Supergrass - Diamonds Are Forever
3D’s Andrew Weaver chats with Britpoppers Supergrass – returning to Australia this week to promote new album Diamond Hoo Ha.
Danny Goffey, drummer for Supergrass, says that returning to the studio to bash out a record quickly – which is how Diamond Hoo Ha was created – was a deliberate step for the band to take; they wanted something that they could play live.
“We wanted an electric, rock n roll feeling,” he affirms. “We did a tour that was kind of stripped down and mellow, and we wanted to go a bit more electric again – a bit more pumping.”
Diamond Hoo Ha found Supergrass ensconced in Hansa Tonstudio, the studio where David Bowie recorded his ‘Berlin’ period.
“We’ve done an album in France and an album in Wales, and in Cornwall as well,” Goffey explains. “It becomes an adventure for us, and sets up making the record; it increases the gang mentality that you’re all in it together. We wanted to go to Berlin before we even had a producer.”
The group worked with producer Nick Launay, who is famed for getting a great ‘live’ sound for the band that he’s worked with, from Midnight Oil to Silverchair, where he usually gets the whole band to be able to see each other as they play.
However, Nick was not first choice: “We wanted Dave Grohl to produce it,” says Goffey of the Foo Fighters frontman, former Nirvana drummer, and occasional producer. “He was really up for it but he was doing an album at the time. We spoke to Nigel Godrich, and he’d worked with Nick Launay when he was younger – he’s started as an assistant. He told us about him, and we read what he’d done.”
For the most part, Supergrass songs are pieced together from individual ideas that the band four main band members – frontman Gaz Coombes, his brother Rob on keys, Mick Quinn on bass, and Goffey himself – have devised and then brought to one another. “We all write,” he explains, “whether it’s on the piano or a guitar, and if we haven’t seen each other for a few days then there’ll be a few songs hanging around and maybe one of them will be really good, and that’s how it works – from week-to-week, and then after a couple of months you have a dozen songs.
“Well, that’s how it worked for this album.” Goffey clarifies. “For Road to Rouen a lot of it we wrote in the studio, just working it out. It’s a really fun time when we were writing [this time] – we’d go to each other’s places and stay the night and work on stuff. It came together quite fast which made it really good to record – we spent basically three weeks recording the album, which is a really fast way of recording.”
WHAT: Play The Forum / Diamond Hoo Ha through Parlophone/EMI
WHEN: Friday 3 October, Saturday 4 / Out now