Thanks to some rummaging by ‘insatiableone’ for this post. 😉
Extracts from a webdiary by Leo Abraham concerning Brett and ‘Slow Attack’…
Much of the last month or so has been spent with Brett Anderson, producing and co-writing his album. It’s been a real pleasure and quite a departure for both of us, and I’m fairly reluctant to describe the direction of it – partly because it will spoil the surprise, and partly because part of the fun of the process is deviating from the ‘plan’. But we have most of it written now I think, some of the songs being conceived by Brett and then developed by me, and some starting with a musical idea of mine which he then takes away and works on. It’s always a thrill to hear that iconic voice coming through the speakers in my studio, and we’re becoming regulars in the local cafes, although we’ve become slightly wary of the one that sells giant, indigestible potatoes.
The Brett Anderson project has been coming along well. During the writing process we’ve managed to get quite a bit of the recording done too. There’s an integrity to the the feeling of very early performances that can be hard to recapture. In some cases we’ll be able to use the first time I played the song, and the first vocal. There are lots of classical arrangements, which I still prefer to do on paper than on computer. Somehow it makes me consider each player more, as well as encouraging a more detailed use of dynamics. Copying out all the individual parts is a bit of a chore, but it’s also strangely meditative and satisfying.
Brett Anderson’s record was finished in a 2 week flurry of activity; we managed to record woodwind and cello on 13 tracks in a single day, and fortunately we found that in the course of writing the material, a lot of the vocals and guitars could be kept. So it was more a case of polishing up what we already had than of starting again. His combination of a keen critical ear with the willingness to experiment made the experience a pleasure. The pressure of producing comes from the fact that you are effectively in charge of someone else’s artistic statement, and no matter how seriously and lovingly you approach it, for the person whose name goes on the sleeve, it carries a much greater sense of importance. The trick to making an honest and interesting recording is, I think, is to keep a serious-but-lighthearted atmosphere of openness and experimentation, with little overt consideration of the consequences. Brett was very open to this and I do think we have made an honest, interesting record.
Some very interesting insights into the recording of the new album. Although he didn’t give much away I think it’s safe to say that this album could be a real departure from the recent sound we have got used to in Brett’s work.