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The View's Track By Track Guide To 'Bread And Circuses'

By NME Blog

Posted on 07 Mar 11

 
 

The View's new album 'Bread And Circuses' - their third - is due for release on Monday 14 March, but you can stream it now via the We7 player below.



Produced by Youth, 'Bread And Circuses' sees a return to the stomping choruses of their debut. Here's singer Kyle Falconer's track by track guide to the album.



Grace
We were getting a load of demos pulled together to practice for the album while we were back in Dundee after releasing 'Which Bitch'. Pete had just moved into his first flat, and the neighbour downstairs got off to a bad start by making constant noise complaints to the police.

There wasn’t really any noise - they just heard that it was a guy form The View moving in and jumped to the conclusion that he was going to be really noisy and decided to set their stall out early. It inspired our first single off the album so we have to thank them for that. It’s about making peace and living together rather than seeking problems and bullying.

Underneath the Lights
We actually began writing this one on the campsite at T In The Park 2006, the first year that we played. Throughout the album recording session Pete was like a caged animal with his solos. On this one he just let rip and got maybe the best solo he’s ever played.

It’s already a big favourite amongst the fans who are swapping live videos. We played it on the main stage at T last year, just to test it out, and it went down instantly as a big bouncy number. The song is very much about getting together for a night out.



Tragic Magic
There’s a recurring theme which we come back to with a few songs on this album about turning a bad feeling around. This ones about having great times and wild nights with your mates, but then waking up with the fear. We were living in Liverpool at the time we wrote it, and had just been at a wedding party with Mani near Manchester.

It was one of the first songs that Youth had a clear idea about what to add to finish it off – he wanted the middle 8 in ¾ timing to give an impression or the mind swirling around and going over all these thoughts.



Girl
All men are, to a certain extent, more easily swayed or hoodwinked by a good-looking girl. Although this song was written about specific situation that I was in, it has a much wider context. How many times have you heard guys talking about how a female got in the way or destroyed a friendship between two blokes? A lot of people think we’re starting 'The Don' when we have previewed it live to fans – it starts out in a similar vibe but gets fairly Beatlesy.

Life
I wrote the first part of this song back in 2004. It took until last year until I had the inspiration (the death of my Mum) to be able to finish it off. We wrote about 50 tunes for this record, some finished, some not. It’s not a bad thing or lack of inspiration that lead us to bring back an old idea, sometimes they just need a few years to breathe and for life to catch up on the original idea.

Some of the incomplete demos from 'Bread And Circuses' will no doubt turn up on future albums. It’s the slowest song we’ve ever had, varying tempo across the album was definitely part of the plan when we were putting it together.



Friend
Kyle was visiting Drew McConnell (Babyshambles) after 'Which Bitch', he stays in a big house with loads of musicians and they were all getting together and jamming ideas, making techno tunes and loads of weird cuts.

Kyle just came up with a few lines during those sessions that stuck in his head and he wanted to bring them back to The View and try something with more groove than straight out rock'n'roll. Our keyboard player Darren wrote the middle eight and there a great ‘Ibiza style’ remix of this track by the 2 Bears, which has quite a bit of airplay on dance shows.



Beautiful
This is the first tune that Pete has recorded with a slide, it give it a real bluesy feel. Kieren had a lot of inspiration from close friends on this one, the verses are lyrically dark, and the choruses are the opposite, really uplifting. "Take me to the beautiful way" refers to how sometimes a simple word from a friend can go around in your head and make you find a way to turn dark feelings back into happiness.

It really comes from the heart and reminds us that friendship and straight talking from your mates is a really valuable thing in life. Primal Screams’ backing singers are filling out the choruses sound to give them a real lift, we also recorded a load of brass with the London Philharmonic.

Blondie
There was a lot of 80’s sounding tracks on the radio at the time we wrote this. Pete had just got a new guitar pedal and was mucking about with it when he made the intro sound. We just took it from there and decided to write something that would be fairly instant and radio friendly.

Lyrically, it’s about how sometimes you love it when a girl comes round to visit you, but the company can get too intense if you spend too much time together. It’s always good when they leave and you can look forward to seeing them another time. It’s about the thrill of the chase sometimes being better than the catch, in a roundabout way.



Walls
It’s a very visual song, I used to get mad visuals in his head whenever I was singing this one. We’re going to use that feeling on the forthcoming tour as part of the production we will be showing video behind us to get that idea across. We’ve got big timpani drums recorded in the mix, which gives it an underlying power.

Turning “100 million people into 1” is talking about people getting together and unifying to solve problems. It’s quite a current talking point what with all the revolutionary activity going on in North Africa. Unhappy, ordinary people are getting together and gaining a big powerful voice which is causing sweeping change.



Happy
This is the first complete song we demoed and got us back into ‘album mode’ after touring 'Which Bitch'. I originally wrote it on the bass and it used to be much slower. We were listening to a bit of Iggy Pop and also The Clash’s 'London Calling' and decided to mould into more of a ‘Passenger’ vibe.

We tried to record this quite a few times, it took a while before we got the tempo exactly how we imagined it. The essence of the song is that male-female relationships can sometimes get overly dependent, and everything in each person’s life can have a massive effect on the others.

Best Lasts Forever
It’s easy to sit in your armchair and eat crisps, watch soap operas and let life pass you by. It’s hard to make something precious, to achieve creative goals, you have to be driven. This song was inspired by the thought that if you put the effort in then it could be possible to create something everlasting.

It was originally the album title but we thought it sounded too self important and conceited. Former MC5 manager and counter culture spokesman John Sinclair was visiting Youth in the studio one day and he offered to do a bit of reading to complete the intro, which we now use as part of our live production.



Witches
Kyle stayed on at the studio after recording 'Which Bitch', it’s a nice countryside spot and there was no real rush for him to go home to he just kept recording some bits and pieces on him own. Playing the spoons and making kazoos out of combs & Rizla. The first two albums had short signature tunes on them so he wanted to keep that idea going.

It’s not exactly a normal View track so we decided it would be nice to just pop it in on the end of the record as a nice little surprise/bonus track. There were a limited amount of videos at the studio, and one of them was the adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. Owen, the producer, glued a witch's hat to his head. It was all quite ‘out there’ by this point...

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