Mumford & Sons say going electric on new album is ‘a natural departure’

Ben Lovett admits the band "felt a need for change"

Mumford and Sons‘ Ben Lovett has described the band’s change in sound on their third album as “natural departure”.

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’.

Speaking to NME, on sale and available digitally from March 4, Lovett opens up about the musical changes he and his bandmates have gone through and explains how they came about.

The band’s sound is, says Ben, more expansive than ever and decidedly heavier, thanks to the shift in instrumentation. Alongside the no-banjos rule, the group are employing a full drumkit instead of frontman Marcus Mumford’s kick drum. “We’ve had our standard line-up of instruments for the last six years and we felt like that was our palette, [but] we started picking up other stuff,” says Lovett. “It’s a very natural departure from some of that rootsier stuff.”

“When we started out making the record there wasn’t a template or a sound that we were trying to continue,” he adds. “When we were working on ‘Babel’, ‘Sigh No More’ was our starting point, but we didn’t start from ‘Babel’ and build from that for the third album.”

‘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 about the change in producer, the band recorded their first two albums were made with Markus Dravs, Lovett says that teaming up with James Ford was all part of trying something new.

He revealed: “We felt a need for change. Not from Markus, but he was so closely attached to those first two records that as we had taken that time off, we wanted to try doing something new. It felt like, if we do our third record with Markus, does that mean we do our ninth and 10th records with Markus? At some point you have to try different things, as we collectively felt like it was time to try other stuff. Markus knows that we might well make the next record with him. We definitely haven’t broken up, we’re just playing the field!”

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.