Saturday, 3 June 2017

THE WAR ON DRUGS - In Session (2014) (Flac)

There didn't seem to be a bootleg of the month forthcoming in May. So this post was prepared in response to that possibility. Inspired by the new 11-minute War On Drugs single 'Thinking Of A Place'. I had spent sometime re-listening to these two radio sessions from 2004. As it turned out, the best bootleg for May was downloaded on the 31st, there was too little time to include it in this post and it will be withheld until later this month.

In 2003 vocalist, songwriter and guitarist, Adam Granduciel moved from Oakland to Philadelphia and met Kurt Vile - also a fellow multi-instrumentalist. Sharing the same musical interests particularly Bob Dylan they became firm friends and began working together as Kurt Vile and the Violators.

Adam's own project The War On Drugs officially began in 2005 but it would be sometime later, that the duo released their debut EP titled 'Barrel Of Batteries' in 2008. Later that year a full-length album 'Wagonwheel Blues' was released.Kurt Vile followed this up shortly after with his own debut, titled 'Constant Hitmaker' before focusing on his own solo work. He signed to Matador Records and over the following two year period released two albums and some EP's, all featuring his friend Adam Granduciel, who had continued to perform live as part of the Violators.

In 2011 the War On Drugs second album 'Slave Ambient’ was released to critical acclaim, appearing on the best albums of the year lists, side by side with Kurt Vile's own album 'Smoke Ring For Halo, on which Adam also appeared. 'Slave Ambient' broke the War On Drugs to a wider audience. Vile contributed guitar on two of the album's tracks. Much like the Hold Steady before them, they have assimilated these influences and synthesized their own fresh identifiable sound and perspective.

The third album 'Lost In The Dream' was released in March 2014 and built further on that success with positive and enthusiastic reviews. To promote the album, the group set out on a national US tour. Before playing at their next scheduled stop at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle, earlier that day, they dropped in to KEXP and recorded the session and interview included here. It was broadcast in 16 bit lossless.

The group are:

Adam Granduciel: guitar, vocals
Dave Hartley: bass
Charlie Hall: drums
Robbie Bennett: keyboards
Anthony LaMarca: acoustic guitar (also keyboards, not this KEXP session)

The interview by DJ Cheryl Waters was particularly illuminating, and the most salient questions and answers with bandleader Adam Granduciel follow below.

Adam, I know that the new album was born out of a difficult period in your life and maybe you've put all of that emotion in the record, but do you feel that there is a difference between this and 'Slave Ambient'?

"Definitely I guess I just wanted to be more disciplined with writing and recording. I wanted to showcase what the live band had become over the years. 'Slave Ambient' made us, like it forced us to tour for a year and a half and become a band. We were learning how to play together but also re-interpreting these songs. They weren't solo recordings but they also weren't band recordings. I really liked the way that the band changed the way that those songs happened live. 

So for the record I wanted something that could do that again, and really play to everyone's strengths in the studio. Without really, maybe making a band record the same way, that you'd think, you want to make one. So it's still the same kind of recording approach but just with the idea in mind, that I wanted Robbie to play beautiful piano and Dave to play all the sweet bass. To bring Charlie in on songs that I thought were right up his alley, anytime that happened it always transformed the recording."

I heard that you had a long time, like a year, to make this record, writing and recording it. Is that true?

"Yeah, all the songs I started in my home studio between June and December of 2012. They were all kind of sketches or just sparse, pretty loose structures and then I spent for the most part of 2013, overdubbing and stripping away and re-doing stuff."

Was that a luxury? Did you ever have that much time to work on music?

"Well 'Slave Ambient' took a long time too but it wasn't the only thing I had to do. This time around, this was the only thing. It was a luxury, it was different, with 'Slave Ambient too I realized that I couldn't make a record the way I had made that one again and I don't think I could make one, like the way I made this one. I think personally the goal is to just try to get to a point, where you can sit in a room with your band and make a record in maybe a few months. Live as a band, like all the records we love so much but I think it's a process trying to get there."

I get the idea that song writing is maybe more of an intensive process for you?

"Sometimes it's just a matter of exhausting all the possibilities. I mean pretty much all of the songs on this record were built up from all the stuff I started at home. We'd build them up and take them to the studio, just kind of build them up as we go. There wasn't really a moment when we were all together in a room playing a song. Some of the songs were written fairly quickly, 'Eyes To The Wind' I wrote that in my kitchen in like a few minutes strangely enough, but the finished recording of that took about a year. When I first had the idea I knew what the song meant to me. I knew it had a feeling, like a magic about it. I guess the recording process is about trying to unlock that feeling and also make it sound huge but also try to hold on to whatever like little naiveties, when you first had that little idea."

Do you know when you hear that magic? That seems to be what's going on with people with this album; you've just really hit it on every song. Do you find yourself questioning over and over or changing things all the time?

"Yeah, I usually know when I start the song in my house and I listen to it for days and days in a row, it's like the only thing I can think of, it might be really sparse but I can hear what the mood is. Like in that first song we played 'An Ocean In Between The Waves' that was like, it started off super raw in my house, just an organ, some guitar, a drum machine but I just knew it had something important. We were trying to chase that for a long time. How do you keep this beautiful little sound but also make it full band arrangements, because that's what I want. I want songs that sound like what this band sounds like."

You've got a lot of shows and quite a tour ahead of you?

"We do actually, we just drove from Denver to Seattle (1,333 miles / 2,145 km), we did that yesterday, pretty much. We have all the West Coast; Portland, San Francisco, LA, San Diego and over to Europe in May."

Later in the year, the band toured Europe for a second time, before flying off on their debut tour of Australia. The Studio 105 session in Paris was recorded in front of a small invited audience, as part of the promotional commitments on that second European tour. The live sound on this is different from the KEXP session, more like that of the tour where the keyboards have greater prominence.

The War On Drugs
Studio 105, Maison de la Radio, Paris, France
1st November 2014
Excellent FM


Broadcast by France Inter radio: November 1, 2014 on the "Coming up sessions" show.

01. Eyes To The Wind
02. Burning
03. An Ocean In Between The Waves
04. Under The Pressure
05. In Reverse
06. DJ and band introduction
07. Red Eyes
08. Suffering
09. Coming Through
10. I Hear You Calling (cover  Bill Fay 1971)

Lineage: Marantz tuner with a Zoom H4 > Sd card to PC, wav to Audacity (volume and tracks), FLAC (TLH)Original upload by letsgo - November 2014


 
The War On Drugs
In Studio Performance
KEXP-FM
Seattle, WA
March 28, 2014

01. intro
02. An Ocean In Between The Waves
03. chat
04. Eyes To The Wind
05. interview & band intros
06. Red Eyes
07. chat
08. Suffering
09. outro

Source:  KEXP-FM Windows Media stream @ 1.4Mbps > Sound Forge Pro 10.0a @ 24 bit/48 kHz
Recorded and transferred By:  Dennis Orr

Transfer:  .WAV > Sound Forge Pro 10.0a (fades & normalize) > CDWav (tracking) > iZotope MBIT+ (dithered and downsampled to 16 bit/44.1 kHz) > Trader's Little Helper (level 5) >
FLAC > TagScanner 5.1 (tagging)






3 comments:

  1. Both sessions can be found here:

    Maison de la Radio - Studio 105 session:
    https://archive.org/details/wod2014-10-29

    KEXP 2014 session:
    https://archive.org/details/twod2014-03-28.KEXP.16bit

    Paste the address into your browser

    ReplyDelete
  2. Many thanks for the Links!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you very much!!!

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