Here's the web version
MGMT In The Studio
Producer: Dave Fridmann
Confirmed Tracks: ‘Alien Days, ‘A Good Sadness’, ‘Your Life Is A Lie’, ‘Introspection’, ‘Plenty Of Girls In The Sea’, ‘I Love You To Death’
Studio: Tarbox Road, Upstate New York, New York
Due: September 2013
Hi Andrew, is the record finished yet?
Have you heard it? No? [Laughs] Good. If you had that would be a pretty amazing first question! It’s all shiny and ready to go. It’s a pretty big change from ‘Congratulations’, as opposed to a full band it was just me and Ben [Goldwasser]. It was the most active Dave Fridmann has been of the three times [we’ve worked together]. It was nice to get back to the two of us, like in college. A few tracks were more traditional, but a lot came from long improvisations we put melodies over.
What was the vision for the album?
We wanted there to be at least some moments where there was more space. The one thing we wanted to strive for was a freer, open feeling. ‘Congratulations’, which reflected a particular time for us, felt a little bit locked up or uptight. We were obsessed with doing takes over and over, that can take the life out of something. We tried to keep obsessive self-filtering to a minimum and let things blossom and develop. The hardest thing to accomplish was preserving space. Lots of the songs have lots going on, but for whatever reason it feels more refined and it works as a whole.
Were you conscious of the reaction to ‘Congratulations’ whilst making this record?
We’ve never really consciously made music that was a reaction to anything. ‘Congratulations’ wasn’t a conscious effort to back off and do something…let’s not get into what people were saying about that. What was the basic question again? This time we allowed ourselves some time off. We did other things, and were able to step away, that got rid of pressure or stress when were writing this one. There were no deadlines; we were allowed to make things as they came. It’s a whole new thing.
Did you discuss accessibility at all?
When were 19 and wrote ‘Kids’, our goal with our little band was to play off mainstream pop in a sarcastic way. We would try to make the catchiest songs possible. For the second and the third record that wasn’t the case, the second was lonely and inside itself. Now it’s just what’s coming out naturally. We gained a lot of fans on the last record because they sensed we were just a band doing what we wanted to do.
And you’re still doing that?
Touring ‘Congratulations’ was one of the most trying and stressful years I can remember. I don’t feel that constant strain or self conscious nervous insecurity as much now. There’s not a constant sensation that everything’s wrong. I don’t wanna preach a certain message or pretentious lesson, but I do think people will react really positively to it. Everyone we’ve played it to, including the label, is really excited. I really doubt we’ll have to react defensively to what we’ve done, like last time. We know we’re happy.
Andrew didn’t really know where he was when we phoned, “I am in Tribeca I guess”
Recent surgery on a dislocated shoulder meant Andrew is unable to play guitar. “I’m studying YouTube videos to see what singers do,” he saidhttp://mamacolive.com/thefly/feature/general/1019628/mgmt-in-the-studio/