Matthew Houck “A lot of intuitive, raw magic…” Had you started the new album before you got ill?
I had started on it before and it became a different album after. But I wouldn’t say the illness had an outsized effect on the LP. are there pre- and post- illness songs? Not conspicuously, no. But then again everything has an effect. Everything gets in there. some of the lyrics are unusually candid. were you tempted to rewrite them? Yeah, I agree. My comfort level with this sort of stuff veers wildly from day to day. I’m always tempted to rewrite. You usually prefer working alone in the studio. was C’est La Vie similarly recorded? This was done mostly the same way. The main difference was that at the beginning of the process I had the touring band in Nashville. I had five or six new songs I wanted to show them and feel how they sounded to play with the band. The exploratory nature of those recordings made for a lot of intuitive, raw magic and provided a glimpse of where these songs could go. Several songs became radically different and some were altogether scrapped, but the searching energy of those first wild recordings was so special, I did use a lot of that material where I could. INTERVIEW: ALLAN JONES