A1 (AB): I think the best bit is actually managing to get it finished and, afterwards your friends hearing it, people who are very close to Erasure and it seems to be the only time when I see my family is when we've done a new record. Gareth and I were very close to losing our cool with the vocals cos we were finishing them off, as the songs were being mixed.
A2 (VC): We didn't really, I mean it started off that the record company said to us you've got a long time, there's not an urgent release or anything and I think we took it too far, we stretched it out too much, you know. And then we couldn't have gone on much longer, I mean we'd been working on it for five months, on and off ... you know.
A3 (VC): Well only the fact that we'd make the songs longer. We never saw a concept particularly for the album ... for any album ... we just write the songs and this time we wrote more than we needed which is a first for us, so we can ditch a couple that we didn't like which was good.
A4 (VC): When we write like three minute songs it's not like we write them to be three minutes, it's just the way they turn out ... that's what comes naturally ... we just thought we'd stretch them a bit more and make them more kind of cinematic.
A4 (AB): One of the ideas as well was to not rely so much on re-mixes and extended versions so we thought we'd make our own extended versions before anybody else.
A5 (VC): It got more difficult as it went on because first we'd write or record the basic song, then we'd have these big gaps like in the middle or at the end or the intro, and then filling those gaps became more and more difficult as the tracks went on I think. You do run out of ideas eventually.
A6 (VC): Well we just ripped off sort of everybody we knew really, y'know ... listened to Pink Floyd records and all sorts.
A7 (VC): It was a challenge y'know to do it ... actually ... I'm just getting into that sort of music more and more I think.
A8 (AB): It doesn't mean we're going to turn into an ambient band or anything, and I think with Erasure we always do the opposite to what people expect of us ... so the next time it'll just be two minute thirty second nuggets of Phil Spector or some-thing.
A9 (VC): Well, I mean we didn't notice it, I mean they just stuck it on a tripod and it's just clicking all the way through. I think that some of it, shows people that we're ... humorous.
A9 (AB): I think, I think it's very honest and shows how mundane it can be as well in the studio. It's not all glamour.
A10 (AB): I despair sometimes at the way that artists are sold and particularly video artists cos there is a difference between musicians and video artists and their shelf life is shorter I think. It gets more and more difficult to sell music as a medium without film.
A11 (AB): I don't know. A video always seems like you have to have a gimmick... to a song and there's only a certain amount of gimmicks really.
A12 (VC): I'd like not, I'd like not to make one ever again.
A13 (AB): It just depended on what we wanted for each track. The choir ... obviously needed a melody to sing and although we worked out the chords together and Ruby and Diamanda ... well Diamanda was left entirely on her own. She recorded the vocals in New York. And Gareth and I were there with Ruby and she kind of ... we said to her just ad-lib and she was very happy to do that cos usually when you're doing sessions you have to be very rigid.
A14 (VC): I don't play the records to many people anyway, particularly. I give me mum a copy and stuff. She says "it's very nice" usually.
A15 (VC): Well she says it doesn't sound like us. Which means it sounds different.
A16 (VC): Well we weren't aiming to make it different to all our other records, you know there's no game plan it's just the way things turn out.
A16 (AB): I think it's funny when people say "Oh yeah, it's really good, it doesn't sound like Erasure". (laughs)
A17 (VC): I don't know, I mean we had no long term plans. The first thing we wanted to do was make a single then we wanted to make an album then we wanted to make a tour and it just went on from there. It feels very natural though, it's like, it feels as though we've always been doing it.
A18 (AB): I would like to think that I could still make music and enjoy singing without thinking whether you're going to sell this record.
A18 (VC): I'd retire to a holiday home in Southend.
A19 (AB): Well last album I think was the longest one ever, apart from the very first one we had about three years in between cos we had the hits album, and this album was probably just over a year or it'll be just over a year when it comes out and all the previous albums were, that was the kind of time scale anyway, so we're back, sort of like back to normal.
A20 (VC): Well there's no pressure on us to make records at a certain time anyway. You know it's just a case of waiting around until we're inspired.
A21 (VC): Well we've experimented more with this record I think. We decided to develop long instrumental tracks on this album, rather than the normal three minute songs.
A22 (VC): I worked with a guy called Thomas Fehlmann with the music and Andy worked with, what was his name?
A22 (AB): Gareth.
A22 (VC): Gareth Jones with the singing, and then we got a guy from America called Francois Kevorkian to mix the album.
A23 (AB): Well the last time we experimented as much with the vocals was when we recorded with Gareth Jones anyway and that was on the "Wild" album. And ... he's a very enthusiastic person and has a lot of patience and I wanted to get the feeling that I was singing in my front room because I think that's kind of the most honest time when I sing. So we set it up in a small room just with some mics and tried to make myself feel as comfortable as possible.
A24 (AB): (laughs) Makes me lots of cups of tea ... no .... Because we know each other very well and feel relaxed ... I think it's about not being inhibited and with other people I feel like before I've sang and because they haven't known my voice they'll accept a certain standard and then I won't do any more and with Gareth because I feel more at home I know that we'll get to a certain stage and that's not my best so far and we'll keep going.
A25 (VC): Well it's someone to push you really, and making record after record there's always the temptation to use the sounds which you know work ... working with Thomas was good because he's worked a lot of ambient sort of stuff, he's worked with The Orb, a lot of tracks that are well over three minutes long, and I was very worried that when we came up with the idea of making the tracks longer that I would get bored after three minutes. You know or not know where to put the parts or where the track starts losing interest and he was really good at that ... cos he's done that sort of thing before.
A26 (VC): I think in order that you don't repeat yourself it's important that you let someone else in.
A27 (VC): Yeah, it's just convenient it's in the garden. Also I have a lot ... the equipment that I use is not easily transportable. And I can just leave it set up in my own little studio and I just know exactly where everything is.
A28 (AB): We used to do it like that but I think it's really painstaking for both of us and we really appreciate each other's craft, but when you're sitting in the studio for eight hours listening to the other person it's kind of ... it gets a bit boring you know.
A29 (AB): Well when we write the songs, which is on the guitar or piano, the melody is already sorted, and we have, I always write some rough words and it's very difficult to escape those words sometimes and then when the music comes back, it can sound like a new song because of the interpretation, and that's really inspiring for the words and a lot of the time I feel the words don't match up to the music ... to the quality (laughter).
A30 (VC): Nonsense lyrics and stuff. I mean I don't think it's a problem having words that are in a different mood to the music at all, I think that's quite interesting.
A31 (VC): Yeah I mean on this record there's a couple of intros that are really quite dark and then it goes into a really happy little words. I think that's quite good though.
A32 (VC): I like, I don't know what it's called though ... I like song 4 ... what's that called?
A32 (AB): Sono Luminus.
A32 (VC): That's my favorite track.
A32 (AB): I like both tracks with Diamanda which is "Rock Me Gently" and "Angel".
A33 (VC): Well there's bits in that maybe didn't turn out as well as we'd hoped but I don't know that we'll get into long tracks again.
A33 (AB): Vince is like Mr. Opposite. Once he's done one thing it's back the other way.
A33 (VC): I'm thinking of two minute songs next you know (laughs). Sixties type singles.
A34 (VC): Well we just felt inspired to get writing again and we didn't tour the last album so there was time to do it, to write. We went off to Dublin for a few days, did some writing there that came relatively easily so we thought we'd go into the studio and make another record.
Q35 (MG): There's no question 35 in the question+answer booklet, just an answer on the CD, so make up your own question!!. Seeing as though they were talking about the new album maybe Mark Goodier asked if the album title changes from when they start recording it to when it's finished, and Andy's saying Vince is good at coming up with album titles?. (or something).
A35 (AB): Yeah they do change. Vince is always really good at that, at choosing names and things.