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February 2020
Interview

White Lung: no synths allowed

"There’s only guitar, bass, drums and vocals on the record."
Published: 8:05 am, May 26, 2016
White Lung: no synths allowed
We're big fans of White Lung's latest album 'Paradise'. You might have noticed, seeing as we made it our 'Album' of 'The Week' on release. Both incendiary and smart, it showed the band evolving their sound, both rounding it off and remaining as fierce as ever in the same breath. To find out more about its creation, we spoke to guitarist Kenneth William about what made the record tick.

Your new album ‘Paradise’ is out now. When did you start working on it?
I started recording small clips of guitar parts on my phone about a year ago but we didn’t get into a studio until October, which is where most of the work was done.  Probably 70% of it was written in the studio, it wouldn’t be fun to make a record without any last-minute fear and chaos involved.
 
Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted it to be when you began?
Yeah we pretty much accomplished exactly what we wanted. The scope of the kinds of songs on the record was wider so it was actually the easiest to write of any of them.
 
What did you find most challenging during the creation process?
I wanted to make sure that the tracks that were stepping outside of the typical “White Lung” style didn’t end up being embarrassing. A lot of cool ideas got thrown in the trash by me before anyone else heard them but I needed to make sure that there was a 75% chance we wouldn’t be humiliated by it before I brought anything in.

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You’ve said you wanted to create a modern record - what were the key elements in making it sound this way?
We used Pro Tools and Earthquaker guitar pedals to make some really cool textures that I haven’t heard on records like ours before.  We did some other weird stuff to like treating samples I recorded on my iPhone with a bunch of reverb to fill out space.  In the past you had to be pretty much done with a song once it was tracked but we did a lot of cutting and pasting and rearranging once the parts were already in there.
 
Are there any song on the release that stand out as meaning a lot to you, lyrically or thematically?
When I’m writing music for this band there are vague feelings I can associate with certain textures or melodies I made but those are going to be interpreted differently by anyone hearing them. Any of the “meaning” behind them comes from Mish’s lyrics which were all written after the instrumentals were more or less complete.
 
What do you think has been your biggest achievement with this release?
Not breaking our streak of only releasing things that are good.
 
Finally, is there anything else we should know?
Mish hates people thinking that we were using keyboards or synths. There’s only guitar, bass, drums and vocals on the record.

White Lung's new album 'Paradise' is out now.
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