What’s It Take To Make A Handsome Furs Album?

When I talked with Dan Boeckner, one half of Handsome Furs along with his wife Alexei Perry, he gave me plenty to work with. So much, in fact, that this issue’s cover story had to have some really great stuff cut out.

But why else have a website if not to give the readers more, more, more? Here’s a bit of the interview talking about how the new album came about.

How much of Sound Kapital was written while you were on this tour?

Pretty much all of it. If I say written, it’s not like I wrote this song and it was done, like we demoed it and just recorded it. We had notes, like Alexei’s journal and I took a ton of photographs on this tour. I recorded a lot of audio while we were out on the tours. We would go home and archive them into different places, and we would just go, “The drums should be like this” and write it down. I’d do basic drum programming on my shitty phone. We would start a folder called “Bury Me Standing” which would eventually become that song.

All the elements were there, so when we got into the studio, we just read through the notes, look at the photographs, listened to some of the little riffs and drum parts, and coalesced them into songs.

The nucleus of the song were all written on the tour.

Is it easier to do that because it’s just you and Alexei, kinda a self-contained unit?

Yeah, probably. I never really thought of that. When we did the recording session, we ran it like a communist work camp, basically. It was like, up at ten o’clock. I would go and start writing guitar and keyboard stuff. She would do drum programming. We’d have lunch, get together at one, put all this stuff together. She would record all the keyboards and drums. I would go and lock myself in a bathroom and start singing over the basic tracks that I had dumped into Garage Band. Then I would go and have dinner, come back and cut the vocals. Then we’d free mix it, decide what we’re going to do tomorrow, and go to bed at three in the morning.

That was our schedule. We got everything tracked and recorded in two weeks. We wanted to do that because I thought it would lend a sense of immediacy to the record.

Author: James Brotheridge

Contributing Editor with Prairie Dog.