Monday, January 26, 2009

Kyle Chats To ilikemusic

Hailing from Dundee The View released their debut album Hats Off To The Buskers in 2007. It went straight to number one, was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize and songs such as Wasted Little DJs and Same Jeans became anthems etched in the minds of many a dishevelled teenager across the country.

With their first album produced by the legendary Owen Morris (he produced the first three Oasis albums) The View moved into his Welsh home in order to complete their second album Which Bitch? The songs are accredited to the charismatic curly haired front man Kyle Falconer and partner in crime, bass player Kieren Webster. 14 track album Which Bitch? shows a more mature side to The View and has clearly been affected by their wealth of experience (both in life and music) since their debut.

ilikemusic caught up with Kyle to chat about the new view taken on Which Bitch? From hammering benches to studio walls, playing with Noel Gallagher, listening to classical music, Eminem and Dionne Warwick, as well as reasons behind the lyrics and getting stuck in Cornwall, we find out how the album came together and what fans can expect.

"I Like Music becauseā€¦ it's exhilarating. Because of that funny feeling that I can't put my finger on that only a few songs can do. Well many actually. Like Here There and Everywhere by The Beatles." KYLE FALCONER, THE VIEW

ILM: What's the whole vibe of your new album?

Kyle: It started off with Owen Morris, our producer. He came up to Dundee, cos we hadn't done anything for ages, and he was just like, 'You need to start doing something.'

ILM: You'd worked with him on the first album?

Kyle: Yeah. He came up to Dundee of his own accord and then we went to his house in Wales.

ILM: What was it like working with him? I read that he built a throne or something on the wall of the studio...?

Kyle: It was just me and him a few times and it was mad. I'd split up with my girlfriend and everyone else was pre-occupied. I worked on co-production. So when everyone went to bed it would just be me and Owen. We were recording on the rafters on the roof. He was convinced that it sounded better up there. We were sat on the rafters recording and Owen was just like 'Don't you move...' and he was deadly serious. Then eventually he was just like, 'You need to leave and I'll phone you when I'm ready.' So we went and when we came back he had got this antique bench from outside and nailed it to the wall with these big, pure f**king massive nails. In the control room in the studio we were already in trouble. He had re-wired the electricity in the room so he could get a big light up. It was insane.

ILM: Your first album, Hats Off To The Buskers, did exceptionally well. Did the success of that album effect you when it came to making the second?

Kyle: We had loads of time to record it. It didn't occur to me. All these people ask 'Was there pressure?' and I'm not sure if there was. We went to rehearsals last January to see what we had, and we had f**k all. So we were like 'Let's go and look through the back catalogue and see what we've got.' And it was hard. I said 'What we need is to be in the middle of nowhere.' So we went to Cornwall in January. It was a depressing moment. We were there for a month. We wanted to leave, but the record company were like 'You need to stay there, we've just paid for you.' We just wanted to get out of there, we were nearly killing each other. We got in trouble for spilling drinks in the studio and there wasn't a pub for 20 miles. We ended up getting half the album done. You know, we never get depressed, but we were all just pure in the dumps man, the place was horrible. We couldn't go back to our chalet til a certain time each night.

ILM: So all of a sudden you were stuck with a structured day...

Kyle: Pretty much. It was dire.

ILM: Out of all the gigs you've played, which will you never forget?

Kyle: We played with Noel Gallagher in the Royal Albert Hall. That was cool. We got a standing ovation...!

ILM: What's the best soundsystem you've played on?

Kyle: The Barrowlands in Glasgow is pretty good, although they tend to throw loads of drinks...haha!

ILM: How have you found fame? Bieng in the limelight?

Kyle: It's alright. It's a bit annoying in Dundee sometimes. I can't go out without a hood or I just get grief. If I'm going to get alcohol, most people will I.D me, just for the sake of it. It's degrading sometimes. I'm constantly in fights in Dundee. People are just waiting to pick a fight. I've got a good squad though, we've got all our mates so it's fine. The rest of the band can get annoyed because they'll say 'Let's just go for a pint' and I don't really want to because of all the pricks around. They don't get it as much as I do.

ILM: It sounds hard to get used to...

Kyle: I can deal with it. It's alright. But there's just loads of s**t. In Dundee we have this big swimming pool, with this big yellow slide and I love going there, but I have to go at certain times in the morning because otherwise I get hassled by the birds, you know what I mean...

ILM: Yeah...strutting out in your little swimming trunks..haha!

Kyle: Haha! Yeah man...I used to love going out and cannon balling but now...

ILM: You spoke about the studio, but what is The View's process of writing music? How do you write songs? Is it melody or lyrics first, or is it just random..?

Kyle: I'm not sure what comes first. It depends on the song. You can get obsessed with writing a song sometimes. Some of them are really simple. I've been listening to loads of Eminem recently, so I've been doing like 'Ba dum boom boom da ba boom' just doing riffs. But normally, initially, the sounds are like, well I just hum it in my head. When I was younger I just used to lie there and think about tunes. But nowadays, it's different. The doors where I used to live were covered in lyrics. And on the desk. I just used to get up and write the tunes. If it was that good, I'd get up in the middle of the night and write it down.

ILM: And how do you work with Kieren. All the songs on Which Bitch are credited to you both...

Kyle: I'll write a tune and if I really like it, I'll show Kieren. Usually, he'll point out something that's just been staring me in the face. I could nearly finish a tune, and have just one line and then show it to him and he'll be like that [snaps his fingers] and I'll just be like 'F**king yes man!' He's not as confident in guitar playing, he's a bass player, but he'll show me a tune on the guitar. And I'll see something obvious to do with his tune, just like he sees something obvious to do with mine.

ILM: So you have a really strong connection. Do you often find that hours have gone past when you're working on songs together?

Kyle: It depends. Sometimes. When that has occured, pure hour sessions, it's because we have shown each other something which needs a smack up the arse. I usually say to him 'Oh my God, yes! That's brilliant!' The last time we did it, we got some Southern Comfort, and said that everytime we got a new extension of a song we would have a drink. We ended up scrapping, having a fight in the street in Monmouth...haha!

ILM: Where do your lyrics come from? What do you enjoy writing about?

Kyle: This album has loads of talk about birds, or girls, sorry. With our first album we gave ourselves rules. Such as, we've got to be able to play it live, no piano, not too many harmonies, loads of stuff. On this album we decided to do whatever we wanted. Sing about whatever we wanted. Play piano. Play maracas. Whatever. So that was the deal. With our lyrics, you have to listen. Like, there's a song called Gem of a Bird and everyone is just like 'Oh, that's so sweet.' But it's not really. If you actually listen to it, it's pretty obvious what I'm saying. I'm saying that I know better than her pretty much. She was a lot older than me. She kept telling me how to spell stuff. Which was brilliant, I loved it, but it started to annoy me, it made me feel stupid, even though there was only four years difference.

ILM: The track Distant Dubloon has an orchestral element scored by Oliver Krauss. I understand that you listened to compositions by 19th Century Austrian composer Gustav Mahler when making the album. You've also mentioned listening to Eminem. Obviously there are a lot of differences between these compositions, Eminem and The View. What is it that you take from these different styles of music? How do they inspire you?

Kyle: These are some!

ILM: Sorry....

Kyle: Nah! Normally it's just like 'Oh, where do you come from?'

ILM: Oh, Ok cool. So...

Kyle: Right, er before we played Rock Ness we listened to a lot of ABBA. And we were trying to recreate the sounds of Jesus Christ Superstar. The actual sound. We were watching a lot of Roman Polanski too, I get inspired by a lot of things but, anyway, Mahler. It was meant to sound like death. That's what Owen described it as. People used to get really smashed, listen to Mahler and then freak the f**k out and really get into it. Owen got us a camera and we began trying to make music videos. We built a mini church. Just me and Owen.

ILM: You two really got on...

Kyle: Yeah man. He's brilliant. Yeah, with the mini church we had loads of lights. Basically anything you wanted, Owen got it, like, anything..

ILM: One small horse please...

Kyle: Yeah. Exactly. Anything you wanted he would be like 'Right. We need to get that now.' And he would send someone to get it.

ILM: Awesome.

Kyle: So we built this church and listened to Mahler. We were trying to understand the vibe of the song in the first place. We got some glasses and then listened to some Dionne Warwick, it was mental. Anyway, we were filming listening to Mahler and we put water into these cups, like different measures. Then, when you got the camera, with the lights it was like an eclipse [hums a haunting drone sound] and then we would just go freestyle with the music [hums again] That gave us the idea of one man choirs. Distant Dubloon all came from that. I was playing the guitar and Owen had this box and he started playing out this piano and it just really worked. I had 17 verses for that tune, but we could only fit in four. He said ' We can only use some of these. Pick your best.' We did 18 takes, and then picked the best, which was spot on. We sent it through to Oliver Krauss and 24 hours later...there you go. He'd played every instrument himself.

ILM: What's the bigger picture for The View. Where do you see yourself in years to come?

Kyle: I try not to think about it. But I'd like to head to America. We've been once. But we got banned. We got banned from Japan as well. It was pure sh*te. We'd played Japan a few times, but then...just got banned. We had drugs convictions. It was stupid. We can't go to America or Japan.

ILM: What? Ever?

Kyle: Well. We're completely black listed from Japan. Like Paul McCartney. I'm pure gutted.

ILM: Is it one of those thing where if you weren't, maybe you wouldn't be as bothered about it. But, because you are, it becomes the ONLY place you want to go...

Kyle: Aye man. It's pure sh*te. America was hectic too. Waking up after not much sleep and having to play gigs. We kept saying 'We have to be good and go to sleep early.' But then we kept meeting all these people and going back to parties.

ILM: It's a hard life...

Kyle: Yeah. Haha.


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