Interview with producer Joe Chiccarelli. He breaks down each song on the record. Interview with Radio.com excerpt: Click on link for full article.
Chiccarelli was enthused about the project and happy to talk about the behind-the-scenes story about each song. Whereas artists may sometimes burn out on this sort of interview, lower profile team members like Chiccarelli aren’t interviewed as often, leading to (perhaps) more detail than you’d get in an interview with the Mozzer himself. Read on.
“World Peace is None of Your Business” We were recording in February, and the Ukraine was just exploding; the importance of the song was really evident to everybody. After I heard it for the first time, I thought, “Bravo, Moz.” With a lot of the rhythms, he was very specific. Matt Walker really understands him, and Matt will come up with parts. And the guitar solo on the song is outrageous, it’s wonderful. The first time Jesse played it, it was like, “Wow!” We probably spent a day per song on tracking. A typical day was: we’d all have breakfast together, come in at 11:00, we’d get the band in the studio, do guide vocals and build the song. By dinner time — 8:00 p.m. or whatever — we would have something that was close to the framework of the song.
“Neal Cassidy Drops Dead” Gustavo had the basic feel of the song in his demo, with those big rock guitars. That weird sort of washing machine sound that comes in at the end, that was part of his demo. I was fascinated with how he took Gus’s demo and turned it into this song about the Beat poets. I jokingly called the part about “babies with rabies,” “the rap section.” Moz looked at me and said, “It’s not really rap.” He’s very quick-witted, he’s very colorful. But I thought of the “babies/rabies” thing as a poem. If you come from the punk rock school, it’s about pushing the limits and seeing what you can get away with. He’s a master of words, he’s a novelist more than anything.
“I’m Not a Man” He wanted the rhythms to sound “thuggish,” as he put it. He wanted it brutal. I thought, “We have to bust out of this groove at some point, and have some release!” All those intro pieces, all those sound effects pieces, those were all his design. I suggested that we trim down the amount of time in the intro before “I’m Not a Man.” He said, “No, it’s fine.” He would come up with concepts for the instruments that he wanted. Regarding the lyrics: my personal opinion is: there are a lot of stupid things that we do in the name of “manhood.” I have to tell you, I remember when we cut that track and hearing those words for the first time, I almost cried. I thought, “No one has ever said this in such a bold way.” I was blown away by that song. That might be my personal favorite on the record. As producer, there were plenty of times where I was like, “Moz, can’t we cut the intro down, this song is seven minutes long!” Or, “Couldn’t we change the beat here?” All those are things that you think of as a record producer, because you want to invite as many into the music as possible. Part of the job is: you’re acting as a fan, but at the same time you’re acting as the most objective, removed person possible. At the same time, I felt like, “This is so powerful, that perhaps the consistent beat almost becomes invisible, and keeps you more focused on the lyric, and it makes the song all the more important.” Honestly, it took me a little bit of time to warm up to the issues that I had with the track but now, I get it. I get the intention. Part of this job is, I have to trust the artist. There’s no point in me working with an artist if I can’t (1) buy into their vision, and go along with and help them execute that vision and (2) have the trust that vision is the right thing for them as an artist, and that it will be something that people will want to hear. Obviously an artist like this has a track record, so with him, it’s about “OK, how can I make this the most interesting recordings possible.” As the songs started to evolve, and I noticed the theatricality of them all, I realized I had to basically add the flavors. I had to add the colors that the songs demanded, in some cases I had to make them stark.
I admit that my introduction to Jobriath was simply the result of being a Morrissey fan. Speaking of his influence in interviews, curating a Jobriath compilation (Lonely Planet Boy 2004), listing Jobriath's first album as one of his top thirteen favorite albums of all time and most recently mentioning him numerous times in Autobiography. I was of course interested. Listening to Jobriath as someone who was born the same year as his infamous and not well recieved NYC promotional blitz for his second album, it's hard to imagine how someone of such immense talent was overlooked. Taking in the stripped down and piano solo version of I'maman, it's breathtaking and heartbreaking that he did not get his due. Half of the songs on this album recorded in an impromtu session in 1971 with just him on piano drives the point home even further. He was an incredible musician. Hopefully this release will bring more attention and give Jobriath his place as one of the great glam rock avant-garde artists of his time.
Morrissey's new album, World Peace Is None of Your Business, has been provisionally set for late June/early July release worldwide by Harvest Records thru Capitol. Morrissey is said to be " beyond ecstatic " with the album, all 12 tracks of which were produced by Joe Chiccarelli in France. Via TrueToYou.net
May 7 San Jose CA City National Civic Auditorium May 10 Los Angeles CA Los Angeles Sports Arena May 13 El Paso TX Plaza Theater May 14 Albuquerque NM Sunshine Theater May 16 Salt Lake City UT Kingsbury Hall May 17 Denver CO Ellie Caulkins Opera House May 19 Lincoln NE Rococo Theatre May 20 Lawrence KS Liberty Hall May 22 Dallas TX Majestic Theatre May 24 Austin TX Austin Music Hall May 25 Beaumont TX Julie Rogers Theatre May 27 Memphis TN Orpheum Theatre May 28 Nashville TN Ryman Auditorium May 30 St Petersburg FL Mahaffey Theater May 31 Miami FL Knight Concert Hall June 4 Atlanta GA Cobb Energy Center June 6 Atlantic City NJ Revel Ovation Hall June 7 Boston MA Boston Opera House June 10 Baltimore MD Meyerhoff Symphony Hall June 13 Chicago IL Civic Opera House June 14 Flint MI James Whiting Auditorium June 16 Lewiston NY Artpark Main Stage Theater June 17 Wilmington DE Grand Opera House June 19 Hershey PA Hershey Theatre June 21 New York NY Barclays Center Arena
Tickets for all dates on sale Friday 21st February.
With the exciting news of Morrissey having a record deal, on the heels of a successful book, and the promise of new tour dates in 2014..thought it was a good time to get back to this blog. I've been busy with life and all that goes with it but I'm going to make an effort to jump back in and see if we can start where we left off. Let's go!
Although Morrissey's Autobiography was set to be available throughout the UK on September 16th, a last-minute content disagreement between Penguin Books and Morrissey has caused the venture to collapse. No review copies were printed, and Morrissey is now in search of a new publisher.
I am informed today that the projected tour of South America is snuffed out, thus euthanized - due, I’m reliably advised, to lack of funding. It’s quite easy to sell tickets, yet impossible to transport band and crew from F to G.
In a year when far too many disappointments have been buried this really is the last of many final straws, and I am not alone in feeling this. The future is suddenly absent, and my apologies are now so frequent as to be somewhat ridiculous, and it is I who apologize because no one else would bother. It is agonizing to be responsible for imparting such news - especially when it springs upon me unexpectedly and inexplicably. But the collapse of South America rings the curtain down with a colossal thud, and the major problems remain as insoluble now as they were in 2009. The obvious conclusion stares back at me from the mirror, and the wheels are finally off the covered wagon. Cancellations and illness have sucked the life out of all of us, and the only sensible solution seems to be the art of doing nothing.
As always I ask your pardon, and I offer pangs of overwhelming love and gratitude to the band and the crew, whose loyalty stretched above and beyond.
I shall see you in my dreams,
19 July 2013, Los Angeles