It's been a while since we last heard The Veils on a formal studio recording. Their most recent full-length album Sun Gangs, was released back in 2009. Sometimes, life gets in the way of these things and that appears to be the case for The Veils. Immense touring responsibilities, as well as a much needed break prevented them from releasing a record until now. However, the timing couldn't be more perfect. The teaser track from their Abbey Road session blew us all away and made it evident that The Veils are back and better than ever.
For this week's very special Follow Friday, we invite you to reacquaint yourself with The Veils, a group you'll surely be hearing plenty of in the future. To catch up on the past four years, we recently Skyped with lead singer and primary songwriter Finn Andrews from London about what to expect from their new album Time Stays, We Go, the band's bizarre 'Fleetwood Mac period', and what it was like to play in the Abbey Road live room alongside The Pogues' horn section.
The new record, Time Stays, We Go comes out April 23rd. Can you tell me what you guys have been up to between the last one in 2009 and now?
It's been mostly spent in London writing. We first came off tour with Sun Gangs and we decided that we had been on the road for too long and that and if we were to make another record, we needed a little bit of time just being in one place for a while. I suppose that it's been about two and a half years hasn't it? I don't know exactly how long it's been. I wrote and recorded a little EP, which was kind of experimenting with things I recorded by myself. It was the first time I was doing it at home and we put that out and we kind of parted ways with Rough Trade [Records] and started our own label. Yeah, there's been a lot going on, but it's been mostly writing. The last eight months were spent working out how we were going to put it out.
What is it like writing and recording as your own entity, with your own label?
Well it's fine so far, because we haven't actually put it out yet. We're just imagining all the wonderful freedom we might have one day. At this point, it's still the same as it has always been. We've been able to choose the kind of people we'd like to put it out and things like that. The real freedom will come when it's time to make another record.
I saw the album was recorded in Laurel Canyon.
Yeah, over about three weeks in the beginning of last year.
That's a pretty iconic location musically. Can you tell me a little bit about being there?
Yeah, we made Nux Vomica there as well, in the same studio. I think because we've been on tour for so long. Basically since I was signed, we've been consistently touring with a few little breaks here or there, but whenever I was on a break, I was waiting for the next. I think we've tried to find little homes while living like that. Weirdly, Laurel Canyon became one for us because of Nux. You take your homes with you I suppose. That record took a long time, and we ended up spending about four months there in the end. We knew we didn't have as much time this time around. We wanted to go somewhere we would get the sound we've wanted.
You said that when you have these breaks, you were waiting for the next. The next tour, the next thing to start, what is it in you that triggers, when you realize it's time to start making music again?
I think I'm always writing things. Touring is different I suppose, because you need the money to do it, you need to have something new out or you tend to not play in as many places as you'd like. I suppose you're slightly at the mercy of the cycles of the industry. On a day-to-day level, I haven't stopped writing things or playing with other people. It's a constant thing.
Can you compare the new record to Sun Gangs?
I think that Sun Gangs was such chaos in that entire period. We were living out of a little garage in Oklahoma writing parts of that one. It was such a bizarre time. Sophia [Burn] and I had been together for years before then, and we were breaking up right before I started writing that record. We were on the road together, I was writing these songs that were partly about her [laughs]. It got very Fleetwood Mac. I always think we've had a certain amount of chaos surrounding us. To this day we never seem to shake it completely. Things never seem to move that smoothly with us. But I think in comparison to what things were like three years ago, and writing this record, it was far more focused and far less mental. I actually had a moment to think about what I was doing with this one.
Can you tell me about the Abbey Road session, how it was recording in there? Was that your first time there?
Yeah, it was. I like the Beatles, but I never was a mega fan or anything like that so I never had that serious desire to go for that reason. It was just an incredible room, really. It seemed to really suit these songs. I didn't know what it was going to be like until we got there and it just kind of spiraled out of control. We ended up with this 15-piece film crew as well as a seven-piece band. We somehow managed to get the Pogues' horn section to come along. It was great, just this amazing group of people in this really bizarre time capsule. It really felt like that. I didn't know it was going to be that extreme but this room had been completely untouched for 60 years or something like that. It was so different than any other studio you go in. Everybody tries to be modern and useful, but Abbey Road stayed exactly the same. There's something really special about it.
Are those five songs getting released alongside the new album?
You get them when you pre order the record, and they made 20 minute short film which can also be divided up into the five songs.
So being there and recording in that old space, how would you compare it to the studio in Laurel Canyon?
I mean it's still just us playing in a room, but I think playing with the horns brought something new to it. This tour we're about to do in the States, we're bringing a horn section with us as well. It's been really fun. We've been a four piece band for so long and we've got a keyboard player and the brass section. It's just so much fun to play with all these sounds.
How many videos will come out from the Abbey Road series?
I guess we will put them all out eventually. There's a CD that comes with the album with all the songs from there, so it should be a nice little package.
Keep an eye on The Veils as they release their new album Time Stays, We Go on Tuesday and follow them on their upcoming tour via Facebook and Twitter.
Time Stays, We Go is out April 23rd. Pre-order it here.
And if you're down for a little throwback, watch The Veils live at Bowery Ballroom back in 2007...