One great thing about achieving overnight international success is the demands you can suddenly make, from elaborate tour riders to the producer of your next record. Now we don’t know what crazy items The Subways ask for in their dressing rooms these days but we definitely recognise the chap they’ve drafted in to oversee their second album.
It’s Butch Vig, the brains behind Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’, notably, and seminal albums by The Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, and his own band, Garbage. Slightly surreally, it was actually Butch who initially requested an audience with The Subways.
“We met him a couple of years ago when we were touring America,” recalls frontman Billy Lunn. “At the last show in LA, where he’s based, we were waiting on the bus five minutes before we were about to go on stage, and our manager came on the bus and said, “Hey, Butch Vig wants to say hello, and we were like, “What? No fucking way!””
Thankfully Lunn quickly regained his composure and played Vig a couple of demos, which the distinguished decksmith dug. When it came to selecting a producer for album number two they tried out a long list of big names (“pretty much all their ideas sucked,” says Lunn), and eventually decided to work that connection. They popped over to New York, re-bonded with Butch, and found themselves in LA’s Conway Studio with him a few months later. It’s been quite an experience.
“The record sounds stupidly good, because of what Butch did for us,” gushes Lunn. “He’s done and seen so much, you sort of feel not worthy. But he’s actually a really disarming character, genuinely one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. It was perfect.”
The album ‘All Or Nothing’ will be out in June, and The Subways will test it out on tour throughout March and April. They can’t wait.