Borrowed Heaven Documentary (1ère version)
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Jim: it’s always a challenge to try and create something that is better than the last album that you had. We feel very strongly that we’ve achieved that and certainly the feedback that we’ve got from other people, anybody who’s heard it, you know it’s pretty much the same, very very good feedback
Andrea: I think basically all of us really felt this is gonna be every single moment of this album has to be what we’re proud of.
Sharon: I find myself better able to express myself nowadays for some reason, maybe it’s just you get a little bit wiser, or you understand yourself better as you get older. I find my lyrics are better now than they were before.
Caroline: I think it takes confidence to write what you are really feeling; it takes confidence to put it down on paper and actually be vulnerable enough to show that to the world and offer people to hear it, I think probably in that way we’ve matured.
Sharon: And I feel that I have touched the topics which have been really moving me for the last couple of years and that really really affected me.
Andrea:I think it was just time and everything learning to express better. It’s just probably very honest and expressive I think the album.
Jim: it was particularly challenging this year because one of my sisters, Caroline had a wee baby Jake and she had to take time off from that she wasn’t always available for the writing and for her parts, but we worked around her times. Basically we go into the studio in Dublin and take on blocks time out, it can be two weeks, four weeks and record, do as much work as we could and took our time on it, you know we didn’t rush it, there’s certainly no point in rushing it. You know, when I look back on other albums, we might have been a little bit too fast on occasions, you got to take time with songs, you’ve got to live with them cos inevitably there’s gonna be changes you are going to make particularly when the producer creates his influence on them, on the songs.
Andrea:Producers are absolutely vital to bands, absolutely and on In Blue, we were doing it ourselves, which I don’t think we’d ever do again, because although it was great, it’s too difficult, if you’ve written it, you don’t have the objectivity and then piled unto that, you’re actually a family aswell.
Jim: Picking the right producer is extremely important and we’d wanted to change this time around and there was a recommendation that had come from Mutt Lange who produces Shania Twain and who’s also happily married to Shania Twain.
Andrea:And Mutt Lange had told us about Olle Romo, he worked with Mutt and basically he said he was one record away from a hit record and that we should try him out, cos he thinks that he’d really get us you know, so we did, we sent him a few of our songs that we had demoed and he went working away on them and then he came to Ireland and played us what he had done and we just were blown away and we went, right this is it.
Caroline:Olle was coming from LA and he had a studio set up there so he wanted to do some stuff made there as well which made absolutely total sense, so what we did was some of us went out, I didn’t at the time because I was pregnant so I kinda stayed in Dublin, did all my, whatever I needed to do in Dublin, so he kinda came back and forth which was great of him to be so accommodating to all of us because at this stage of our lives you’ve got a lot more things going on in our lives individually and we just kind of needed that you know.
Jim: really what he did was made the parts that we had, that we had played which were quite organic and probably a little bit loose but he had made them much much better and he got Andrea to do a lot of the lead vocals aswell, all of the lead vocals again, just all in all just brought the whole thing up a couple of different levels, something that we wouldn’t have been able to do ourselves.
Sharon: The way the songs were written was so basic just on piano, vocal or on guitar, vocal, and that it lent itself to all this type of production and he really really really really enhanced it and also we noticed when we recorded the live session yesterday, and that it was the first time we went to sit and play those songs as you would do just in a live session. They translated like that, it was a really really good sign, wasn’t it? They just translated so easily so in that way it’s very organic.
(Long Night Acoustic)
Sharon: it’s funny with Long Night, the melody and the lyrics came really really really fast, it was just like it fell out of me it was just, it was incredible, it’s really about you know breaking up with someone you know it’s all about sort of pretending trying to be brave, it doesn’t really matter now you’re gone you know, you never were that much around to speak of, so it’s sort of like it’s trying to be flippant, it’s about break-ups I’ve experienced and it’s about I know how I would feel if I broke up with my husband I noticed, it wouldn’t be good, let’s say that
(End of Long Night)
Caroline:our records have always been a bit of everything actually, you know you look back and there’s always been the trad element which sometimes confuses people, they go, are they pop, are they rock, are they trad, what are they? And I think on this record we’ve still got another, you see we love all these elements so therefore we’re gonna put them on our record and it feels natural to us to do that you know.
Jim: You hear all our influences on the album because we don’t listen to any particular style of music or any genre, it’s very diverse between the four of us, as a result of that the album sounds very very diverse but it was great to have a chance to collaborate with Ladysmith Black Mambazo in particular, we had, we were invited by Nelson Mandela to go out and perform as part of the 46664 concert, an aids benefit concert in Africa to help trying to raise awareness about this devastating disease. We met Nelson Mandela before, he’s just a beautiful human being and we’d take any opportunity to do anything that we could for him, so we just jumped at the chance. Ladysmith Black Mambazo were performing in the concert aswell and we asked them if they would like to work with us and they said yes so we just found a studio in South Africa, got all the lads, they all arrived in this people carrier and we did the track and it turned out great.
Andrea:that’s about, this is heaven, our bodies, skin, touch, everything, is heaven and it’s borrowed, we have to give it back, but before we do, to hold it tight. It’s quite a spiritual song really, so it’s wonderful to have those voices on it and the way Joseph of Ladysmith Black Mambazo thought of it was like as a prayer, it’s that you’ve got to kneel and pray and it was a lovely interpretation.
Early on in an interview I was asked what would be my favourite on the album and for once of our albums, I feel, I see it as a whole picture, I see that as any song missing would be like a colour lost in a painting, for once, but I think probably because we had the one producer all the way through, Olle Romo, it’s very much like a journey from the second of Summer Sunshine hits in to the end of Silver Strand, the whole album is like a journey.
(Summer Sunshine Acoustic and Video Shoot)
Caroline:we are in studio doing the video for Summer Sunshine and it’s been directed by Kevin Godley
Kevin Godley:and action !
Jim: basically it’s about a couple that have been living in this house hiding in this house and we attempt to break the house down, break the windows open, allow the light to come in. They are very scared initially but eventually they are kind of consumed by the light and everything’s ok.
Caroline:so far Sharon has been pulling open shutters aggressively, Jim has been doing some of the same action, he actually gets to kick in some window something like that, and pulls some plaques off the wall, I have got to pull down curtains while other things are going on around us, it’s just sort of letting the light in you know bit by bit
Andrea:I think when you write a song, you want to give the expression to it in a visual way, it’s very very important because as you said, people when they hear Summer Sunshine, it doesn’t really matter what way they interpret it, whether they find it a happy song or a sad song, but it is one way of showing the depth to it, if you can visually express it. So I find it really important. To me the song, and I meant it in writing it, it’s a sad song, it’s beautiful in that it’s reminiscent on love and on a beautiful time but that couldn’t be had in a way for whatever reason so it’s very bitter sweet in that kinda like, I want that back, and you know it’s nobody else’s business, it’s just ours.
Kevin Godley: and cut ! not bad at all, playback
Sharon: You very much rely on the director though to let you know that what you’re doing is ok, because you’re not trained in the art of acting, so it’s very difficult to know when you’re getting it right, when you’re getting it wrong, but they’ve a tendency to say nothing when you’re getting it right and something when you’re getting it wrong, that’s how you know it. I am really comfortable with it, much more comfortable with it nowadays.
Andrea:There always is acting involved, I mean I really enjoy it, even as part of performance when we’re playing live, it’s something that actually helps me to get rid of my nerves, I use the words as a way of focusing and shutting out anything that’s going to make nervous so I pretty much must always do that in our live performance.
Caroline:the impact of mum dying was kind of, if anyone would look back but on In Blue it was sort of very very raw, so I think now we’ve had a lot more time to reflect on it, and I think you can hear it in this record a lot
(More Goodbye Acoustic)
Sharon: I know certainly feel myself in Goodbye, those lyrics are very much about my mum, they’re totally about trying to deal with her loss and they’re so about just basically frustration and lack of acceptance and I mean I don’t really accept the concept of death, I don’t understand it, nobody ever explained it to me, and to me the idea of saying goodbye is almost, I’d never find time to say goodbye, you know.
(More Goodbye Acoustic)
Andrea:Music in itself is, it is a release, so there is something cathartic about it, there definitely is, so in a way I mean in singing goodbye, it feels like I let her go you know
(End Goodbye Acoustic)
Jim: It is certainly the case of Andrea cos she has written most of the lyrics, Sharon has written a lot of lyrics aswell. You do tend to get deeper and I think that the death of our mother would influence the emotional content of the lyrics, and it particularly had in the song Angel because Angel is about her.
Jim: You know it’s gonna develop, and I think you know it’s not that we are trying to write to our audience but our audience would expect I think that as they got older themselves, the people that have been fans of us from day one, they’d gonna want lyrics with a deeper content. That’s not to say that we would try to do that purposely, it just works out that it’s what naturally, that’s what emanates from you.
Caroline:I think you know once you have a child yourself, you think about all the things your mum did for you, I think that’s what happens, you go WOW she did all this for so long, she gave so so much, and I think that’s something that I think about like everyday now, d’you know what I mean, it amazes me how much she did, because now I know how much I need to do, you know the sacrifices that, they’re not sacrifices but just what you do for love you know.
We knew at some stage the time was gonna come when one of us was gonna have a child, you know it was inevitable, I didn’t know quite when it was going to happen and you know we’re all really happy about it but then you start thinking about all your career. At the time it was great because we were doing the record, so I was in one place and I had loads of time to spend with my son for the first year but now I think it’s all starting to pick up again and I think you just have to try to fit them in, if you want to do as much as we do, I think you’ve to decide to do it the best you can and sort of keep both things going without obviously sacrificing his happiness whatever happens you know.
Sharon: Years and years ago, we found ourselves sort of bound by schedules and very worried about really not being able to include anything else in our lives and now we sort of go why worry, why on earth would you worry about that. You know Jake is a total celebration, a total celebration, as far as I am concerned, it means they’ll have to work out our schedules a bit more properly and I’ll get more time off. You know it’s like, as long as we’re writing music and making albums, that’s the thing and we are, life evolves that’s why it’s interesting.
Andrea:in the last few years I suppose we spent a lot more time apart and kinda go on our own because I think when we started in the first few years there was no other lives, only our lives together as a band, it’s fresher now, because we get back to eachother I suppose if you are constantly around eachother, you can lose the respect of eachother as an individual, we kinda go back to, listen you were like this when you were six and you are still like this, you know it’s like it can kinda get like that.
Jim: in terms of us living and working on the road, we’ve got sufficient breaks in between tours and between promoting tours and live tours, so we don’t get fatigued, we don’t get too tired with each other and I’ve said this before, we’re very lucky that we get on as well as we do, wasn’t always the case but we get on extremely well. Sorry no juicy gossips in there I am afraid.
Andrea:other bands, it’s different, I think other bands get together and they’re a band of individuals and they become a family. I think we’re kind of a family and had to become a band in the way of the respect of the individuals, you know not the judgements that families can do to each other.
Jim: it’s, well this is our work, we’re back at it now, we’ve been back at it for about two weeks now doing lots and lots of promotion preparation in terms of the videos and the electronic press kits and photo shoots, and it’s great to be back in it, cos we’ve been out of it now for such a long time but in six month’s time when we’ll kind of do it day in day out, it will probably start to get a little bit monotonous but we have to pinch ourselves at times to remember we are very lucky in what we’re doing you know, it’s a great occupation to have
Andrea:We’re in a lady’s house is Chiswick, she’s got a house done amazingly and it’s location shoot for photos, publicity photographs and for our album cover for our album, Borrowed Heaven. We’ve got so many different, we need so many publicity photographs , and we’ve got so many different looks to try and get through today and also tomorrow, we’re going to the studio and do more there so I suppose if that’s the end of it, hopefully one would say this is definitely the album cover.
Caroline: we kinda go as we go in each shoot, and go ok what we’re doing next, just changing around a bit you know
Andrea:You really look good like that Caroline
Sharon: We went through some look books basically from a lot of different photographers and I remember we all sat in the room and we all immediately just picked the same guy.
Andrea:His colours and the contrast with those colours, I think the way he works and manipulates pictures is a really big part of his… it’s very creative and very artistic. Colour was really a different thing for us really, because we’re stuck in black really, which we like but we did want particularly this album, the way it is musically, I think colour is an important thing to have.
Jim: this is going to be a pretty wild look as you can see by Sharon’s hair, thanks be to God they didn’t do that to me I think someone was tempted to have a wig on my head but I wasn’t having any of it.
Sharon: I am a musician, not a model, so my idea of spending the day trying on clothes is just… well it’s not my idea, it’s just not my idea, to do that.
Andrea:I don’t think I was ever made to be a model, just for the whole standing around and the posing of it and regardless of the height and everything else, with your legs, I really respect models, it’s difficult.
Sharon: It makes you quite self-conscious, it does, cos you’re being nitpicked in every little area, people go, you go see them over there cos they can see what’s coming out on the polaroids I can see them going them sort of… and they’re going and they’re pointing to parts of your body and you’re wondering, is my chest that doesn’t look particularly good, and is it Caroline’s? You become quite self conscious.
Andrea:The thing is that it all comes down to belief in the album, and that’s the thing, it’s kind of bitter sweet, you go, oh god, interviews the whole lot, I mean we’re human, we’re gonna think that, but then you go, Jesus this album it’s worthy pushing it and that’s it and that’s the only thing that ever will bowl down to so you’re gonna let that song just slip away then, and you go no I can’t do that.
Sharon: there are loads of elements you miss as well. You know when you’re not on the road, you certainly miss playing, even though you’re playing in the studio, you miss the performance, you miss the buzz of the gig, you miss the audience, you miss the after show drink, you know all that goes around it and you miss the dressing room atmosphere and the wardrobe and looking and seeing all the people who worked with you and helped you to get that stage where you put a show on. So you miss that, and you know there are elements of promotion that you miss aswell, very few but there are.
(Silver Strand Acoustic)
Sharon: It’s very nice to be back at it again. It’s nice to sort of feel that initial surge and sort of worry for the album, how is it gonna go, the expectation is quite exhilarating.
Caroline:I just gonna take it week by week, because if I looked into the future I think I’ll probably just go mad, cos if you look at the schedule three months down the line, you just go oh my God, how am I actually gonna do this? But I think you just take it week by week but I really want to do it and I just have a lot of faith in this record and a lot a hope for it, I just wanna, I just wanna, well I wanna work, you know I love being a mum but I like to work too so you can do both if you want, you know.
Jim: We love music, we love writing, you are going to endeavour to continue going for as long as we love what we are doing and as long as people want to hear it you know.
Transcription and translation by GaëlleF
Le 18/05/2006 à 23:14 par GaëlleF