The Liam Gallagher-fronted five-piece's second studio album, 'BE', is out now and reviewed here.
Beady Eye are interviewed at length in the new issue of Clash – available here – but below we've chopped-and-slopped a wee excerpt. Because we're nice like that.
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What were your initial ideas for what the second album would be?
Liam: We demoed all the songs that are on this album, and they were good; we could have gone in and made it like that and it would have been stuck in that ’60s kinda rut – but I like that kind of thing. So it would have still been good, but I guess it would have been ‘Different Gear, Still Speeding Part Two’, you know what I mean? We’re always up for a bit of change – we’re always up for doing something different – but until it’s in front of your face and your ears, it’s hard to tell what you want to do. So with [previous producer] Dave Sardy, Scott, our new manager, he said, "Look, you don’t want to go in with the normal producer, you’ve got to go with someone who’s a little bit out of your comfort zone." I went, "Cool. Let’s f*ckin’ check it out."
The first day I met [Dave Sitek] was in the studio. I liked a bit of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs – I’ve never really heard much about his band (TV On The Radio) – and then he just started f*ckin’ playing us what he’d done to [the demo of] ‘Flick Of The Finger’. I thought, "F*ckin’ yes." It had a dark and menacing edge to it that we didn’t have. And then when he got ‘Soul Love’ out, he’d started putting all these atmospherics on it and cosmic f*ckin’ shit – ambient stuff that we wouldn’t normally do. So that’s when we thought, "Yeah, this is it, man."
How do you define what a Beady Eye song is?
Liam: A Beady Eye song has got to have attitude, it’s got to have a great melody, great chords – you’ve got to be able to play it on acoustic, you know what I mean? That’s how I measure a good song: if you can f*ckin’ sit there and strum it on the acoustic guitar in your house to your dogs and it still sounds good, then that’s the sound of a good song. Then once you put all the other shit on it, then obviously it gets better, I guess.
Andy: At the beginning of the demo session we were like, "Let’s direct ourselves at a cross between [George Harrison’s] ‘Wonderwall Music’ soundtrack and ‘All Things Must Pass’." We had a sort of orchestral Simon and Garfunkel epicness.
Gem: Yeah, Liam was banging on about Simon and Garfunkel a lot, but what we actually wanted from the lyrics and the melodies was just real strong songs, man. Emotion, directness, vulnerability, hope, broken hearts, paranoia; the usual kind of adult emotions that you pick up.
Andy: With the first album we would have been saying, "Right, we need rock ‘n’ roll. It needs to be lairy, lean and mean. We don’t want to have any indulgent bits on it – not too many guitar solos – we just want it to be arranged to play the fuck out of live." So that was the message there. The message now was more like a bit of headspace. Dave saw that in the tunes and he brought a whole lot of ambience to it as well that we wouldn’t have got near without him. Dave added the ambience, the chaos, the invention, the questioning – we questioned every tune on the day. We came out with an amazing record that at times is space rock, other times is ambient, at times it is like Hawkwind, and at other times it’s like Oasis or Beady Eye’s first album; it kind of runs through the whole spectrum.
Read the full interview in the new issue of Clash, out now
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Interview: Simon Harper
Magazine photography: Neil Bedford
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