Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Jun 16th 2010 10:00AM by Mike Ayers
After 20-plus years together, Teenage Fanclub benefit from having three prominent songwriters in the group, and 'Shadows' continues that tradition, where Blake, Gerard Love and Raymond McGinley hash things out, making it so each has to only contribute a few songs each.
"It's a very natural process of just going around the table," McGinley tells Spinner. "We make a decision conceptually that we're going to make a record and then we meet up and start work. We don't use demos or anything. We just sit around a rehearsal room together and say, 'OK, who's going to go first?'"
You'd think such a process could get sticky, since rock 'n' rollers are notorious for having big egos, but that isn't the case for these veterans. "We approach each others' stuff where we'll try and help if we have an idea," McGinley says. "We wouldn't say, 'Have you thought of doing this instead?' It's more of a smaller level, where it's the beat or groove, not the whole idea. We just support the idea. If we say, 'That's good, but ... ' it's that 'but' that's the downer."
'Shadows' is the group's first album since 2005's 'Man-Made,' with standouts being the driving guitar solos during 'Into the City,' the tender piano ballad 'Dark Clouds' and the pedal steel-lined closer, 'Today Never Ends.' Along with great pop hooks, there's also a diverse sonic thread running through the arrangements to keep things interesting.
For McGinley's songs -- 'The Fall,' 'The Past,' 'Live With the Seasons' and 'Today Never Ends' -- he says that the ideas just trickle in over time, where experience overshadows any sort of forced songwriting practices. "It all tends to come from the most fragmented impressions overall," he says. "In order to do something, you have to give yourself something to do. Sometimes you come up with ideas without explaining them too explicitly. Even watching TV or looking out the window, the musical creativity part comes from the unconscious mind. You have to just let it flow."
'Shadows' is out now on Merge Records.