are winding up work on their second album in ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS, where they have been recording with legendary producer PHIL SPECTOR.
NME joined the band during their ninth and final week in Abbey Road, a little after Spector’s work had been completed.
“The greatest thing we’ve done so far was work with Phil,” frontman James Walsh said. “I think we took a lot away from that. It was like two worlds colliding. He’s not done much for a long time. He’s learned a lot from us about how studios work these days and we learnt from him about older techniques.”
“He was amazing, had some mad ideas,” added bassist James Stelfox.
It is not clear yet which of the four tracks produced by Spector will make the album. Starsailor have recorded 15 songs in total and intend to whittle them down to a lean 10. “We’ve done what we set out to do with Phil,” said Walsh.
The album is now being co-produced by Starsailor and engineer Danton Supple.
“We’re more aware of what arrangements we want, of what we want to do on this record,” said Walsh, “and Danton is there to realise our vision.”
>The album, the follow-up to the million-selling debut ‘Love Is Here’, was recorded in Abbey Road’s Studio Two, the same room used by The Beatles. The rarefied air has seen Starsailor raise their game.
“One of the things we had about making the album was that rather than base it around three or four tracks was make 10 amazing songs and put them out,” said Walsh.
“In simple terms, the difference between this album and the last is that on the last album we had a few great songs and a few alright ones and went into the studio cold saying these songs are alright, how can we make them really good. In comparison, this time we said these songs are really, really good, how can we make them fucking mindblowing.”
Much of the album is informed by the recent birth of Walsh’s baby daughter.
“We took a few weeks out completely during the summer,” explained Stelfox. “We’d been on tour for two years, then James had Niamh and me and Ben got hammered, went on holidays. I spoke to Jim at home and he said he’s written a load of new stuff on four-track. So we listened to them and thought, fucking hell – these are strong.”
“There’s a new found confidence with us,” added Walsh. “We know exactly what we want to achieve with this album.”
The band now move to a studio in north London owned by Flood – the producer best known for work withU2. After mixing is complete, the album should appear in May. Working titles include ‘Music Is Saved’, though nothing has been decided. Before the album, there’ll be a single in March. It might be the massive sounding ‘Four To The Floor’, though ‘Music Was Saved’ is also a contender.
“We are delighted with it,” said Walsh. “It’s quite a step-up from before.”