The Futureheads: ‘Recording our new album ‘Rant’ was a nightmare’

Barry Hyde also opens up to NME about covering Kelis and the Black Eyed Peas

The Futureheads have spoken about the difficulty they faced in recording their new album ‘Rant’, describing the process as “a nightmare”.

The album, which will be released on April 2 on the band’s own Nul Records, is comprised entirely of acappella versions of the band’s tracks and a series of cover versions. You can hear the ‘Rant’ version of ‘Robot’ by scrolling down to the bottom of your screen now and clicking.

Speaking to NME about the album, the band’s frontman Barry Hyde said that each song on the album includes over 100 vocal takes and each day the band would leave the studio after recording “in a state of ultimate exhaustion”.

Asked about the process of recording ‘Rant’, Hyde replied:

It was a nightmare at times. For every single track on the album, we went into the studio full of energy, we’d get started and incredibly quickly your brain just gets frazzled. Recording like this is so intense, making 115 vocal parts work and be in tune is a nightmare. For every song we left the studio in a state of ultimate exhaustion. It took us a long time.

Hyde also revealed that the band decided to record the album after they recorded an acapella Live Lounge session and absolutely loved doing it.

He said of this: “We did a live session for Jo Whiley in Spring 2010 and we did a four-part harmony version of Kelis’ ‘Acapella’ and performing like that, live on the radio, was the most exciting thing we’ve ever done. So that was the seed for making the album, it took some time, we didn’t start until 2011, but for the whole of 2011, we were gradually developed ‘Rant’.”

Hyde also said he thought having the ability to make an acapella album put The Futureheads in a “unique position” as there weren’t many bands who could do it.

He said of this: “Harmonies are a key part of all music, but vocal harmonies are quite uncommon in the type of music we make. So when you take everything away and you’re left with our vocals, it works really well, our voices are good together. That puts us in a unique position as they’re aren’t many bands, who enjoy or could make an acapella album.”

‘Rant’ includes a cover of Black Eyed Peas‘ ‘Meet Me Halfway’ and Sparks‘ ‘The Number One Song In Heaven’ as well as renditions of three traditional folk songs.

Asked about why they picked ‘Meet Me Halfway’ and ‘The Number One Song in Heaven’, he replied: “Those two songs are very special to use. We used to drink cheap red wine, try to make pasta and sit and listen to music. If we were going out, we’d always listen to Sparks. A lot of people are surprised I like the Black Eyed Peas, I don’t like everything they do, but I like the majority of things I’ve heard. ‘Meet Me Halfway’ is amazing, melodically speaking. We took the rap out though, that was a step too far.”

The Futureheads will also embark a full UK tour in support of ‘Rant’, playing a set that will be entirely acoustic and a cappella.

The gigs begin at Bristol’s Colston Hall on April 3 and run until April 13 when the band play Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music. The tour consists of nine dates in total.

The Futureheads will play:

Bristol Colston Hall (April 3)
London Union Chapel (4)
Leeds Wardrobe (5)
Stockton Georgian Theatre (6)
Gateshead Sage Theatre (8)
Glasgow Oran Mor (9)
Birmingham Glee Club (10)
Nottingham Glee Club (12)
Manchester Royal Northern College of Music (13)

To check the availability of The Futureheads tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.