Mark Nelson and Daniel Hardy, recently joined Beater's Jon Cramer for a chat about the forth-coming album Broken Spokes and how Amazing Planes came to be.
Jon: "Broken Spokes is the first album you've worked on together?"
Mark: "Actually we've worked together previously, albeit briefly. We've known each other for about ten years or so, I played guitar in Dan's old band for a while. I guess we just lost touch for a good few years until Dan called me out of the blue. We just went down the pub for a chat about what we could do and to just catch up in general. To be honest I don't think either of us thought things would move so quickly, but a week later we were jamming out ideas in the studio and we knew straight away we had something we could work with."
Jon: "So how has the writing process been going having not written together before?"
Mark: "Well, we decided from the start not to be too precious about the writing. We'd both been writing and recording alone for a few years and you kind of get stubborn and protective over your songs cos there's no one telling you how things could improve. With Dan and I if something isn't doing it for either one of us it won't go any further and it's been really easy for us to progress that way. The songs all came together really quickly during the writing sessions and it was nice to just jam out a few ideas and have fun with it, just go with it. We deicided quite early that we wanted to record 6 tracks but the songs kept coming so we thought why not go for a full album? "
Daniel: "It's been a really productive process so far, I think cos we're doing it for our own reasons and not just chasing a deal or to make loads of money, it's reflected in the tracks. It's been much freer experience and it's great that we're on the same page when it comes to writing. We both know what the other likes musically and the way we both work, and because of that the songs have a definate feel and vibe about them that we're really excited about."
Jon: " You say you're writing for your own reasons, what are those reasons?"
Daniel: " When we were sat in the pub that first time, we talked about what we both wanted out of writing and recording music and and it turns out the most important thing to both of us was to enjoy the process. The reason for writing, recording, playing live and what ever else had to be because we both just wanted to do it and that we should just have some fun with it, and not to get all hung up on getting a record deal, or publishing, or a manager.
Mark: "Doing it for any other reason is pointless, if you ask me. It's quite depressing when you're thinking about how to promote an album these days, the hoops you have to jump through via endless social media sites and the like just to sell a few records. Music generally has become so disposable. There doesn't seem to be much respect left, no event or drama. I'm not talking about an argument for either mp3, cd or vinyl, it's a bigger issue around the industry being so messed up these days with no apparent solution to hand. People can listen to pretty much anything they like over the web, and all for free, and you don't have to buy albums anymore, individual downloads are having a big affect on the album market."
Jon: "When do you think the record will be available, and how are you going about the recording of it?"
Daniel: "Realistically we're looking at an early 2013 release. We’ve recorded some of it, mainly the drums, at The Old Library Studios, then we took it back to Mark's studio to do the rest. We did the same with the demos and it really worked out well using the different spaces. We wanted to keep the whole process as simple as possible with more of an organic, honest kind of vibe. It's pretty raw with just the two of us. The first single off the album, Your Money, was released on the first of October.
Mark: "Yeah, we've both worked as studio engineers so we've got a good idea about approaching the recordings. I learn something new everytime I record or produce a band, little tricks and techniques that are new to you, I love all that. On this record It's important to us to let the songs dictate the production, we don't want the songs to become bogged down with too much crap going on."
Jon: “How’s the single doing?
Mark: “We’ve had some really positive feedback, so far. And people are actually buying it. Not in any great numbers, but it’s still really cool to know it’s being down loaded and listened to. We’re hoping people will just enjoy it whether they buy it or not.
Jon: "if there's just the two of you will you be using other musicians in the future?"
Mark: "One thing we've said from the start is that we're happy writing and recording with just the two of us. The dynamic feels good and we don't want to lose that. Playing live will be a different matter and we're already talking to a few people about that, but in terms of the record, except for a guest spot or two, it'll be just the two of us for the majority."
Daniel: "We both sing and play guitar and Mark's a really accomplished drummer. We put the bass down between us , it seems to work well. If it becomes obvious we need to use other people, we will. There's always room for outside influences and more often than not it's a positive thing. We’re hoping to take the album on the road in Spring 2013 so we’re going to be rehearsing with a band anytime soon. We’ve just finished shooting the video for “Your Money” and start the “Waves” video in a few weeks.
Jon: “So the album is due for release soon?
Daniel: “Yeah, we’re at the mixing stage so we’re looking at an early 2013 release. It’s going to be on our own Black Dog label, cos these days it’s just become easier to get stuff out there by ourselves.
Mark: “As we’ve said, it’s just a case of getting it out there and getting people to listen to it, so we decided to do it ourselves rather than go hunting for a proper deal. We’ve had the best time getting it to this point so far, I think just because we’ve had fun along the way and not been too worried about all the industry shenanigans!