Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Cut Off Your Hands Interview with frontman Nicholas Johnston
Quickly gaining notable attention, New Zeland's own Cut Off Your Hands have released their sophomore effort, "Hollow," via Frenchkiss Records. The self-produced album has already received praise from numerous publications, including a short feature in SPIN magazine and solid feedback from Rolling Stone. I had the chance to ask COYH front man Nick Johnston a few album specific questions, as well as hear his opinions on social networking and words of wisdom for new indie bands...
Before writing and recording "Hollow," did you guys sit down and discuss the direction you wanted to take the album?
Johnston: Not particularly with writing, as I wrote a lot of this stuff isolated from the rest of the band, and Brent and Phil worked similarly so there was no point of 'hey we need to make THIS type of album' however in coming to record, which is a much more collaborative process. We were conscious of the sounds we were wishing to achieve for sure. The main conscious decisions made were focused on creating this record fast; I didn't want to spend hours considering drum sounds before or after recording so I limited Brent's drum kit to just 2 snare options, and likewise with guitars. I told Jono our guitarist that the 2 of us would have 3 amps between us and from those amps we got all the main sounds on the record. We just couldn't afford to take too much time, we had a week to record and that was all so economy of choice was key.
Johnston: Partly due to the money factor, but also as I touched on in the last answer it's the ability to just make the record fast that I liked about the process. I get so frustrated with how long everything takes in 'studios'. You spend all day getting things like desks fired up and mics placed and just when you feel like you're ready to record the engineer or producer needs to get lunch or go home and pick up the kids or whatever. I like being in control, working as late as we wanted and as quick as we needed.
Where did you get the idea to make the album yourself?