Sometimes playing with expectations can be a tricky thing, but, on the other hand it’s also highly fascinating thing. METRONOMY soon-to-be-released fourth album Love Letters – out on March the 10th – marks such a record. The 2011 album The English Riviera saw the former bedroom project by mastermind Joseph Mount evolving into a more comfortable band – including plenty of hit singles like The Bay and The Look. While a lot of people expected a continuation of this style, the upcoming album turned out to be a bit different.
On Love Letters METRONOMY take a more discreet and gentle approach, providing a back-to-basics album that shows Mount more personal than before. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION sat down with the musician and cleared up a few things. What part of METRONOMY is just him and what is the band? Did becoming a father change his perspective? And why the hell do the people don’t write love letters anymore? Find your answers right here.
You remember the first love letter you ever received?
Oh god. (laughs) I think I might have gotten one for Valentine’s Day once. But I had a few relationships with girls where I sent love letters.
Do you remember the age?
I was quite young. Probably eleven or something. But this was earlier. Later they’ve became more sexy. (laughs) I also got a girlfriend who moved away and these letters became more romantic due to the distance.
Isn’t it sad that in times of Whatsapp, Facebook and e-mails, the concept of love letters got a bit lost?
I hadn’t really anticipated this. And of course the people ask me a lot about love letters recently but it never really crossed my mind. I didn’t realize that it was an old fashioned idea. I’m not sure if people still realize the power of these letters. If you’re the only boy in your school who realizes that there is a gap in the market for this old-fashioned concept of romantic, handwritten letters, then you’re gonna be a great fucking lover. (laughs)
When I first listened to the new album it felt like a step back. After The English Riviera I somehow expected that you head more into this grooving band direction. But Love Letters turned out to be very intimate and reduced. It might even recall your early lo-fi days. Why is that?
The lo-fi-effect comes from the recording via old analogue tape. Actually the amount of material I recorded for the album was twice the amount of what ended on the album. And the other songs are far more groovy and upbeat. And the songs that ended up on the record are the songs I really like and the ones I’m hundred percent happy with. That somehow dictated how the album was like. And that’s good since I think the most important thing is to let the songs be in charge. And I also knew that I wanted to follow The English Riviera with something that was way more different. Half of it happened on purpose the other half… well, just happened naturally. I wanna continue this, you know – exploring this sound as I get more comfortable with my music.
During the last album it felt a bit like – especially with the new members – METRONOMY is moving closer to a full band set-up. But now, at least on the promo photos and in the first video, it looks like it’s you again as a solo artist.
This is kind of funny. It really is just a misunderstanding and a chain of events that made it look like it’s all about me. The first image was supposed to be about the band but the photos didn’t turn out very well. And when this happened, Benga was in Africa and Oscar in the US so it was easier to get a photo of me. However, it’s definitely a more personal record. But the band is still the band like it was before. We spend a lot of time together and they all play on the tracks on the record. But METRONOMY has always been my kind of thing which makes it easier for me to explain it.
But are you one of these artists who prefer working alone?
I somehow play two roles since I also produce the albums. With this album I had – like on the last album – two engineers who help me and Oscar was also always there in the studio. And Anna and Benga also came and played their parts. But basically I’m in control and that’s how I want it to be. And I still think the relationships we have are much easier than within other bands.