Gus Stewart, Redferns Noah and the Whale had already been offstage for a few…
- Posted on Mar 21st 2011 4:00PM by Melody Lau
Kristian Dowling, Getty Images
"There's no whistling, it's whistle-free!" lead singer Charlie Fink tells Spinner of their third album. "I think the new record's going to surprise people -- it's Noah and the Whale like you've never heard before."
Along with a lack of whistling, the band decided to flip the script and wrote the entire record from a third person narrative, something Fink found "very liberating."
"It's impossible to write without being personal, but you can do it without so much writing about your own life," Fink says. "You can take these characters and spin them in any direction you want."
An example would be the band's smash single 'L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.' -- the tale of an aged nightclub dancer and a lonely writer.
"Some songs you write in five minutes, some songs you write in five months -- that was just a song that happened really naturally," Fink explains. "Two months into writing the new album, all the songs were sounding like '70s rock songs, and I wanted to try something different so I went in there and demoed that song."
The album, as Fink says, expresses a "type of urgency" and focuses in on the theme of youth and the idea that "somewhere out there there's something happening."
"It's the urgency of living your life like it's your last night on earth," says Fink. "But it also has that thing of 'this is what happened last night.'"
This method of writing still proved to be personal for Fink, but in a different way.
"It can be difficult because I think you have to be sympathetic to the people you are creating," he notes.
Fink drew from some of his favourite artists (Tom Waits, Lou Reed) when recording 'Last Night on Earth' at Bethnal Green Great Synagogue in London. But the band eventually needed a change in scenery and moved to L.A. to work with producer Jason Lader.
"It's a natural progression, obviously!" Fink jokes about trading the synagogue for the City of Angels.
"We started out there because it was a cool place, it was a huge room that was big enough, and we can make a lot of noise together there. But we ended up going to L.A. because of Jason Lader, who co-produced the album. He did a bunch of cool records like Jay-Z and he also did Julian Casablancas' album last year and I really liked the sonics on that."
'Last Night on Earth', as Fink says, is a more upbeat record. It may not be a complete sonic departure for the band, but it's definitely their poppiest to date, according to Fink.
"I don't think people will call it folk anymore," he says. "The new record is definitely a pop record."