Scottish rock trio Sucioperro may not be half as popular and reknowned as their arena filling counterparts Biffy Clyro, but they pack just as much bite into small pubs and clubs across the UK. Now, reaching album number four, ‘Fused’, we decided to get the lowdown of the tracks and how they all came to be to create the band’s new record. Thankfully, bassist Stewart Chown was happy to fill us in with all of the information we were after:
01.) A River Of Blood
Despite it being quite an unusual song, it’s one of the more straight forward songs in terms of arrangement and certainly one of the ones we changed the least. The second verse riff and the half-time second chorus were the only major additions in the studio, as far as I canbremember. Someone may correct me though. From the off, ‘River’ was a contender for first track, lead song – I don’t think people really knew what to expect from us after finishing up with the last album – and ‘River’ just leapt out to us as one of those songs that could say “Hi, we’re back, this is what’s going down”.
02.) To Nothing
This track was a very, very last minute addition to the album. I think we were in the mixing stages when JP brought this forward and straight away it was clear we had to get it down. Initially, we recorded some basic drums in our studio, but we realised we had to give the song the same treatment we gave the rest of the album. So, back to the other studio we went. Even with a rough mix, it was clear that the song was a perfect fit. As much as I’d like to say that we had the whole thing mapped out from start to finish before we recorded it, you never know when a great song might appear.
This was an interesting one for guitar parts. I think we started out tuning an additional string to B, then another one, then another one. I’m pretty sure there’s some guitars on here where every string is tuned to B. Safe to say, it’s been fun figuring out how to play it live.
04.) What A Fucking Chump
For a long time, this was going to be the opening song on the album. I didn’t know what half the lyrics were until we actually recorded the thing. The original demo was so distorted that JP could have literally been saying anything. The album version is slightly cleaner, but I think we managed to keep a lot of the raw energy and power in there. Plenty of heft.
05.) Rabbits In Boxes
This is our ‘Nothing Else Matters’. This song’s gone through a few changes from it’s original incarnation. I think the first ‘big’ riff you hear towards the end came from when we were tracking drums. Myself and JP were in the studio playing with Fergus as he recorded; it was one of
those things that just appeared while waiting for someone to shout ‘go’.
06.) Pig Ravens
The riff, the riff, the riff. We love a good ol’ heavy riff when we get the chance. We’ve all definitely got an affinity for animals and weird creatures, and a ‘pig raven’ is up there. We’d looked at a bunch of
bestiaries when considering the artwork for the album. These encyclopaedic tomes from the middle ages, illustrated with all these creatures real and imaginary, although believed to be real when the books
were published. I love the fantastical element of it. We couldn’t find any pig ravens though, but JP now has the copyright on such a beast.
07.) Mein Kleine Taube
This was originally another one or two minutes longer, with some brilliantly daft European lyrics, but it ended up becoming a perfect buffer between the heavier sections of the album. We really wanted to capture the vibe of a continental cafe from the 30s or 40s; the background sound you hear is a real-life, tiny little cafe bar in Berlin that Fergus recorded. And, yes, it’s a deliberate cock up with the spelling. We bastardised French on our last album, so this time around we decided to take a stab at another language.
08.) Discipline Office
There was a definite buzz in the studio when we were recording songs like ‘Discipline’ and ‘Pig Ravens’. Finding ‘that’ guitar sound and that ‘tone’ can be so joyous when you reach the finish line. Crank the fuzz up, make a racket; there’s something very youthful about it. Boys and their
toys, I guess. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with this song in terms of parts: lots of keyboards, arpeggios and wild sounds came and went. I think we found the balance, there’s some mad guitar tunings on there again, alongside some great organ parts. It’s been a while since we had some strange timings on a song, so it was nice to bring back the ‘proggier’ element of the band on certain songs.
09.) Where At Dat Wild At
Again, another song that started out quite differently. I think the original batch of demos that JP had recorded for this album were quite similar musically, as you’d expect from 10 or 11 songs that were recorded in as many days. There was a real chance to add a bit of colour and diversity to the album with ‘…Wild At’. It’s fun, as opposed to funny, which is a line we like to tread every now and again. For as serious as some of the record may sound to people, a big part of making music for us is the ‘fun’ element and I think this song is a good reflection of that. If it was a slog every time we went into the studio, I think we’d all have some serious problems with it. Not that we don’t work hard, of course.
10.) Glass Castle
Again, a song that went through some changes. I love the juxtaposition of the gnarly verses and that beautiful top line in the chorus. It was a fun challenge to record. When you’re in the studio at 3:00am and the words “sax riff” keep coming up, you know you’re on a road less-travelled! There are some great keys on this one from Fergus and JP.
Now, ‘Fused’ has been on quite a journey. I think the final album version is perhaps the third or fourth complete iteration of the song. Originally, it had a much darker tone, a different riff, different melody in parts. We (well, I) made the mistake of suggesting we change one chord, which in turn led to changing most of the chords. I think the version that we struggled with most was piano-led, with a million and one vocal tracks on it, every harmony imaginable, but in the end it didn’t ‘feel’ right, and to us, the feel and vibe of a song is everything. So, while most of the record was 90-100% mixed, we were still fiddling with how to make ‘Fused’ work. What you hear on the album is an amalgamation of each step along the way.
12.) You Should Get Some Sleep
‘Sleep’ was originally part of three tracks that were to break up the heavier sections of the album, alongside ‘Mein Kleine Taube’ and another song that we held back; shorter interludes to pace the intensity of the album. Originally, it was just one piano lick and vocals, but, as always,
we like to experiment. It went from being a bare bones track to having many, many more and then back again. Fergus even got to flex his ambient guitar chops.
‘Fused’ is out September 3rd 2012 through Medals For Everyone.