Lostprophets interview (2006) - part two

Ian and Jamie of Lostprophets

Ian, Jamie and Stuart on working with Bob Rock.

Last updated: 21 November 2008

Bob Rock has worked with Bon Jovi, Metallica, Motley Crue, Skid Row and many other huge bands. What did he bring to the recording process?

Jamie Oliver: By going with Bob Rock you know what you're getting; you don't go to Bob Rock if you want scuzzy guitars and an indie sound. He said that from the offset - whatever this album's going to sound like, it's going to sound huge.

Stuart Richardson: I remember arguing with him at one point and said, can we make that guitar sound scruffier? And he was like, 'Why? I'm Bob Rock!' He said, 'if you wanna do that, go and record in your attic or something!'

JO: The biggest thing that Bob brought to the record was the trimming down process. We wrote 35, 40 songs for this record and they were diverse. I think what Bob did was take the stronger songs and pull them all together to make a much more coherent record.

In the past, we've been a bit guilty of, 'ooh let's do a song a bit like this, or like that' and nobody can really identify who we are or what we're about. He wanted to produce a record which you could press play at any point in the record and know it's the same band.

Is there a definite plan to move from rock radio in America to Top 40?

JO: We held off going to Top 40 radio in America for the last album, because we wanted to try and maintain a good solid fanbase. People are even more temperamental in the States than they are over here; they'll support a band and go to the show and then forget about them next month!

So we wanted to be more like the bands who could go on tour because ultimately we want to be touring band you know - we want to go and play these venues and have a consistent turn out. That's the environment we love to be in and that's where our strength is I think.

I think this time around, there are songs that could maybe cross over but then it's not the focus. We still have to get a really good fanbase in the US anyway, but there are songs on here which are more likely to go top 40.

Have you thought about what singles might come off the album?

JO: We haven't thought about singles too much yet. We've had a bit of feedback from people around us. It's nice now because when the record's out, if there's something we think should be a single then suddenly we get all this feedback from everyone else that there's another song that's better, then we'll go that way. I'd rather we worked that way...

SR: We're not going to stick by our guns going no, no, no!

JO: We don't claim to have a crystal ball on these things!

SR: We're pretty adamant though that the next single's going to be A Town Called Hypocrisy. As a band, we think that should be the next single. I could be talking out of my rectum again though!

JO: You never know what might happen. Maybe someone will pick up on another song. In the US, they just pick up on songs off the record and play them, and sometimes it catches fire. We'd be stupid to ignore feedback, know what I mean?

It's a pretty short album, so were you adhering to the rule that an album should be short and direct?

SR: Yeah, I wanted 10 tracks not 12! In and out! When you're in pre-production, you just see what songs blossom, they make themselves obvious. We sat down for a week with Bob and he sat there and for the first time we had an outside opinion on your songs.

That's when we really started realising which ones are good and which ones are bad, because you'll be playing a song, thinking this is awesome and he's like... [makes a strange raspberry-gargling noise]

All the songs we wrote are going to be b-sides in their super-rough, demo format. I think it's cool because then people get to hear what we sound like before met Bob Rock and where we were. We'll always give demos of the songs in their original format. If we don't release them, we'll put them on MySpace.

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