With the release of their second album coming on the 16th June, Alt Dialogue had the opportunity to catch up with Freeze The Atlantic and chat about personnel changes, touring and the upcoming album….
Since the release of Speakeasy (the bands debut album) there’s been some personnel changes, how have Liv and Sean settled into the band?
Tom – Seamlessly! We were obviously gutted to have Jon & Chris go, but Liv & Sean have not just simply picked up where those guys left off, they’ve each added their own unique style, ideas and personality to the band, which is awesome!
Sean – Pretty easily really! I knew the guys before and it was a pretty smooth transition, though they made me sweat in the audition; they told me there were other people trying out and that I needed to push the boat out so I learnt all 13 songs in a few days before the audition – turns out they hadn’t asked anyone else! But it’s been great getting settled and getting involved in writing the new album.
How did the personnel changes impact upon the recording of the album, did you face any difficulties?
Liv – Pretty much all the songs on this album were written and demoed by the current line up prior to going into the studio so the recording process was a relatively smooth experience due to the fact that we had the songs crafted, polished, tried and tested before we recorded them properly.
Sean – To be honest, because the changes happened fairly soon after the first album was finished, it was essentially the new line-up that worked on Album 2 from the start (with the exception of 1 or 2 songs) so we all knew what we wanted from the songs.
You seem to have taken it up another notch on the new album (in terms of song writing and quality), it seems heavier but it still retains the glorious hooks. Was this a concerted effort when writing the album or something that came naturally?
Tom – Firstly, it’s nice of you to say. Secondly, we just wanted to write the best songs we could for this record. They were organically coming out heavier, but we worked really hard on the writing to try to achieve a balance of ‘full-on rock’ and choruses that you’ll remember in a hurry.
Liv – I guess the arrival of Sean and myself to the fold inevitably brought change to FTA. Different people bring different influences and dynamics to a band. We’re all songwriters and each brought songs to the table, which we then worked together until everyone was happy. The songs evolved very organically to how they sound now, we never had a set plan or formula, which tends to get in the way of creativity in my opinion. Maybe we’ll write a reggae album next time, although highly unlikely!
Sean – Thanks, it’s great to hear that there’s been a progression! I think it was inevitable that the sound would grow – the first album was mainly written by 1 or 2 people, so there was always going to be this expansion when you have more people working on the songs. A few of the tracks were ones that I was going to use in a side project and it seemed they would fit the style of the new album more so it was great to be able to use those! But we didn’t set out a template for the album; we didn’t write some mission statement saying “Album 2 must be heavier or more expansive” – you should always be looking to build on what you’ve done before.
How was working with Peter Miles (producer of the new album)? Did his approach contribute to the bigger sound?
Tom – Working with Pete was wicked. He knows his mics and his room so well, he definitely contributed to the bigger sound!
Liv – Definitely. Pete has a great set up at Middle Farm Studios, which is basically a converted barn with most excellent acoustics. We tracked the drums and guitars there with as many ambient mics as we could, which gives the album that huge sound. Pete also has a huge array of amps and bizarre pedals which gave us the opportunity to experiment a bit with tones and effects.
What kind of stuff were you guys listening to during the recording of the album? What are your biggest influences?
Tom – For me, it was probably Dinosaur Pile Up, Bon Iver and Say Anything (all of which are influences for me).
Liv – Dinosaur Pile Up, Young Legionnaire and Mojo Fury amongst others are bands I was listening to a lot during the writing and recording process. Biggest influences ever for me are Rival Schools, Biffy, Reuben, HR, Soundgarden, Thrice, the list goes on.
Sean – I was trying to mix it up a lot in terms of dynamics – so on the one hand, Anamanaguchi, Johnny Foreigner and 65daysofstatic – the other hand was bands like Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan! Also a band called ‘Nice Hooves’ from Detroit – check that record out! Incredible band and more people need to hear them. I personally find it important to listen to a range of things over the recording process; otherwise you find you’ll end up subconsciously working towards a particular sound.
Do you have any favourite tracks from the new album? Hectares and Like Gravity are personal favourites.
Tom – Stompbox, Welcome Back To Nibelheim & Bound.
Liv – Stompbox, Train Robbery, Spark and Taxidermy are my favourites if I had to choose.
Sean – Welcome Back to Nibelheim, There is a Spark and Occams Razor.
You’re currently on tour promoting the release of the new album, how’s it going? How have you found the reaction to the new material?
Tom – The reaction to the new stuff has been mind-blowingly positive & the tour has been awesome! Layers have been amazing every night & are ace guys to boot!
Finishing on a high, how excited are you about getting the album out to the masses and what’s the plan for Freeze The Atlantic for the rest of the year?
Tom – Very excited indeed, and we plan to tour again in June with Attention Thieves!, play some festivals in the summer and potentially hit the road again in October this year!
Sean – Hugely excited – with the first album there was always an element of wondering if people were into FTA solely for the Reuben/HR connection – so with this 2nd album it’s really a statement of intent and we’d love to hear what people think because we’re all really proud of what we’ve made. We’ll be touring with Attention Thieves! at the end of June and hitting a few festivals – rest assured we’ll be trying to get out there as much as possible.
Freeze The Atlantic is released on the 16th June, keep your eyes peeled for a review on Alt Dialogue in the next couple of days, and watch the video for Stompbox below.
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