The War On Drugs: ‘Guitars are back, but they’re recording them differently’ – Music News

Adam Granduciel from The War on Drugs joins Hanuman Welch on the latest episode of ALT CTRL Radio on Apple Music 1 to discuss the group’s new album ‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’. Adam shares how having a child influenced the songwriting process, the magic of performing live, refining his process, and the cyclical nature of guitar music.

The War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel Tells Apple Music How Having a Child Influenced The New Album…
I think so, yeah. I mean, before this record, Shawn, my producer engineer, we would both work 20 hours, 18 hours in the studio. Like I would just be sitting on his couch for 10 hours while he was EQing and I never even thought twice about it because I was just being… I was just there. And then we both ended up having a kid at basically the same time. And so it forced both of us to kind of… We were still working long hours, but they were really focused. Yeah, it was just like when we were with the band, when we were doing live recordings, like there’s that spontaneity. Nothing can really replace that, you know? But being able to send stuff to people remotely and let them do it was a really great way to kind of like relinquish some of that control over the process. Yeah. And I think just, yeah, having a kid, I mean your sense of time changes a little bit, so. But it’s been, I mean, that’s been honestly, with the lockdown and finishing a record and being able to spend that much time with my son, I mean, it’s just such a blessing. And so it kind of rejuvenated me in terms of like having fun and remembering what this is all about, exploring sound and trying to have fun with it. And it should still kind of give me a lot of wonder, which it does. So that was actually kind of an unexpected thing that happened, but just having a two-year-old around, making a record.

The War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel Tells Apple Music About Consciously Writing More Concise Songs…
It was definitely a decision to try and write stuff that was more concise than stuff we’d done before. And I really spent basically all of 2018. We were writing a lot and then demoing and then I would go back and rewrite, maybe this could be in a different key or this could actually need to be shortened, or trying to make things really kind of direct, more direct than they had been. And just spending a lot of time on the songs and the arrangements before we kind of commit to something in the studio. Because I’ve done that part too, and you just end up kind of chasing your tail a lot. So, but I think also just having a young child and that sense of time. It’s like when me and Shawn would be working, I would kind of just have to really use the eight hours that I was going to be out of the house. So I’d be really focused and I’d know pretty much exactly what I wanted to accomplish when we were at Sound City or over at Shawn’s studio. And I would demo basically everything at home before I went over, so we could kind of just step up to the mic and have a lot of fun, you know? So kind of when you’re working on… or even “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”. Like when you’re working on something and it starts to kind of reveal itself as having potential to be… like have a big chorus or have like a big bridge or whatever, have all these movements, be like really dynamic, I never shied away from trying to go as far in that direction as possible. So I think just the kind of songs on here kind of just lend themselves to that kind of thing.

The War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel Tells Apple Music About “Victim”…
I feel like with “Victim”, it was like, we did a lot of the same techniques that I feel like got me into recording in the first place. Like made a lot of tape loops in kind of that hypnotic droning thing that kind of, you kind of start hearing all these counter melodies when you listen to the same thing over and over. And every time we worked on that song, it just kept getting better and better. We were never really in like, it was just a lot of fun the whole time to craft that thing, and kind of craft the arrangement and just keep pushing it into cooler, more hypnotic, psychedelic territory. But we still kind of had kind of a strong song behind all of it, you know? Which is, I guess on earlier records it was always like sonically cool but maybe there wasn’t a strong song. So yeah, I’m proud of all that stuff, for sure.

The War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel Tells Apple Music About The Cyclical Nature of Rock and the Continued Evolution of the Guitar…
I know obviously it’s like a cliche to talk about the death of guitar music and all that stuff, but it does feel cyclical. It feels like we’re on the upswing of one of those cyclical moments. I feel like it was just yesterday that everyone was saying it was the downswing. It’s like, time happens fast now. It’s like, everyone wants to say like rock is dead or guitar is dead, but it just keeps moving and it just keeps morphing into something new. And young kids are discovering music that I grew up with and that’s kind of influencing a whole new thing. And guitars are back, but they’re recording them differently and processing them differently. But it’s cool. It’s like, it’s awesome to hear how people are just changing the guitar, you know?

The War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel Tells Apple Music About The Power of Music…
I think one thing music always provides is hope and comfort. And even if it’s music about darker things, I think that we look to music to provide those things for us. You know, I think that I tend to write from a specific experience a lot. Which, yeah, I think there’s a hopefulness that comes with a lot of these tunes.

The War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel Tells Apple Music About The Magic of Performing Live…
I mean, you take more chances live too. It’s like you have that adrenaline going and it’s like a mix of confidence and embarrassment, you know? And you just like go for it, and then you’re like… Things change so quickly in the moment, like differently than just playing it over and over in rehearsal. Which is great too, to finally chip away at it. But live is the only place to really let it become something.

You can view the original article HERE.

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