I hear lots of live parts on the album that are sampled or deconstructed. Do they come mostly from free jams or well-thought-out sessions?
There was only one really long jam. One of my concepts at the beginning was, for the first time in my life, to make a record that was played by a band in the studio more or less without any preparation. So we tried it — we went to the studio for two weeks, and we just jammed. And in the end there was barely any useable material. It was just a chaotic amount of gigabytes on the hard drive with different kind of stuff, and I was afraid to even open those projects. It was so messy and so overwhelming. That’s how I learned that I’m not really a jam session kind of guy.
But then again, after a little while I realized that even though there are no real songs, I can use this stuff as a sort of sample library. That was one of the most important revelations, because I understood that it could be a cool concept for the record — to construct it like a puzzle from all these little bits and pieces from everywhere. And lots of different bits and pieces came from that very first session, even though at the beginning I thought it’s just garbage.
Did you have any particular goals in mind in terms of sound?
Yeah. As I said, in the beginning everything is blurry, you just follow the flow, and you’re happy about anything that happens. But at some point you have to get serious, and it always starts with one particular song. You’re trying to get it work. It’s always about those songs that are really difficult and you make twenty versions of them, and on the nineteenth version you have an enlightenment. You try something and realize that maybe you can apply what you just did to all the other songs as well.
In this case, it happened with ‘VOI_DO’, the first song on the record. We had lots of parts for this one as well. We recorded jazz people, we had double bass, trombone, piano, different guitars. All these things didn’t make any sense together, and separately they also didn’t really work, it was very frustrating. So I started just getting a bit of double bass here, a piece of trombone there, and then guitars, and kind of sequence these things. And then I also mixed them up with a lot of electronic processing. That was a very interesting moment, because I realized I really want to do it with many other songs as well. That was a sound design for the record, in a way.