Taite Music Prize finalists Jakob discuss their nominated album "Sines".
The winner of the Taite Music Prize, which aims to award the best album from a New Zealand artist over a calendar year, will be announced on April 15 at a media event in Auckland. Named after renowned local journalist Dylan Taite, the award comes with $10,000 in prize money for one of the 10 shortlisted nominees.
It was eight years between albums when Jakob released their Taite Music Prize nominated Sines, much of that due to what the band describes as "various obstacles" which included all three members of the band suffering hand injuries that left them unable to play. Guitarist Jeff Boyle, from the Napier post-rock instrumental act, talks about the dynamic sound of Sines and the endless string of challenges they faced when trying to record it.
Can you tell us a little about the recording and songwriting process for the album?
Songwriting for this album actually started back in 2008 after we had got back from a European tour and had signed up with a European label for a new album release. ‘Harmonia’ and ‘Magna Carta’ were written back then. After injuries had put a halt to any more writing or recording for a year and a half we started to write new ideas for an album in 2010/11 when ‘Blind Them With Science’, ‘Emergent’ and ‘Resolve’ were written.
We recorded these and tried to shape a bunch of ideas into songs in a relatively short stint at Roundhead studio which didn’t quite meet the mark we were after so we re-tracked parts here and there at Sister Lung Productions in Napier and at our rehearsal room. ‘Darkness’ & ‘Sines’ were written and recorded during 2013 while we re-tracking.
Did you go into the studio with a vision for how you wanted Sines to sound?
We had a pretty clear vision of what we wanted when we first went into the studio. Like I said, the first session just didn’t meet the mark so we had to press on with what little time and money we had left afterward. Ironically the fact that we were forced to split the recording of this album over multiple studios and long periods of time, meant that the album ended up quite eclectic and dynamic, which is what our original vision was.
What sort of challenges did you face when writing and recording the album?
We seemed to encounter an endless string of challenges writing and recording this album. At the first session we had a lot of gear troubles, with amplifiers and pedals breaking down. We had to contend with a serious hand injury whilst trying to re-track a couple of the songs. We also started to run out of funds so had to edit and mix most of it ourselves.
What music or influences helped to shape the sound of the record?
It’s really hard to say who or what exactly had a serious impact on the sound of this album. I guess we had a real vision for what we were after and it was kind of based on wanting to progress and develop our sound to broader reaches. Personally I was listening to a lot of Stars Of The Lid and Radiohead while recording this album.
Do you have a favourite song from the album?
‘Resolve’ is my favourite song from the album. It kind of sums up exactly what we were after. The first half we wrote just before we went into Roundhead and it had a completely different second half to the one that ended up on the album. When we got back and had a serious listen to the original recorded version we really thought the second half could do a lot more. So we recorded some ideas that we could use to replace the original second half and one of those ideas turned out pretty much just what we were after. Piecing the two together in the mix was entirely different of course and was one of the hardest things to achieve.