The actual recording process was relatively quick, probably about a week, but it was spread out over a couple of months. We had a couple of weekends in Dean St studios for the music and then did vocals and extra bits at Micky Ciccone – the producer’s place.
2. What sets Ragnarok apart from The Fades previous albums?
It is the first proper Fades album. Previously our releases have been EP’s/singles, a live album and a sort of compilation album that featured bits and pieces from our singles etc. It is also different because we set about writing it as an album when we got back from New York at the end of 2010. We spent about a year writing and working on ideas for it.
3. “Meccano”, “Joy”, and “Foot In Your Mouth” are such different songs in terms of tone and feel. Was it a conscious effort to release such diverse singles to preview Ragnarok?
I guess we have always been pretty diverse with our songwriting and don’t try to pigeon hole ourselves to any sort of style, so without realising it we come up with quite an eclectic mix of songs that sort of somehow blend together in the end. We didn’t consciously choose to release the songs due to the differing nature of styles, we just picked the tracks we thought would work on their own at the time, but it is a good reflection of the diversity of the album.
4. Speaking of the diverse singles, the entire album is diverse yet they fit so well together. Was there an overlying theme that tied everything on Ragnarok together?
I think it was just us having a lot of fun writing and playing together again. The trip to the USA completely reinvigorated the band and brought us closer together than ever before – especially considering we were mostly crashing out on people’s floors in a group. This seeped into the attitude behind the album and the songwriting as a whole. It’s the sound of a band enjoying being a band again, but also wanting to try and capture that feeling on record.
5. Considering Muvva, I’m Drunk is an in-studio live album, why was there such a gap between the self-titled in 2007 and the upcoming Ragnarok?
There is no real reason behind it, but possibly because around 2007 we got a little bit disillusioned with the pressures of being in a touring/gigging band, the fun had gone out of it a bit and it felt like we were just performing for the sake of it rather than enjoying ourselves. Plus other factors in our lives had changed or were in the process of changing. We needed a bit of time to get our groove back and remember why you’re in a band in the first place. There had been a lot of hassles within the music industry and we’d had a few knocks and difficult situations, so we were beginning to resent the music ‘business’ and wanted to get out of that side of things for a while. You mature and grow and become more experienced and realistic about it and then you hopefully come back out the other side and enjoy it again. The live album in 2010 was the sound of us finding our feet once more, so we really wanted to go in the studio and bash it out live, which then led us on a great new journey towards what is now ‘Ragnarok’.
6. While the release is still a little ways off, are there plans for a quicker turnaround for the next album?
Possibly, we’re really enjoying jamming and writing together again and have already got loads of great new songs down, so we could get something together quite soon. It all depends on what happens with ‘Ragnarok’ and how we feel. We’re not in any particular rush, because we don’t have any pressure from anyone. We’re just enjoying ourselves and if we feel like releasing something we will.
7. What has being in The Fades taught you about yourself or your bandmates?
Good question, going back to what I was talking about earlier – I think being in the Fades, or being in a band in general has taught me a hell of a lot. We’ve had an amazing time and experienced things we would never have been able to otherwise. It has taught me to be more patient and also to always be resilient and determined. If you don’t ask you don’t get. It’s like the Henry Ford quote – “if you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right”. I have also learnt a lot about alcohol limits and effects, in particular what a Scintillating scotoma is. To make sure you stay away from James after 3 days of drinking, not to compete with Jonny in a Jagermeister competition and never tease Flash with a banana or mayonnaise.
8. What do you hope fans of The Fades gets from your music?
We hope they get as much fun out of it as we do, we hope that the vibe that is expressed from us in the rehearsals, gigs, recording studios etc is captured in the essence of the songs and permeates through to the listener. We also hope it gets them in a mood of some kind, so they feel something – whether it be happy or sad and everything in between.
9. You last toured North America in 2010, do you hope to come back after Ragnarok is released?
We’d love to come back!! Considering that it was our last tour over there that mostly inspired the creation of this album – imagine what it might do next time!
10. For your fans who haven’t seen you live, what can one expect from a live The Fades performance?
A Fades performance is truly something to behold. Anything can happen – we’ve done gigs where I’ve climbed out of a venue window during a middle eight of a song and come back in through the front door to climb back on stage to hammer out a solo, gigs where we’ve had the whole crowd up on stage with us singing ‘Another Song About Motorbikes’, gigs where Jonny has literally been blind drunk but still able to bust out the best guitar solo ever heard and much, much more. Overall it is an exciting, powerful and completely different experience every time. You have to be there.
Ragnarok is out on October 1st. Check out The Fades official website to find out where you can get your copy.