Today marks the 10th anniversary of finishing the mixes to Zumutung! with our producer, Paul Savage. The culmination of four weeks at Chem19 Studios, Paul encouraged us a lot to experiment and helped us to tap into a variety of musical touch-points. Listen to a couple of my favourite songs on the album — see if you can hear the ABBA influence on my baritone guitar playing on Last Exit For The Lost or Erik’s Syd Barrett referenced vocals on Your Expressions
The months that preceded and followed the release of our second LP, Zumutung!, incorporated shows and festivals in Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm and many other wonderful places including our beloved Glasgow. It was the ‘difficult’ second album. Our debut had been recorded at intervals and so, when we arrived to deliver its follow up, we had pivoted slightly from the raw energy and jangle pop/C88 sound (Orange Juice, Felt, Belle & Sebastian) that coloured the first record.
Erik Sandberg: Apart from a couple of songs, Zumutung! was written in a lute tuning, or at least something close to resembling a lute tuning — I sort of made it up as I went along — and had to completely re-learn how to play the guitar because my experimenting with my gauge 11s went a little too far. I had more time on my hands back then. After all it was 2009, the recession had just kicked in and I didn’t have a job-job. That was when most of the songs were sketched out.
Because of Erik’s new approach to writing songs, I had to figure out all the chords in an open tuning which made the initial composition of lead guitar and keyboard parts a little more challenging and time consuming, but we got there in the end.Anyway, we hope you enjoy Zumutung!
The Sandbergs have a long history in making music. We doff our hats to them and tread their hollowed footsteps. Perhaps we just wanted to continue that tradition. Zumutung! is a worthy feather in the cap of our family’s canon. Indeed — our great grandfather, on the Swedish team — he was inspired by a very original school teacher called Per Holm. My understanding is that our great grandfather was very musically talented. He played the psalmodikon and could even play real dance songs on the thing. That’s no easy task on a one–stringed box. He bought an organ when our grandfather — Eric Gunnar — was very little, and could play church songs by ear.
And so, music is so much more than just your expressions. It’s societal, developmental. Sometimes if you’re lucky it encompasses family, too. So tell your bloody sons and daughters to pick up a guitar. You teachers of the world rise up: ensure it as a curriculum staple. We’d have been half the men without it.”
Geoff Widdowson (Keyboards) “I remember loving those sessions… Think I had been recording sound for a film in Budapest the day before I joined the album sessions, if memory serves correctly. I had bought Björn and Erik a duty free bottle of absinthe that I left on the platform when getting on the train with my all my kit… I still often wonder who drank that. I also feel like I had a great schooling in choice of indie keyboards from Björn and Erik’s record collection and Paul’s production and kit over that week — I particularly remember that Mogwai had been in the previous week or so working on an album and had left some nice keys around! I also remember sitting with Erik while he made eggs in the Kitchen for some reason? Fun times!
Dave McDonald (Drums): “My favourite song from that album session has to be E.T — I love how it builds up with the heavy guitars and drums, it’s pretty intense and Erik’s vocals were great too. Also In Youth There Is Pleasure — it was a hard session but I think we got it good in the end”
Paul Savage: “One of those records that’s so underrated — it will hopefully go on to be given the attention it deserves. It’s the sound of a band trying new things — at times uncomfortable but all the better for it. So sad they haven’t done anything since…unrealised potential…hopefully one day”