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Spirit host Jason Pierce on why his ninth album is ‘liberating’

THIS IS the silver trainers that help Jason Pierce stand out from the crowd.

When we do connect, his shoes are the only clue that he tends to wear all-metal spacesuits while bearing the J. Spaceman name.

Spiritualized softening mastermind, 56, reveals everything ahead of the release of his ninth studio album next month

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Spiritualized softening mastermind, 56, reveals everything ahead of the release of his ninth studio album next monthCredit: PR / SUPPLY
It was the silver trainers that helped Jason Pierce stand out from the crowd

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It was the silver trainers that helped Jason Pierce stand out from the crowdCredit: PR / SUPPLY

I was sitting quietly talking with the Spiritualized owner in the recesses of a wood-paneled bar, not far from his home in trendy London’s Spitalfields.

This 56-year-old man looked fit and healthy, a stark contrast to the weak personality I had encountered after his life-threatening double pneumonia.

Next month sees the release of the band’s ninth studio album, Everything Was Beautiful, an eclectic tour that brings together gospel, blues, country and, as you always do, an Some extended weird music is reinforced by the rhythms of Krautrock.

It includes Let It Bleed (For Iggy), the steady roll that sheds light on Pierce’s love of silver clothing.

He dedicated the song to a one-of-a-kind Iggy Pop, a lasting inspiration.

Pierce said: “When I was a kid, Iggy’s music changed my world. “Everything he does has a strange aura around it.” He remembers finding “a record of this handsome man in silver pants” for sale at Boots in the days when chemists sold LPs.

15-year-old Pierce captured Iggy & The Stooges-produced Raw Power in David Bowie featuring the iconic cover image of rock music’s most recognizable torso and impossibly tight shiny trousers. Okay.

“I brought the album home and it became my world for months,” he said. That’s the only record I own. I know all the lyrics. I even knew the gaps between the songs and it felt like no one else had that record.”

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Pierce added: “I love the fact that Iggy is my secret. I can say Iggy Pop to people and they think I just invented the name. “

He goes as far as to say that Raw Power transformed “my whole idea of ​​what I should do” and set him on the path to becoming a rock star.

All these years later, Let It Bleed (For Iggy) is his homage, borrowing the lyrics of Raw Power’s Open Up And Bleed.

Just before the Covid pandemic derailed his life and all of us, Pierce went to a gig with his hero at the Barbican in London.

I was very emotional about it,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll ever hear those songs again in person. So when I put together the credits (for Everything Was Beautiful), I felt the need to give a thank you to Iggy. “

Over the years, the two number one artists have met several times and now even share the same technician.

As I put the credits together (for Everything Was Beautiful), I felt the need to give a thank you to Iggy.

Jason Pierce

“When we found our sound man, I thought he was performing Shirley Bassey and The Stooges – clearly not together!” Pierce laughs.

“I thought somewhere between those two shows was my band and we never looked back.”

In a way, Everything Was Beautiful is a companion to And Nothing Hurt 2018.

Both were created from the same set of demos, and “everything is beautiful and nothing hurts” is a quote from another inspiration, Kurt Vonnegut’s gripping antiwar masterpiece Slaughterhouse-Five.

As horrifying events unravel in Ukraine, that statement resonates deeply. Now it feels as if nothing is beautiful and everything hurts.

Pierce said his original idea was for an all-inclusive “great performance” but he was advised against doing so by his American label director, Fat Possum’s Matthew Johnson. double album.

Different feelings

“He cited The White Album (The Beatles) and Exile On Main Street (Rolling Stones) which were rediscovered later.

“But he’s not in the business of being rediscovered. Now he is in the business of selling records. “

For Pierce, things went very well. By separating the albums, the two have developed into compelling independent works with different emotions. The last time we spoke, in 2018, this self-confessed perfectionist talked about his struggles to obtain Spiritualized albums, so two manageable projects have makes life easier than a giant project.

“If I was working on this huge body of work, I would probably still be doing it,” he said. I find that very unhealthy. . . it’s just music for god’s sake! ”

The arrival of the shutdown in March 2020 brought a lot of pressure. “It’s hard to talk about the positives because they’re tempered by the fear of the pandemic,” Pierce admits.

His daughter Poppy, who appears on the new album, works for the NHS on the front lines in the fight against Covid. But he said: “It felt as if my strange obsession with making music was suddenly allowed. There is no feeling, ‘What am I doing here?’

It felt as if the strange obsession I had with making music was suddenly allowed. There is no feeling, ‘What am I doing here?’

Jason Pierce

“Once the whole world sat back and waited for me to accomplish something of its own accord. I know I shouldn’t consider my job the most important thing, but it’s what I enjoy doing the most. Lockdown takes away all guilt.

“One of my silly sayings is, ‘At least I don’t have to worry about not being invited to the party anymore’.”

Despite growing up in the Midlands town of Rugby, the capital has long been Pierce’s hometown. Suddenly, the hustle and bustle of the city was replaced by what he called “quiet and solitude” and he found himself enjoying it.

Already a restless soul that likes to stroll the streets of London, it feels like being transported back to the pre-industrial era.

“It was remarkable to stand next to St Paul’s Church and hear nothing but birdsong,” he said.

“The sky is like Constable’s painting, with no trails, no air traffic, and the Thames like glass.”

Deep move

Spiritualized followers will know that one of Pierce’s existential themes is Earth’s place in the boundless universe. The band’s most famous album, 1997’s sublime Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, deals with love and loss but finds solace in the weightless isolation of the great outside world.

The new album begins with Pierce’s daughter (described in the credits as P. Spaceman) inputting its title along with the transmission from Apollo 11 before we hear Always Together With You.

The song mentions rocket ships and galaxies and talking about it brings this reaction from Pierce. “The Apollo 11 moment gave it the perspective of a person looking down at Earth,” he said. Suddenly, the entire album becomes an observation, as if it were in orbit and had the feel of the Fell To Earth Man or ‘ground control over Major Tom’. “

To get Everything Was Beautiful online, Pierce recorded in 11 studios and played an incredible 16 different instruments. “I am not looking for a Mecca studio,” he explains. “It was a convenience, finding a place with the steel pedals I needed either the singers or the drummer.”

With the album in his pocket, Pierce felt “liberated”. He describes the positive emotions that come with the end of lockdown and the prospect of getting back on the road with Spiritualized.

“When I saw my band again after almost three years and played with them, I literally cried,” he said.

When I saw my band again after almost three years and played with them, I literally cried.

Jason Pierce

“We recently recorded a song for a radio station, making this amazing sound unique to us. I found that extremely moving. I really realized that you don’t miss things until they’re gone. “

Next, we dive deeper into some of the other songs on the new album, starting with Crazy’s country tune (not to be confused with the Willie Nelson classic performed by Patsy Cline).

It’s the musical form that has long appealed to Pierce, who showed his love for singers like Cline and Tammy Wynette.

“The country was great before it really became polished and lost in production,” he said. If you’re talking about songwriting, it’s a world of its own. That is genius. ”

Another track, The Mainline Song, includes a prototype of one of the endless freight trains passing through the United States. It’s the railroad that Kraftwerk’s Autobahn is the highway for.

Pierce indulged in the romanticism of American travel songs, set in an open country with wide skies and distant horizons, and suggested that British bands could never achieve the same effect. the same result if they wrote about “the journey to Birmingham New Street”.

The nature of longing

He’s addicted to recording all kinds of sounds found on his phone, even “ripping fans”.

He heard the noise of trains as he was making his way out of Los Angeles and the gates went down on an intersection of 66th Street.

“You have to wait 20 minutes for the train to pass,” he said. The Mainline Song is also inspired by the shocking murder of George Floyd in Minnesota and the riots that followed.

“I don’t like to think of it as a political song but it’s amazing that despite all the fear of the pandemic, people are still standing up and saying: ‘No!’ That is really important. It changed my instrument into something extraordinary. ”

Of all the tools used on Everything Was Beautiful, perhaps the most unusual are the small bells Pierce took from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry before it closed.

This is where the Liberty Bell is made, a powerful symbol of American independence. “Back in Georgian England, when they moved all the disgusting industries out of London, this company was still on the Whitechapel Highway,” says Pierce. It existed from the 15th Century until four years ago but they are putting apartments on the site now. “

15-year-old Pierce captured Iggy & The Stooges-produced Raw Power featuring David Bowie's iconic cover image of rock's most recognizable torso and impossibly tight shiny pants Okay.

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15-year-old Pierce captured Iggy & The Stooges-produced Raw Power featuring David Bowie’s iconic cover image of rock’s most recognizable torso and impossibly tight shiny pants Okay.Credit: Unknown, clear with picture desk
Some of the songs on the new album include country twang of Crazy (not to be confused with the Willie Nelson classic performed by Patsy Cline).

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Some of the songs on the new album include country twang of Crazy (not to be confused with the Willie Nelson classic performed by Patsy Cline).Credit: Unknown, clear with picture desk

Finally, remembering Always Together With You is heavily gospel-laden, I asked Pierce if he thought of his music as joy despite the aspirational nature of his lyrics.

He considered the question for a moment and replied, “Yes. That song is infused with a kind of beauty. It has hope. “

https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/4869861/spiritualized-jason-pierce-ninth-album-liberating/ Spirit host Jason Pierce on why his ninth album is ‘liberating’

CELINE CASTRONUOVO

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