have to make room for it. So it was a bit more of a challenge than we had originally anticipated!
-so the music you did for this, was there ever a plan to release it? was it about an hour or so?
it was about an hour, yeah, well we wanted it taped at least and it wasnt..
and theres absolutely no recording of it, at all. it is actually a tragedy! it was great!
-do you think you could ever do it again?
its actually lost! in the swirls of time gone by! its a nightmare! it is a real disappointment, the guys at the sound desk told us they were gonna tape it onto DAT.... and they didnt. It was a very big disappointment, I have to say. And then afterwards we went back into the studio and I was dying for us to record it properly cause I wanted us to give it to.. I wanted to try get it used as instrumental music on anything! I was so proud of it I wanted us to record it and put it down, and thats it. Lost forever. But yknow, there are elements of it on the album, for example the instrumental bit, during Never Look at The Sun, Child Killers as well, things like that.
-so this album Hate - why Hate?
well, its a funny thing but listening to the lyrics
-very dark arent they
but - the music isnt and thats the funny thing - its an album of many contrasts. I think it does promote a lot of thought
-I just thought you wanted to walk around with people saying Hate The Delgados on t-shirts!
ha thats exactly what weve done! we also thought it would be quite comical! We do actually have a t-shirt that says that, aye, its quite funny actually... so everyone can wear it and itll say they detest us, but they love us! But the whole idea behind that title was its a representation of an album which its lyrical content does contain a lot of representation of negative emotion, struggles every day hurts and life long hurts, things that people dont necessarily talk about, but do experience. And also a lot of this album was written post me giving birth to Ben and I did suffer a little bit of post-natal depression afterwards and it did shift my appreciation of what it is to be happy after that to be honest. Yes, its a negative thing, depression, but what it does do for you when you come out the other end of it, you want to live every day to the full. Also an awfully large part of that is having a child as well which is probably THE greatest thing Ive ever known in my life, its absolutely amazing. So the word Hate the other interesting thing about it is that it doesnt necessarily have to be a negative thing. A lot of Aluns references to Hate, especially the song All You Need is Hate is things like, without the emotion hate in peoples whirls in their life, there wouldnt be progression. The only reason revolutions happen and a lot of progress takes place is because of peoples hatred of a situation theyre in. And they hate it to such an extent that they have to act to change it. So in many ways it can be looked at as a positive element.
-one last question - live shows - obviously it might be a bit more difficult now with the baby, but are we going to get a Delgados tour?
yeah! we will be going out, possibly towards the end of October, not on a full UK tour but well be starting to do things.
yes, theres no real point in us going out without it - there would be glaring gaps if we tried to play this without it, without any augmentation from our friends up there. Strings and keyboards and other things. so yeah, we will be trying to represent it as accurately as possible, but Im sure there will be the inevitable speeding up of all the songs which always tends to happen when we play, and things also get aggressive when you play live because everybodys up for it. So yeah, Im really looking forward to it, we will be touring.
-and what's the next few months gonna bring?
theres talk of us touring europe, talk of us supporting a major UK act in November which is yet to be confirmed and then well probably start thinking about America in the new year.