The drum sounds on Battlefields Forever are so ripe and full. I hear them and feel like a baby nursing life from a teet packed with milk and nutrition. And I mix it with protein powder. “Chump Chance” comes on and I become an infant wanting to pull from mommy’s dunes of life. Coady Willis spoke. They were having major van trouble about 100 miles outside Chicago.
What do you guys think about nursing? What do you think about public nursing? Were you nursed?
Willis: I don't remember. It must have left an impression though, everyone I've ever been attracted to is a mammal. Jared says he is pro public nursing and that's all he has to say about that.
Where’d you record Battlefields? How were the sessions? Anything in particular about recording that song?
We recorded Battlefields Forever at Entourage Studios in North Hollywood, CA. It was great, I felt like we really became a band during these sessions. We totally pulled together on this one. I had the drum part for “Chump Chance” for a long time, we tried writing a bunch of different bass and guitar parts for it, but had a hard time getting something that worked. I was ready to scrap it altogether, and at the last minute it clicked and we arranged it in the studio. The version that is on Battlefields Forever is the second take with that arrangement.
How did producer Dave Curran go about getting those sounds?
Dave likes to use the room. Entourage has a great live room and we put mics up by the ceiling as far away from the drums as possible. He also placed mics behind the kit, down by the floor in the corners of the room. He has a bunch of tricks that he does with compressors and EQ. I'll let him explain that in his TapeOp interview. I don't want to give away all his secrets! He uses the word saturation a lot.
How did recording Battlefields Forever differ from your previous stuff? Is there anything specific you all did differently for this one?
The main thing is having Scott Martin in the band. He has a great musical sensibility and is very layered and thoughtful when it comes to writing guitar and vocal parts. I feel like he really shed his new guy status while we made this record. There was a sense of team play while recording. We really wanted this record to stand out and worked hard to add a little something extra in all the songs.
How did Dave differ from Phil Ek? If you had to say?
We always loved recording with Phil, it was just time for us to try something different. Dave has done live sound for the Melvins for years, so he has a knack for wringing every last drop of sound out of the gear. He's also played in a lot of great bands over the years - Unsane, Player's Club, Pigs, so he kind of has a player's sense of what you want out of the sounds. But what really pushed it over the edge is Dave's ability to speak French. Have you ever heard a guy rattle off some frenchy talk with a thick Brooklyn accent? It's incredible.
In the lyrics of “Chump Chance” I hear the word gravy. But I think Jared is saying rabies. “Dragged by a horse and thrown to the wolves, WITH GRAVY.” Why “Chump Chance”? How do you all find words for your music?
This is Jared’s area. I can't tell you where he gets his ideas, only that he puts a lot of thought into the words. Writing lyrics is probably the hardest part of all. It's not easy to get something that works phonetically while not sounding totally cheesy. I've tried it, and it sucks. I'm glad he's really good at it.
Big Business plays Neumos, tomorrow night, Sunday, March 16th with the Sword and O Brother (all ages)