Robbers On High Street parted ways with their drummer a week before they entered the studio to record their sophomore album.
NME.COM caught up with frontman Ben Trokan to discuss the split and the making of ‘Grand Animals’, due out July 10.
“A week before we recorded the album, we had it out with our drummer,” frontman Ben Trokan told NME.COM.
“It was pretty scary. He’d been with us since the start, but I don’t think he was having fun. He was feeling a little stifled, so we decided to part ways,” Trokan explained.
Rather than scrambling to find a new drummer, Trokan decided to take on the drumming duties himself. “I’ve been playing drums since I was eight , so I decided to go for it,” he explained.
The band recorded the album over a two-month period at studios in New York and Los Angeles, and recruited Daniele Luppi, known for his string arrangements on Gnarls Barkley‘s ‘St Elsewhere’, to produce the album.
“It was a little scary because he’d never done a rock album before,” admitted Trokan.
“At first it was like, ‘Who the hell are you?’ We had our own ideas of how we wanted it to sound, and we argued a lot over what songs and what parts to use. But he helped pare it back to two-and-half minute little gems. I think it came out great in the end.”
Trokan said that he wrote a lot of the songs on tour supporting the band’s 2005 debut, ‘Tree City’.
“On the road you start thinking about family and friends and familiar places, and that comes across on the album,” he explained. “Some of it’s kind of funny–it’s more light-hearted than some of our earlier stuff, and I wrote a few songs from a kid’s perspective. It’s also a lot more melodic–before it was just two guitars going at it,” he laughed.
Trokan said that the band tried to maintain an air of spontaneity on the recordings. “It’s looser than the other album–we didn’t do too many takes,” he said.
The band will embark on a brief tour of the US beginning next week and continuing to the end of the month, as previously reported.
Trokan said they’ve called on their friend, Mikey Post, to be the ‘unofficial drummer’ during the tour.
–By our Los Angeles staff.