Lead singer of UK indie rock band Spector, Fred McPherson has put his new Audient iD14 straight to work, describing it as ‘a key component’ of the writing and demo process. He and the band are working on their third album following their debut Enjoy It While It Lasts and 2015’s Moth Boys, both released through Universal’s Fiction Records label.
Audient caught up with him for a chat recently and asked him about the writing process, recording at home and of course, what he loves about the Audient USB audio interface, iD14.
So the iD14 has been delivered! You mentioned that you are working on your third album. Did it arrive in time to use it during the writing process? Can you tell us a little about how it’s fitted into your setup? Describe your workflow.
For us the writing process and demo process are one in the same. We record song ideas at home before taking them to the band – so the iD14 immediately became a key component, replacing the Edirol interface I’ve had since the band started.
What are the advantages as a band of having a home setup? How does iD14 help with that? Do you use it on the road?
It means we can demo without having to get five people in a room or worrying about studio time. We’ll record guitar, synth, bass and vocals at home over simple drum loops and when we feel a song’s good enough we’ll think about learning it as a band. The iD14 has a lot of clarity in terms of what goes in, so we can also develop tracks to a point where we can play them to our label, management, producers etc.
We haven’t been on tour since I switched to the iD14 but it’s small enough to fit in a backpack which is ideal. In the past I’ve written and recorded songs all over the world.
Tell us what you love about your Audient.
What I missed in my old interfaces was a level of audio quality that was good enough to be transferred onto a studio recording. Now if we get an incredible guitar take or vocal take at home on the iD14 we can intersperse the home recording with stuff we do in the studio.
Have the other guys had a look in, yet …if so have you had any feedback from them?
Jed (our guitarist) has been round quite a lot and loves the sound. I’d noticed it on vocals first but it’s great with guitars too. In fact I think he wants his own already. [He’s just bought one! ~ Audient] What’s extra useful is that we can record guitar and vocals simultaneously with the two channels which is ideal when we’re making stuff up as we go along.
How’s the album coming along? When’s it due out? Have you got a title yet?
We’ve got a few titles in mind but not all the lyrics are finished so we’ll have to see if our initial ideas match up with the rest of the themes as they evolve. We’re hoping to get it out this year and probably have at least three quarters of it written.
What message would you like people to take away from your music?
That anyone can make it and songwriting is a good medium for anyone wanting to engage with themselves or other people creatively. I don’t think it really requires any talent as long as you know what you like and are willing to put the time in working out how to achieve it. I think music should be honest and help us learn things about ourselves. If the artist manages to do that then hopefully the audience might as well.
What would you recommend we listen to, to introduce us to your style before the album comes out?
What a great question. I’ve just been embracing melody and lyricism across the board regardless of style. I’d like our album to sound more human than our previous two. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of, The Replacements, Hamilton Leithouser, PiL, Leonard Cohen, Killing Joke and Frank Ocean.
What are you most proud of?
The song All The Sad Young Men on our last album. I think that’s the best thing we’ve done and a song I’ll always be proud of, whatever happens.
What advice would you give a younger you just starting out in the business?
Don’t ever wait for someone to tell you you’re allowed to do something, or how and when to do it. Business is always second to music and as long as the music you’re making is good the business side will follow.
Make sure you enjoy what you do or no one else will – and don’t rush. Sometimes nothing will work for a year and then just fall into place. Everything that doesn’t work will help make sense of something else in the future.
Where can we get hold of the album/find out more about you/follow you on social media?
I’m on Twitter and Insty too – @fredmacpherson
Audient can’t wait. Thanks for the chat, Fred!