Is the This Fire EP indicative of the new direction being taken on March Fires?
Certainly it’s a taste. I don’t think it’s the strongest material from those sessions but I certainly think you can get a taste of the sort of sound and space we’re going for with the new album. This Fire is definitely going to be on the record, but we ended up writing and recording a lot of material for this album, and unfortunately some of it didn’t make it on but we didn’t think they were B-sides; it was just that the songs on the EP are right for the album.
The new songs seem more shoegazey. Was that a deliberate choice?
Yeah it absolutely was. I think it was time for the band to make a decision whether it was going to reproduce its old style once again, and maybe capitalise on the fan base it had already got or do something different and more interesting. The bandleader Sparky (lead guitarist Adam Spark) had written a record that was inspired from a place that he’s always loved. He has a great passion for shoegaze music like My Bloody Valentine. So we really honed in on those influences and went from there. We didn’t want to make another hard rock or pub rock kind of album because we felt that we’d outgrown that kind of style.
You joined the band in 2011, right?
Yes that’s right.
Do you think your arrival had a big part to play in that [the new direction]?
Yeah, it’s a collaborative process between all of us, but it’s always going to have its fundamental core structure with Adam’s melodies and Kenny’s (lead singer) lyrics. Maybe 10 per cent of the time was spent actually writing the songs and then 90 per cent was spent on working out how they would be recreated in the studio. It was a very cerebral kind of record to make.
Birds had a massive 2012. Did that success intimidate you guys?
I guess there would have been pressure. There was a lot of mental fatigue coming out of there, which was quickly overcome. I didn’t feel the pressure personally, because I was just coming in from nowhere compared to those guys. Ian and Adam wrote a couple of songs they were really excited by really early in the song writing process [for March Fires], which I think, took the pressure off right away.
Had a chance to play many of the new songs live yet?
We played maybe three or four at the most recent Homebake Festival and again at the Annandale and they just feel kind of a different level. It’s more layered, more intricate with lots of keyboards and guitar effects. It’s really exciting actually.
Is that what your fans can expect for the upcoming March Fires tour?
Yeah, definitely. It’s almost like a complete overhaul really, especially the guitar sounds. We’ll be playing a good selection of songs too.
Birds of Tokyo’s fourth studio album March Fires is out now. (birdsoftokyo.com)