You may or may not already know that Guillemots have recently released the first of four albums to come from the band this year, each tying in with the change of the season. So to anticipate the ‘official’ beginning of the British Springtime, ‘Hello Land’ has been provided as a sort of musical welcoming ritual, introduced by a hand written letter from Fyfe Dangerfield & Co. Whilst the album is a step in a different direction for the band, featuring elements of orchestration, it does, however, breed an air of excitement for what is yet to come.
We catch up with Dangerfield to discuss the tetralogy, just before setting off to their Norway dwellings, to record and produce the Summer instalment.
Hello Fyfe, where are you today?
Well, I’m at home at the moment, and I’ll be heading out after this – just trying to see whether I can risk leaving the house without a coat. I got far to relaxed by the weather before, and it’s all gone wrong.
But it’s sunny in London today?
That’s what I mean. I’ll go out, and two hours later, it pisses it down. It’s a risk
So, four albums in a year, that’s pretty big – do you already have the next three ready for recording?
Well, we’re just going out to start the next one tomorrow. We’re going out to Norway again. We have some stuff recorded but it’s not really a case of having stuff recorded and stuff ready for recording. Until we get out there, we don’t really know what’s going to happen. I’ve been going over my ideas of stuff that I’ve written, so I’ve got a folder of about 90 things, from that, I haven’t really got a clue what will end up on the album. The focus is that we really go out, and listen and kick ideas around. It will just gradually happen, I think.
So with the summer well on its way, when can we expect the next instalment?
I don’t know for sure, I’m hoping it’ll be out by the start of August, but we’ll see. We’ll aim to get it out as soon as we can really. I just don’t really know.
Could you tell us how the recording process for ‘Hello Land’ went, and did it all go to plan?
Well, there wasn’t really a plan, so I can’t say that it went to plan, because there wasn’t one. It was just fun – I mean, it had moments of stress, but it was mainly about following our instincts, I think.
Having said that you’re moving on from the concept of producing-releasing and then touring… Does this mean that we shouldn’t get our hopes up for a full scale tour, anytime soon?
We definitely want to tour again, it’s not that we don’t like touring. It’s just, when touring becomes about flogging a record, rather than playing live for the fun of it, you know? It got to the point where, I remember times when we wanted to play shows, but we got told that there’s no point, as you have nothing to promote. And that just sort of seems wrong for me. You should play live when you’re really geared up to play live. I think it’s just about trying to get rid of the fact that everything is just part of this one, big merchandise machine. But of course we’ll be touring, I don’t imagine we’ll be doing any big touring this year as we wont have time, as we have the other three records to make. But I’m sure we’ll be doing a few gigs here and there, as well as a few festivals that we’re playing over the summer, but then maybe next year we’ll be touring? We don’t really know at the moment.
That’s fair enough. So you moved to Norway to write and record the your first album of 2012. What made you choose Norway?
Our friend Jonas lives out there and has a studio in his house, which is just in the middle of nowhere really, up in the hills – an hour or so North of Oslo. It started from us just going out there for a couple of weeks to hang out, then we’d just make music for fun. It was such a productive place to work, and now it’s the only place that I can really imagine doing the record. And Jonas is a really important part of the record, I mean, he’s producing it and he’s really amazing. It feels like a five-person band, really. We’re in the studio with him, we’re really happy it’s working, and it’s good for us to just get out and find somewhere that we can really escape and be immersed. When you’re recording in London or something – there’s always people around, and all the distractions, so it’s good to just get away from that.
Right, so you’ve said that Jonas, the producer has been a friend of the band for years… Could you tell us how you hooked up?
Well, he was part of our security years ago, when we were doing a lot of touring around the time of our first and second records. He got involved and was one of those guys that helped us on tour with the gear and everything so we just kind of stayed friends after that really.
It’s still early days for ‘Hello Land’, but now that it has been released, are you happy with the final product and the outcome that it has received?
I’m very happy with the record, yeah, but I’m deliberately making a point of not going out looking for people’s reactions this year because I think that I’ve learnt in the past that it’s better to just stay focussed on what you’re doing. I’ve had some lovely emails about it. I go on Twitter and stuff, and people are saying things but everything I have seen has been lovely. I just think that where you start going wrong is when you start needing somebody’s approval. If something is really good, then you don’t need to be told it anyway. And we feel that way about the record, where we kind of know deep down that it’s us and it’s true and it’s what we wanted to do. So that’s already creatively enough. But yeah, I’m delighted that it’s out in the world, and the idea all along is to gradually just put stuff out through the year – people gradually get to find out about the whole project. We’re not really publicising it an awful lot at the moment, because there’s no need, and it will grow as the year goes on. But the main thing I wanted to do was make sure that it was out and available, and we’ll probably put out a single in a month or so that will draw a bit more attention to this, but it’s just about getting things out there, really.
Finally, are you looking forward to the release of the next three albums, considering the reaction to ‘Hello Land’?
Guillemots’ new album ‘Hello Land’ is out now via The state51 Conspiracy.