The View’s highly anticipated 5th studio album, titled Ropewalk, is due out on Cooking Vinyl June 8th 2015. As a warm up to that the band recently hit the road for a short tour on which Louder Than War’s Harry Mulligan caught up with them for a chat.
The View are ten years old in 2015, and they have just completed their fifth studio album, Ropewalk with Albert Hammond Jr from The Strokes and Gus Oberg (engineer on The Strokes’s Angles LP) . It may seem like yesterday since these rag-tag Dundee rockers stormed onto the vibrant London scene that was dominated by The Libertines. However, these lads have been through their own private struggles and emerged intact, still rocking like a big dog and demonstrating that they are not going anywhere soon, except maybe back on road.
Can I get a Hell Yeah?
Hell yeah, hope I can!
Louder Than War had the opportunity to talk to Kyle Falconer (guitar / vocals) and Kieren Webster (bass) prior to their spectacular show at KOKO in London.
Harry Mulligan: After all this time, are you still having fun?
Kieren: Yeah, definitely! We’re just having the craic on tour and that. Just canny wait to get back on the road, ay?
Kyle: Yeah, it’s been a while, the last time we toured, must have been before last Christmas. We’ve just been recording and taking a year out, but we prefer touring.
Kieren: You see some bands and they do it for the money and that.
What’s it been like working with Albert Hammond and Gus Oberg (The Strokes)
Kyle: Brilliant, we kind of had all our songs, ready to go. We had about fifteen tunes ready to go, rehearsed up, and he didn’t want to do them. So he picked all the strange ones. I went; ‘Ah fuck, you’re joking man!’ It was a bit weird like, he was dead regimental as well, brilliant.
Kieren: He’s a really funny guy, both of them, brilliant guys. They picked songs we wouldn’t expect, but it was cool. It’s a good thing.
Kyle: and they dinnae drink a lot, so we weren’t drinking a lot either. Normally we waste a lot of time in the studio, getting bevvied up, but we never did that this time. We were focused.
So what kind of pre-production regime did they have, was it like Bootcamp?
Kyle: No, he was supposed to be coming over to Glasgow to our rehearsal room, but he couldn’t make it, so he threw us right into the deep-end. A lot of the tracks we built them on together.
Kieren: I think he preferred not doing a lot of pre-production so he could manipulate the tunes. We definitely gave him more control than we ever gave any other producer. In the past we’ve been like: ‘We want to do these songs and we want to do them like this!’
So where did you do the tracking?
Kyle: Hamburg. Cloud Seven. I think it was like meeting in the middle, on middle ground. We weren’t going to New York, so that was closer.
Where did you Master it?
Kyle: It got Mastered in Nashville…
Kieren: But we weren’t there for the Mastering, and we weren’t there for the mixing either.
So what brought about this drift out of your comfort zone, and this flirtation with more Funky stuff?
Kyle: Well we were thinking that we were having a year out because normally we tour non-stop. So we were kind of trying to do something different, therefore we brought in Albert Hammond.
Kieren: It was sort of the main criteria; to do something different. We wanted it to sound totally different.
So it sounds like you came into the Sessions with these fifteen or sixteen compositions, and they didn’t want to use them. Where did the other sixteen compositions come from?
Kieren: They were on phones and stuff. You know, just bits of melody!
Bits of melody, really? And lyrics?
Kyle: I’d be like: ‘Listen to this, I really like this!’
Is that how you ended up doing more funky stuff?
Kyle: Yeah, because the thing with that kind of stuff on it, wasn’t originally recorded like that, it was recorded without the beat, and Mo would kind of put the beat on it, and would go ‘that would go well with that’ then we’d go ‘Well we need a chorus for it, so… !’
This first single: ‘Marriage’, is that indicative of any life events that we don’t know about?
Kyle: Nah, that was two different songs, it was hard to tell what it was about, so we ended up using bits and pieces, and loads of different songs I had; the lyrics: ‘You’re so pretty you don’t have to turn the stove on!’. and: ‘You walk in the room and the water begins to boil!’ That was two different things from TV shows and something I read somewhere, and putting them together. It was taken from this old film about slavery or something and went (in a Southern drawl): ‘She’s so purty, she won’t have to turn the stove on…!’ and I got the other thing from bits and pieces I’d been writing down. So, I had to write all the lyrics on the spot, that was the whole thing with the ‘Marriage’ song, and we had to put that together. It was a bit strange doing it and thinking eventually: ‘well that makes sense!’
Kieren, how come nobody has managed to Kill Kyle?
Kyle: The thing is, I was sitting in Owen Morris and I started and he’s going: ‘I would love to kill you Kyle!’ and just joking, and we go: ‘Oh we must record it!’ so we recorded it, it was funny.
It’s no secret that you have been through the Wars, how come you are still around?
Kieren: Well, we’ve been mates from school and that, so our friendships go right back to the beginning.
Kyle: you’ll kind of get guys in bands who never grew up together, and they’re not matched, but yeah, we grew up together, so… If we wanted to get rid of someone right now, it would have happened already.
Would you say that Dundee is still your emotional bedrock?
Kyle: It’s strange and weird. When we go back to Dundee now, nobody really comes out. We’ve lived in London a long time. In London all our friends have the same jobs; artists, painters, musicians and we’re all in the same boat. But if you go back to Dundee, you see them at the weekend and that’s just if they have any money. Everybody has lives now and they’re working. Aye, we come from there, but…
What have you got planned for 2015 and thereafter?
Kyle: To do as much as we can man.
Kieren: and we’ve got other tunes that we thought were going to be on this album that weren’t. So we’re going to get out (touring) and we hope to get another album out soon. There’s a lot of tracks that weren’t on that record that need to come out!
Kyle: In a few months we’ll start recording.
What was the crowd like at The Barrowlands (Glasgow)?
Kyle: Completely, the best! I’ve never been to a Gig there that’s not off the scale, with sweat pouring from the ceiling. Heaving! Everybody that goes there, it’s kind of got this reputation to live up to.
Kieren: It’s like the best venue and it’s kind of the Star of the show. When you walk past it, its like: ‘Oh!’ It makes you want to go for a Bevvy!
Thank-up Lads; Keiron, Kyle!
K & K: Thanks!