Belfast Telegraph

Beasts needed break before album

Wild Beasts have revealed they took time off before their fourth album because they needed "breathing space".

The British band wrote and recorded their first three records in relatively short succession but decided to spend some time apart before they started working on their latest offering, Present Tense.

So after touring throughout 2011, they played just a few shows the following year and saw very little of each other.

"We just met up for the shows and it was lovely," said drummer Chris Talbot. "Don't get me wrong, we get on amazingly, but you can tire of one another after two years together, every day."

The foursome went their separate ways and concentrated on writing. Then in August 2012 they met up to show each other what they had done, deciding they wanted their fourth album to be "an aesthetic turning point".

"There's always a gap between what you want to do and what you're capable of at that time," said singer and bass player Tom Fleming. "What you're hearing across our records is a learning curve.

"The first record is a traditional band set-up, Two Dancers was more synthetic, Smother, similar again, and Present Tense is even more so, the synths are high in the mix. There was pressure, self-imposed, to make something different."

Chris continued: "We wanted to move on. Two Dancers and Smother are quite closely aligned records, like a brother and sister. I think, at the time, we thought we were breaking more new ground with Smother than we were, but this time around, having the time off gave us the breathing space we needed to think about it a bit more."

Tom added: "It did get quite tense towards the end. You have to have that pressure, and you should feel the pinch too. This is not some rich man's hobby for us. We want to do this and have done since we were teenagers... We're not making albums for the sake of it."

:: Wild Beasts' fourth album Present Tense is out now.

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