Artists for Peace Members of Arcade Fire brought the house -- or at least the…
- Posted on Apr 4th 2011 2:30PM by Nancy Dunham
"I never wrote on an acoustic guitar before. I bought the guitar about four years ago," he tells Spinner. "I had old, crappy nylon string ones before. But I bought this guitar, fell in love with it and fell in love with playing it as I wrote for the new record. It was really just fun. I'd sit around with friends, drink wine and just keep playing, playing, playing."
That wasn't the only difference in the way the duo wrote the songs for this album. Although Mosshart and Hince shared the songs they were writing, it was more happenstance because of the physical distance between them.
"The way we both write songs is we're in the same place but we're both in different rooms where we can't hear each other and writing at the same time," Mosshart told Spinner in March. "Then we meet up and play each other what we're doing, and then there's a response. It didn't seem that weird to me writing in a hotel room halfway across the world because I would just see him and show him stuff when I saw him."
Although Hince didn't have any preconceived notions about the direction of the upcoming album, which he says "came together gradually," the songs 'Satellite' and 'Don't Own the Road' gave him an idea of how he wanted to shape the music.
"I really didn't have to sit down and write songs," he says of the process. "I worked on [ideas] that were already there. Alison was off on tour with Dead Weather so I had a lot of time coming up on stuff on my own. I wanted it to have some kind of dark, musical sound. I used a lot of low, low end on that. I wanted it to sound like dancehall music."
Credit that direction to Hince's fondness for Roxy Music.
"I love that whole multi-layered thing," he says. "At first glance, the Kills seem the opposite of that. But I was digging out a Mellotron and using different sounds. After four records, you get tired of what guitars sound like."
The one thing that Hince hadn't tired of was Mosshart's vocals. Although her time with the Dead Weather was a positive, giving her what Hince calls "a voice much stronger and more confidence vocally," that was a bit of a double-edged sword.
"For me, I like the vulnerable side of her voice," he says. "I don't just like the loud rock voice. To me, using that is almost like cheating. I like the vulnerability in her voice, when it cracks and wavers on words. If anything, Dead Weather made me want to steer [the Kills' sound] away from rock. I didn't want this to be a straight rock record."
Although he praises the Dead Weather, Hince says there are other aspects to the band he isn't keen to adopt, such as the long world tours on which he says Mosshart thrives.
"She adores being on the road, and I was going through a period when I was really enjoying my life [off the road]," he says. "I can do 14 or 15 months on the road, but when they keep adding and adding to the end and you're out there 20 months, you go crazy. You phone home and tell your girlfriend away another month or two months and it's suicide.
"I love playing, but you get to the point, if you have a good life fulfilled elsewhere, that you notice 23 hours of doing nothing every day and it starts to really gets to you. But performing makes me do this. I love, love, love it. But I am envious of bands in the 1960s, when they had world tours that lasted four months."