- Fri, 2006-07-14 01:00
Every once in a while a band emerges fully formed, that fulfils a dream no-one even realized they had. A band who are spookily, synchronically of the moment, but who also transcend it, slightly glazed eyes already on where they're going next. A band who simply strap on, plug in and give out but manage to do so with an uncanny pop universalism. Razorlight is such a band and one of I Like Music’s favourite bands in the world.
Formed in the Summer of 2002 by Londoner Johnny Borrell and Swedish ex-pat' Björn Ågren, rehearsals produced immediate sparks, and with the addition of drummer Christian Smith-Pancorvo (now replaced by Andy Burrows) and Ågren's old pal Carl Dalemo on bass, their first recordings were made by their manager on a video camera. Four years later and they’ve not only conquered the UK with debut album Up All Night going double platinum, they played a corker of a set at Live 8, played sell out shows in New York and blew apart Texas at the legendary South By South West Music Festival.
This year sees them release a new album, Razorlight, with new single, In The Morning released July 3rd, before they play V Festival, and head off on tour in October/November. We caught up with Carl Dalemo (bass, backing vocals) to find out about the new album, new single and playing Live 8.
'' I like music because… It’s the main very big part of my life. And it’s hard for me to understand how people can go on without really listening to music or being interested in it, whatever it might be. If you’re really into Britney Spears, she’ll mean a lot to you and help you out in whatever situation. It’s just something that needs to be there the whole time. It’s like that Almost Famous interview… it’s the start of everything!'' Carl, Razorlight
ILM: Your fantastic single, In The Morning is out on Monday. We think it’s another superb and unique song. Can you give us your own personal description of it?
Carl: It’s the first song we recorded, it’s one of the oldest new songs, it’s been around for like two years, and it’s the first song we recorded, and the first song on the album and the first single. And it fits all of those because it feels quite Razorlight to me and it’s quite upbeat and happy and the drums you can just get straight into the song so it’s a perfect opener. It’s a good single for the summer. I’m really happy with it personally, we all are, the whole album actually, but that song is a bit special because it’s what we started.
ILM: You’re doing a midnight signing just after midnight on Monday Morning, so you’ll be Up All Night and signing In The Morning, so your songs are in context with your life. Do you enjoy meeting the fans and mini in store gigs?
Carl: Maybe we should have called the album In The Morning. Unfortunately we’re not playing because it’s too late so they won’t let us. I think we might be doing some acoustic stuff and signings. Obviously you meet your fans and people who like us, but it’s a bit of a weird environment; you meet them in a shop and sign stuff! But it’s always nice to meet people.
ILM: You’re such passionate performers, which is what I love about you guys. You lose yourself in the music and are different for each show. What emotions do you feel on stage? Also, how was Live 8?
Carl: It’s definitely my favourite part of being in a band – playing live, because it’s just fun. Obviously sometimes you can be pissed off or really happy or whatever, it’s passionate, because you’re right in the middle of the music somehow, like the nucleus, when we play it on stage and the music is all around you and it’s coming from us but its everywhere. I just like it and obviously as a music fan I like to go and see gigs, but listening to records is probably more fun than recording them, I don’t know, but I love playing live. And we’ve got quite a lot of that coming up in the next year.
Live 8 was quite different because we were allocated only ten minutes, so we tried to squeeze as much as we could in to those ten minutes, Johnny started doing something acoustic didn’t he? And then we did Golden Touch and Somewhere Else and a short version of In The City if I remember it correctly.
ILM: And a huge audience too!
Carl: Yeah, but it’s weird because with only ten minutes it was over before it had started in one sense; it was too quick for me to take it all in.
ILM: You’ll have to get the DVD soak it all up.
Carl: I don’t have it actually, I haven’t seen it. Maybe I’m a bit scared of seeing it.
ILM: Well it was awesome so you’ll have to put it on your Chrimbo list.
ILM: Your new album is out in a couple of weeks. How’s recording it been and which track did you have the most fun recording in the studio?
Carl: The whole album was quite easy to record. Obviously it was a bit stressful near the end when we had to finish it. But it was quite enjoyable the whole thing. In The Morning we recorded first and that was really easy, we did that in the day, and then we did a few other songs, like Fall To Pieces, Who Needs Love. So its ten songs and we did it over four months. We probably could have done it a bit quicker, but it was quite a good time, we had some good recording sessions.
The first album was really weird and split up, we recorded half of it first, and then recorded it again, and then again over nine months on and off. But I think this is how albums should be recorded really, to be just there every day recording music.
ILM: And you’ve had such huge success with Up All Night going double platinum, soon to be triple platinum. As well as being a kind of musical mechanic by taking things apart, seeing how they work and putting them back together, you write shed loads, amazing lyrics and brilliant story-telling. So, can you describe the Razorlight process of making frankly fucking awesome music please?
Carl: Johnny writes songs the whole time, and we’re all being quite creative. But what we did with this album, when we finished all the touring last summer, we had a month off or something and then we just spent the rest of the year, the last three months, in the rehearsal studio and that’s where we basically wrote the album. If someone wrote anything they brought it in and we started playing it together and sort of made a Razorlight song out of it. It was sort of like our job then, five days a week we just went there everyday and tried to write good songs. So in that sense we were very well prepared when we actually went in to record the album, because we knew more or less how to play all the songs which made the recording process much easier.
And also Andy wasn’t on the first album. So for me as a bass player to play with him as the drummer is brilliant and we have a very good relationship.
ILM: Please tell me your favourite tune that makes you instantly chilled out?
Carl: Maybe The Only Living Boy In New York by Simon & Garfunkel. That’s a very good song.