Songs To Learn And Sing - Guy Chadwick Interview
Guy Chadwick released Lazy, Soft & Slow his debut (and only) solo album in February 1998, five years after Audience With the Mind, the last House of Love album. Lazy, Soft & Slow is one of those great albums that just gets better and better with age. I go back to it every couple of years and am always blown aways by its subtle beauty. This is an album that slowly gets under your skin and then grabs you. It was produced by Robin Guthrie and features a great cover of Iggy Pop's Fall in Love With Me. I interviewed Guy around the time of the album's release for Zeitgeist magazine. The article is below. A few years later Guy and Terry Bickers reformed The House of Love and released Days Run Away. They toured in 2007 playing their debut album in its entirety.
Guy Chadwick - Lazy, Soft & Slow (1997, Setanta Records)
Lazy, Soft & Slow
I wrote the songs on acoustic guitar and that set the tone of the record. I had decided from the outset that I wanted the feel of the songs, whether they were played by a band, in a band situation or not, to have an acoustic feel. I didn’t have a sound in my head and I wasn’t listening to a lot of country, I was more concerned with my voice being intimate and upfront. They are soft songs for the most part, so naturally that effected the way they were recorded and the choice of instruments that we used.
I wanted to do it all and I had been waiting for the right time, I was motivated. I wasn’t expecting the great reviews the album has been getting. Because I’ve been away from the whole thing for a while, I’m fully recharged, and now I’ve got a really good band which I’ve put together this year and we played our first gig about two-and-a-half weeks ago in Paris which was great. I’m doing a few House of Love songs and it all sounds really, really good and they fit in well with the songs from the new album. It’s a nice development for me because I’m going to be making another album this year and I don’t want to make the same record again, I’ll be working it a different way but it’s sort of setting things everything up nicely for it.
Guy Chadwick - You Really Got a Hold On Me (1998, Setanta Records)
Keith Cullen, of Setanta Records, was pretty persistent in getting me to make a record; I was very impressed by him because he had a good handle on how I should be at a time when I was a bit unsure about what I should be doing. He said make a solo record. It’s five years since The House of Love split up and becoming a solo artist has been a very gradual process for me, it’s still ongoing in a way but making the record was a kind of awakening for me and it’s been enjoyable putting the new band together. For the first time in years I feel that I’m doing and working as I should be. So I feel good about things rather than awkward.
The reason why I did the record with Robin Guthrie was because I didn’t want to make a House of Love record and he didn’t want to make a Cocteau Twins record. He really liked the songs which was the main thing, I had demoed them all and the arrangements had been worked out. So it was quite easy to decide where we were going to go and we worked fairly quickly. We were in total agreement about things and he hadn’t made a record for a while we it was a fresh experience for both of us.
Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen
I’m very flattered when people mention Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen; they’re respected people aren’t they? I haven’t got any Nick Drake records but a friend of mine always plays him when I call around but I’m a big Leonard Cohen fan and I’m very aware of the influence that he’s had on me and the sound and everything. I just love him so that’s bound to come out.
The House of Love
At the moment I’m working with Mercury on a ‘Best of The House of Love’, it’s pretty much 16 or 18 tracks and they’re the ones that anyone who was into The House of Love would expect to be there. But I did choose one track that was a demo which was originally rejected for the third album and it’s one of the best songs that I ever wrote. It’s very simple, the band playing very well in quite a laid back kind of way, very few over dubs and close vocals and ironically it sounds like it would fit really nicely on the new album. Unfortunately, particularly in the later period, The House of Love did over-produce the records, there was too much going on and it didn’t need to be that way. We were quite mellow and played quite well in a mellow way but we got pushed into being a more rocky-sounding band, and ultimately that’s why we split up because we weren’t producing the music that we wanted to.
A mellow record
Lazy, Soft & Slow is not an album that jumps out of the speakers at you on the first listen, it’s mellow unlike most of the music that you hear on the radio at the moment which is harsh and aggressive sounding, and I didn’t want to make a record like that. The record’s a grower so stick with it.