Escaping to a quiet country town and smashing a few bottles of red wine proved to be the perfect way for UK indie trio Band Of Skulls to deal with second album syndrome.
Fresh from two consecutive years of touring their debut Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, drummer Matt Hayward and his bandmates Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson were starting to feel the inevitable pressure of topping the album that catapulted them into the spotlight.
“We were still in that tour bubble without a gig to play every night…and it messes with your head a bit,” Matt said.
“So we took to the booze to solve that problem, which is never a good idea!
“But we were in a studio in the middle of nowhere…and we found it can help with band relations and ease tensions. A few bottles of red never does any harm.”
The red wine-fuelled session in Norfolk got the group’s creative juices flowing for what would eventually be their second album, Sweet Sour, which is out this Friday.
Following the time in Norfolk, they returned to their home studio in Southampton for some fine-tuning, before heading to Rockfield in Wales to whack it all together.
Hayward said the pressure of delivering a satisfying second record was somewhat beneficial for the band.
“In a way it enhanced everything, cause if not feeling any pressure, you fucking should be,” he said.
“All it does is make you work harder and pursue better ideas – and I think it worked to our advantage cause we set our standards high – and we wouldn’t put out anything we’re not proud of.”
The end result is one which Hayward believes is a progression on all of the band’s different styles and sounds.
“We’ve always been diverse in our tastes and styles, and now I think the rock songs are heavier and louder, the quieter songs are more beautiful and melodic, and we’ve emphasised the emotions and the songwriting more.”
“We just wanted to make the bigger things bigger and the quieter things more beautiful.”
Hayward said the band can’t wait to share the album with the world and are planning a tour to Australia in winter – however details are sketchy at the moment.
“I’ve been told we’re coming in summer, which is your winter – but doing what and where is yet to be confirmed,” he said.
“We’ve only been there once before and it was a really short trip – but we had a great time and we can’t wait to get back out there.”
Band Of Skulls new album Sweet Sour is out this Friday through Liberator. Check out the clip to their new single Bruises below: