Producer Dean Glover talks us through how he came to produce the new album from Twisted Wheel; entitled ‘Satisfying The Ritual’ – explaining how it ended up sounding as it does, the evolution of the band and what we can expect to learn from it.
Hiya Dean, so let’s start at the beginning, how did you start working with Twisted Wheel?
I crossed paths with Jonny just before he last got Twisted Wheel back together… he was toying with the idea of starting a new band for a bit and then the next thing I saw TW were back on stage. I’ve seen bands reinvent themselves with new names and new looks over the years (I remember watching The Children at Heywood Civic Hall in 2005?) but I think Jon saw this time as more of a new chapter in a longer story… so perhaps he wanted me to produce it because I think he’d been told kind of what I was about and thought it would hopefully open some new creative doors, so to speak.
That was the Jonny Guitar EP?
Yeah, that’s the first thing we recorded. If you listen to the title track, the first song on it… you can kind of hear the progression from ‘First Testament Twisted Wheel’ to ‘2nd Testament Twisted Wheel’ – which is the best way of describing it really. Plus, we had a number one in the official UK charts company physical charts that summer, which was cool to know that a physical record we’d made had sold more than any other physical record for that week.
How did you go about evolving the sound of the band from the old to the new then?
A few times after we’d done some recording, we’d just hang around for a bit while we were waiting for lifts home or whatever and listen to random stuff on Spotify. I was kind of building little playlists of what we all were into from Lana Del Ray to 10ft Ganja Plant. So, the limits were off when it came to developing sounds and running with ideas. There are loads of weird synths, samples, loops and general reversed guitar shit all over this album and every time I thought I’d taken things a bit too far; I’d end up getting WhatsApps or iMessages in the middle of the night saying ‘turn mad fx noises up’ or ‘do more of those delayed vocal things’ – some songs are a bit more spaced out and others are a bit earthier and raw… but like track 2 on this album is kinda like a refined blend between Old Testament and New Testament.
What do you think the long-time fans and the newer generation of fans will make of it?
I think the older generation, or the ones who were around from the beginning, will like it because it’s still guitar music and it’s still Jonny singing them… whereas the younger fans will probably just take it for what it is – a bit of a wide variety – because that’s what this next generation of music listeners are like. They’ve never had a 3-disc CD changer from Woolworths set as their alarm every morning with only ‘The Very Best Of The Smiths’, ‘Music Of The Spheres’ and ‘The Bends’ stuck inside it for 6 months. They’re used to just constantly fresh, constantly changing and evolving streams of music and this album reflects a bit of that. I purposely shortened all the gaps in between the songs and made it fly through from one to the next to simulate that kind of fast, chopping and changing playlist feel… it’s the modern guitar record.
Any future studio plans or side projects?
There’s very loose talk about writing sessions and log cabins in the woods for the next Twisted Wheel album but nothing too serious yet – we’re all kind of members of a larger, extended collective of musicians these days anyway, plus Me and Ben (Robinson, drums) have been in a band together since we were kids, (Ben) Warwick (Guitar) and Harry (Bass) have been in band’s together too, Jonny is big into collaboration and all of us are all about bringing people together as well so there’s always a big mixture of new stuff being produced from rap beats to dance remixes to acoustic folk numbers, under all sorts of names and aliases.
What do you think working on this album has taught you as a producer?
I think the main thing I’ll take away from the whole thing – from the first time I saw them rip through an early version of ‘Nomad Hat’ in their rehearsal room – to putting the last few bits of backing vocals on ‘I Am Immune’ is… it’ll happen when it happens – As a producer who works with so many different bands and artists, there’s always loads of songs and projects I’ve got on the boil at any one time – and there are some songs where I’m dead keen to rush home, load it up and carry on working on it until about 5 am after being at the studio all day and then there are other songs that for some reason, my senses just tell me to leave it alone for a while and come back to it when it feels right to load it up again – so yeah I suppose you could say – producing ‘Satisfying The Ritual’ has taught me that, for better or worse, we should trust and maybe even indulge our instinctive, intuitive senses and proclivity to procrastinate a little more than we already do sometimes…
Follow Dean Glover on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/producedbydeanglover
Buy Satisfying the Ritual: http://twistedwheel.tmstor.es
ALBUM ARTWORK: STEPHEN LYNN DIONYSUS ART