I saw you tweet that picture when you were recording outside. Can you talk a little bit about that? Why did you decide to do that?
We were getting to the end of the record, and there were only two songs left. It was a very, very, very chill song, and when I was signing it in the house in the studio I was recording in, Neal kept saying, “It sounds good, but you’re not selling it to me.” I’ve never really had that sort of thing before because I’ve recorded with people I’ve known since I was 17, so it’s always been like the way we record was gospels. I’ve never had somebody turn around, and basically challenge me right then. I was like, “Well, you know man, I’m singing the lyrics I’ve written. I’m singing the same melody. I don’t really know.” He was like, “Keep doing what you’re doing, but just a little bit better.” It was like, “What the fuck do you mean?” It was a direction sort of thing, and he said, “It’s a chill song, so why don’t you be chilled?” I think I made some sort of cocky, asinine remark like, “Yeah why don’t I go sit by the pool, and you bring out a microphone?” He was like, “All right, let’s do that then.” We set up a mic outside, and I sat down in the garden in this huge rocking chair. You couldn’t see it in the photo, but I had one of [Neal’s] dogs just sitting there at the bottom of my feet. Again, it was all very hippie-ish and chill, and he was like “Now, all right, are you relaxed?” and I said, “Yeah, man I’m very relaxed. Let’s give it a go.” Before I was singing it from the sheet. I didn’t even look at the lyrics. I just went out there in this chair, and that song, it was pretty much just done singing it four or five time from the top to the bottom, and then we went in and decided which take was really capturing and doing what we wanted it to do there.
Speaking of recording in a slightly different manner, I saw that you played some guitar on the record and drummer Dan Flint played some bass. Can you tell me about that?
[Laughs.] We’ve done gang vocals [before] and they’d be like me doing 20 takes, and that would be the “gang” so to speak. This time we were like, “Yeah, let’s just have a mic in the middle of this room, and we’ll all just sing.” [They’re] singing gang vocals—not like pop-punk or hardcore; it was actual singing. Now the other guys have no excuse. I know they can fucking sing when I’m like, “Why do you have a mic onstage and you’re not helping me backup with some harmonies and stuff?” They have no place to hide on that one now, so it was cool. We were doing some fixing on one of the songs, and Matt didn’t like the way he came out on the chorus, and Dan joked, “Can I give that a go?” and we were like “Fuck it, we’ve done the record, [and] here we’re just doing some fixing,” so he did that. There was another song where we decided we wanted some more stuff in it, and I was like, “Well, if Dan’s going to play bass and Matt recorded some drum stuff with Dan then I want to do some guitar.” I can play guitar better than anything else I could play on the record and that was really exciting. It was such a basic thing, but to just be able to see it from their side–the way they record their things–and even if it was only 20 minutes, we have a third guitar, and it was rather exciting. I know Dan got the same sort of excitement and joy from doing the bass. It was good, and I think it’s made the whole thing feel more collaborative on every level and I think it’s ultimately showing where we are as a band and proving that we can do that.
Have you played any of these new songs live or will you be playing any of them live on your fall tour with Cute Is What We Aim For, Conditions, Tonight Alive and Dinosaur Pile Up?
Yeah, we’ll definitely be playing new songs. If the song we just did the video for, does become the single, then we’ll absolutely be playing that. I’m sure it will have been out by then, and hopefully for a nice amount of time, [so] people can learn the song and warm up to it.
What do you want to make sure fans know about this upcoming album?
I think if we are specifically talking about America, I feel like since last year’s Warped Tour the overall awareness of the band has kind of gassed the pace, and that Spring Fever Tour was not only the best we’ve ever done in America, but without a doubt one of the best tours we’ve ever done, period. We definitely left that tour being like, “There are awesome people in America who dig what we’re doing,” so that’s kind of the reason we’re doing the headlining tour to begin with. I’m hoping people who have just jumped on the You Me At Six train in the last year to six months, I’m hoping, they may not even necessarily know about our other records, just Sinners [Never Sleep]. I’m hoping the stuff they like from Sinners, they can find that on the new record. I think the conversation we were having back in London when writing was, at the end of the day we are all fans of our own band. As a musician, you know when you’re doing something if it doesn’t feel right, as a fan, I always think, “Well, is this what I would want You Me At Six to put out next?” If so, great, put it out and hope that you’re right and people enjoy it. If not, and you’re a bit skeptical about it, then that means it’s probably not right.
I generally believe if you’re a You Me At Six fan right now that you’ll definitely enjoy this album, and if you’re not a fan already, I have no reason to think you wouldn’t like it. I’m just very proud of what we’ve done, and I hope people will get that vibe from the record we put out. That’s the most insane thing about music: We’ll go back to London and have all these planning meetings about this, that and the other and which songs should be singles and what the video should be like and blah blah blah. At the end of the day, you put all these vast, big plans together, but it’s really open to interpretation. It’s not really up to the musicians, just the fans and the music to decide whether or not it’s going to be successful. We’ve done our bit, and we’re going to put it out. Hopefully people will like it. We’ll see what happens. alt