ANDREW: In our interview with Richard, we asked how he felt when you said he wasn’t drumming well enough. Did you feel as though you were marshalling Tom and Richard through it in a way, because you hadn’t played them all together and it was a studio record?
TIM: I don’t know - it’s really hard to know. It’s quite hard to remember as well!
ANDREW: It’s funny that we’re doing this interview all about things that were in 2005 and 2006…
TIM: Well it is funny, because it doesn’t seem like any time ago at all. Sometimes you look back and wonder quite what all the fuss was about, or why we didn’t do things differently, but we were in such an intense head-fucked place mentally that we didn’t really know what we were doing. I love recording, I love writing, I love hearing a song come together, and I enjoyed making the record the way we did. But everyone was very tired.
I felt very energised about making the record, and I was having a good time coming up with all sorts of crazy piano sounds and so on. Tom would come and go – he’d come in and do great stuff and then he’d disappear for a week or something. It didn’t feel like there was much energy coming from him. Richard was around a lot, but I guess what I meant when I talked to him about his drumming was that it didn’t feel like there was much enthusiasm coming from all three of us, with any unified sense of “Let’s get these songs down, lets make them sound really good”. It just didn’t feel like that, and I don’t know why - I still don’t really know why. But that was basically the situation. I guess probably because it felt, from the inception of the process, it had become too much ‘my thing’. It’s so difficult to dissect these things and make any sense of them.
One of my regrets about the second album and the way we presented it was that we were trying to say “well, there’s some very dark songs on here”, and there’s probably two songs about the intensity and darkness of making it, and our friendships and stuff like that – but, of course, you then go on to explain all the other things, and journalists will just be like “They all hate each other!”. And you know, for every bad day, there was a great day as well.
CHRIS: So would you say there are only two songs about the turmoil within the band? The message board has been full of posts saying “It’s all about Tom, it’s completely about Tom!”…
TIM: Well obviously, a lot of what gets written in the press or on the board is basically conjecture and that’s fine, that’s what liking music is all about – I do that all the time, it’s part of the fun of it. But, let me think. 'Broken Toy' is the only real desperate cry of pain, I suppose. And 'Hamburg Song' is partly about that.
ANDREW: 'Hamburg Song' was one of the earliest songs written for the second record. So had this been going on for a very long time? Because that dates back to around October 2004.
TIM: Well, yeah. I’ve actually thought about it a lot recently. Because like I say, everyone feels very good about the end of the touring now, and it feels like “God, that’s really flown by”. Even though last year was very turbulent in places, it still feels like things have gone very quickly, and everyone is almost a bit sad that touring is over. And really, I think if you look at it, it’s not actually that much shorter than last time. With 'Hopes and Fears' we finished touring at the beginning of October, and this time we finished touring at the beginning of August, so that’s two months earlier.
But everything that happened in that initial period after 'Hopes and Fears' was released felt so momentous. It felt like years between the album coming out and 'Hamburg Song' being written, but really it was only 4 months or something. It’s just because we weren’t at all ready for it psychologically – I don’t think you ever can be really.