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Shout It From the Hooftops
Hanging out with Willie Nelson, enjoying “big old love-fests” and dealing with major label pressures is all in a day’s work for Seattle’s Band Of Horses.
Edwin McFee, 05 Oct 2012
Two years ago, Seattle-based quintet Band Of Horses found themselves embroiled in a budding courtship with the mainstream music world. After releasing two well-received records via Sub Pop (‘06’s Everything All The Time and ‘07’s Cease To Begin) they made the leap to major label Columbia, created Infinite Arms and pretty much charmed us all thanks to their southern rock, indie and country-tinged sounds.
Since then, the group, led by singer/guitarist Ben Bridwell, have been doing everything in their power to hang on to our affections and when Hot Press caught up with the charismatic frontman recently, he told us he’s hopeful his just released fourth album Mirage Rock will do the trick.
“When it comes to people’s reactions to the record I’m preparing for the worst and also hoping for the best,” laughs the musician. “I’m feeling really good about the album and we’re all proud of it, so that’s the important thing.”
With each record consistently performing better than its predecessor, in both a commercial and creative sense, Mirage Rock (which is a pun on the term garage rock) has a lot to live up to. Did Ben suffer any sleepless nights from being under pressure to deliver the goods?
“I think the pressure was probably coming in heaps at the beginning,” he proffers. “Sometimes I wondered if I was choosing the right material and I worried about whether I was working hard enough, but that’s part of the whole process.”
Featuring a looser, rawer sound, legendary producer Glyn Jones (who twiddled knobs for The Rolling Stones, The Band and pretty much every iconic rock band there is) convinced them to record live and Ben cheerily tells us that the making of Mirage Rock turned into a “big old love fest.”
“Oh man, working with Glyn went as good as it possibly could have gone,” he enthuses. “We got along really well and I love him as a friend. Pretty much the whole record was recorded live to the point where he forced me to play guitar and sing while recording at the same time and that was new for me.”