CAMPAIGN FOCUS: Brett Anderson
Reinvigorated by the Suede reunion shows, frontman Brett Anderson is to release his first rock record in six years backed by EMI.
After a brief flirtation with the band The Tears, the Nineties icon has released three solo albums of largely acoustic-based material since Suede disbanded in 2003, each selling 5,000-10,000 copies to mostly die-hard fans.
But EMI Label Services is on board for his next release Black Rainbows on September 26, which has a distinctly upbeat, electric sound likely to appeal to a more mainstream audience.
Anderson’s manager, Ian Grenfell of Quietus Management, said, “What’s happened? What’s happened is Suede. Brett being on stage with 5,000 people going mental really made him look at what he was doing himself and why. It helped him rediscover his rockier side. It’s more commercial and rockier.”
Indeed Suede’s reunion at The Royal Albert Hall in March 2010 for the Teenage Cancer Trust and subsequent gigs at The O2, continuing into this year – most recently at Latitude Festival in Suffolk this weekend – fired Anderson up for his next session in the studio.
He teamed up with producer Leo Abrahams and musicians Seb Rochford and Leopold Ross in Miloco Studios in London “jamming around rhythms and writing songs”.
Anderson himself describes the record as, “restless, noisy and dynamic. Electric guitars, bass, drums and vocals… no flute players, no strings, no gimmicks. Just passion”. It will be preceded by the single Brittle Heart on August 15.
Grenfell has managed the singer since 2005 and has overseen his previous solo outings via the Drowned in Sound label he co-owns and on Anderson’s own BA Songs label. And having orchestrated those and Simply Red’s releases, he said it made sense to go with EMI Label Services and utilise its sales and distribution expertise while retaining ownership.
“It’s a bit more commercial,” he added. “He came to me and said ‘I’ve made dark, uncommercial records, but this is a shot at a wider audience’ and so there was pressure to get a bigger deal with our ambition, not just to sell to 5,000 Brett fans but a lot more with this record.”
EMI promotions and press vice president Kevin McCabe said, “Obviously we are targeting stations like Radio 2, 6 Music, Absolute and Xfm but also he is an interviewer’s dream, one of the most charismatic, intelligent people I have met.
“We’re going for Later… With Jools Holland, but he could easily handle current affairs, so we have opened dialogue with The Andrew Marr Show among others.”