VNV Nation – “The right balance”

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19 Oct, 2005 Share

The new VNV Nation album “Matter and Form”, VNV Nation's fifth to date, was released in Europe on April 4th and in North America on April 12th. This time Ronan worked alongside German producer Humate aka Gerrit Frerichs who co-produced, engineered and mixed the album. Unexpectedly, the first single “Chrome” only was made available online. A strategy or what exactly? Instead of the usual story, Side-Line unraveled the real bits and pieces for you! And in the meantime we also dug up some inner thoughts from Ronan Harris, an ex-Side-Line editor. (By Bernard Van Isacker)

SL. What’s to become of futurepop if even the kings of futurepop desert the sound completely…

R. There was actually no point in doing that, after “Futureperfect” I was done with that sound and it really didn’t interest me anymore. It was also the fact that so many bands started to appear that sounded like that since “Empires” and I got tired of that sound very quickly. “Futureperfect” was my kinda ‘goodbye’ to that whole of trancy inspired vibe on the big hits. On the smaller songs I was trying different things and those didn’t get as much notice if you know what I mean.

SL. What did you learn from that experience?

R. (hesitates) I don’t know if I learned something… I knew that the next album would have a much higher standard. Writing an album on a laptop is easy, that’s what I learned (laughs)! It’s just that the technology that I wanted wasn’t really there. My songwriting also became a much more important part for me, and I say this without wanting to sound vain. With this album I have finally found the right balance. The music reflects now what VNV Nation is about.

SL. You needed some help…

R. During that process I was looking for a co-producer who could help me get that sound and I think I found the right one. But I have been writing these songs piece by piece over the last 3 years and the strange thing was that I came to the studio with 16 songs and I used 2 of them on the album, all the rest was written while I was in the studio. I was that inspired! So all in all making this album was a very unusual process for me.

SL. Does that explain why you had so many differences in between the songs? I mean some are really miles away from each other.

R. No, no! That was purely intentional. I wanted this album to have this sound and vibe. “Perpetual” for instance has a bit of indie in it, a bit of Interpol, a bit of eighties and seventies. That track was actually written right after I had finished “Futureperfect”. I never developed it any further until I arrived at the studio. When I got to the studio and I saw the possibilities I started rewriting what I had or simply started writing new things. The drum patterns for that song, which were 3 years old, also got a harder edge as well. Strangely enough it ended up being the last song we finished for this album. It was ready 3 hours before we had to upload it to the mastering studio! It was really deadline stuff… I wrote about 12 or 13 songs when I was there. I am amazed that I now had all that new material, so I guess I have to do another new album now (laughs)!

SL. How much of an influence was Gerrit Frerichs on it all then?

R. Gerrit, our producer, intervened in the mix and the overall sound, I gave him the finished songs and we would then discuss how the vocals would sound and how they would be recorded. But in the end he was the man I would tell how things had to sound. He then added his own details to things because that is his trademark. But it is the overall end sound that he created giving you this fill beautiful quality. Nevertheless it still sounds super clean.


To read the complete interview, be sure to buy Side-Line issue 53!

image Side-Line issue 53 at Side-Line shop
image VNV Nation CDs

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Posted by: vnv on Oct 30, 05 | 1:48 am

ronan, release 'matter + form (part II)'

Posted by: yluko on Oct 26, 05 | 5:45 am

I want to hear the other 14 songs Ronan didn't use...

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