Mumford & Sons: ‘Writing sessions at The National’s garage gave new album its identity’

Ben Lovett reveals origins of songs that feature on 'Wilder Mind'

Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett says working with Aaron Dessner of The National helped give the band an “identity” for their new album.

As reported, Mumford & Sons release third album ‘Wilder Mind’ on May 4 and have confirmed that the record does not feature the banjo, an instrument they have become synonymous with since achieving huge success with their first two albums, 2009’s ‘Sigh No More’ and 2012’s ‘Babel’.

‘Wilder Mind’ was recorded at Air Studios, London and produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, HAIM, Florence + The Machine). A number of the new songs were written at Aaron Dessner of The National’s garage studios in Brooklyn, New York.

Speaking in the new issue of NME, which is on newsstands now and available digitally, Lovett explains how they came to be friends with Dessner, a man they confess to being “super fans” of.

“We met Aaron touring around, just on the circuit. We’ve been huge fans of The National for ages. All of us, individually have got a very personal attachment to their music. We ended up being complete super fans. After meeting Aaron said: ‘Come to my garage in Brooklyn and we’ll make some music’. It was quite innocent really.”

Lovett says the songs they worked on in Brooklyn were then taken to producer Ford in London with whom they had also not worked with before. “We didn’t lock ourselves away. We’d find ourselves doing a week here, a week there. If I added it up it’d be five weeks, but it was really scattered… We got to a point where we had an idea of what the record was going to be. We had an identity. Some of the songs suddenly felt like they had to be on the record, instead of just being songs that we liked. It’s quite a spectrum of different sounds and songwriting styles.”

Lovett previously described the band’s change in sound on their third album as “natural departure”.

Mumford & Sons have also announced the first details and line-ups for their 2015 Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers, including a Stopover in Aviemore, Scotland – the only one in the UK this year. Joining the band in Scotland will be Ben Howard, Primal Scream, The Maccabees and Honeyblood among others.