The approach or set-up is crucial. For instance the way we worked on the last record was to rehearse everything up to such a standard, where most of the parts have been so finely tuned, that recording was largely a matter of capturing the best performance. And that’s fine, but recording in this way tends to mean that the songs have a certain way of sounding, i.e. – pretty good in a live/band context. Well that’s not enough now, and I think there is a feeling that unless we change our approach then we're just going to become (?) of ourselves and ever so dull. There was a wonderful moment this week when we were all crowded round the TV watching this programme documenting the story of hip-hop; and it was the classic years from ’86 through to ’92 with RUN DMC, Public Enemy and NWA, etc. Some of the greatest records ever made. And they interviewed Hank Shouclee [sic] – he was the fella who produced Public Enemy in the early days – and made the great 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions...' album. And he was explaining their methodology – the way they recorded. Basically they all set-up with samplers, Devo, drum machines in the same room and recorded. Now most of it, he said, sounded like a mess, but apparently there were great moments, that were then cut up and from that the basic track was constructed. The effect of hearing this was like 'Well, why the fuck can’t we do this?' – it could be so exciting. We have the means to make a communal racket so why not harness some of this technology and use it within our own sphere. I mean we’re not going to make a hip-hop record, much as we’d like to, but what was exciting was the idea that kind of approach, or something similar offered us a necessary alternative to the way that we have largely worked until now.
Once we have done this then we might really get somewhere.
- Ed’s diary