There we were, now here we are.
A couple of years ago, we were deep into touring Music For The People. Gigs were bigger and better than ever, the album had hit number two and was selling well. We'd been on the road for about four years at this point, we'd seen the world, from the Welly Club in Hull to humongous baseball stadiums in sweltering Japan with Kasabian. The world was guitar shaped and we were on top of it.
The thing about touring, is as fun as it is, it's hard graft. Gruelling schedules, endless interviews, traveling huge distances, don't get me wrong the pay off at the end of each day, when the lights go down and the music starts is immense and worth all the hard work, but after four years non stop, we'd all had enough and were ready for a break.
Originally we planned a year out, to decorate our houses, spend some quality time with loved ones and get back to a bit of normality. As much as we all love jetting around the world, it's the normal stuff in life that really matters, family, friends, having a place to call home. At about the same time that we took a break, radio stopped playing guitar music all together, a tragedy if you ask me. A year flew by, and about nine months ago we started work on album three.
We began by spending months writing. The most important ingredient for making a great album is songs. We went back to ideas we sketched in the weeks the band first formed. Back then, we were writing so many songs that amazing ideas were being cast aside in order to focus on getting songs finished. What we discovered were some real forgotten gems. Reworked and bought forward, they gave us an exciting glimpse at the beginnings of a record.
Regular rehearsals and writing sessions have led to new anthem size songs such as, Give Me The Sign, and Bigger Cages Longer Chains. In focusing on the songs we've rediscovered the essence of The Enemy, the excitement is back, the intelligent cheek returned. For my money, Music For The People was a great album, sonically it was excellent and we found a new, exciting size, but I think in places it was a bit serious. What we've always done well, is poke fun at the mundane, found light in dark, and ultimately provided a great soundtrack to escape to Ibiza with, or to blast in your car and give you a reason to look forward to driving to work.
Well, the vibe is back. Spirits are high. The songs are in good shape, we just needed to find the right person to capture the magic that happens when we're all in the zone.
The right person showed up about a month or so ago. John Dawkins was the brains behind the band in the early days. He took the rough diamond that was three urchins in a rehearsal room, took our baseball caps off us and pointed us in the right direction. A few years in, and Dawkins went to pursue other projects, developing a knack for turning around failing night clubs amongst other things. Some months ago, Dawkins and The Enemy were reunited.
Immediately, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world, John said we should consider working with a guy called Joby J Ford. Joby plays in a band called The Bronx. They're a punk band from the states, they're guitar heavy, agro vocals, totally different to us sonically, but the essence is the same.
There are no guitars in the charts at the moment. Most people's reaction to that is to throw a load of synths at their tunes and try to sculpt themselves for radio. Not our approach. We're making a no apologies guitar record. Why? Because it's better and braver to lead than to follow.
We've recorded two songs with Joby so far. He's nailed them. He makes guitars sound huge. If you want to know how huge listen to The Bronx.
We're about to go back in the studio and record another five tracks. In two weeks time we will have the album almost finished and will be able to start thinking about which tracks to release as singles. The sound is raw. It's unapologetic. You can hear Liam drumming hard, the guitars are epic and the vocals are snatchy. As you can tell, we're very excited about this one. We think it could be our finest work.
Stay tuned to find out our plans for 2012.