I'm writing all the time, so it's kind of hard to say how long that takes. It takes a while. Some songs come within five minutes, some songs take years. I just have to be there for that process. We spent about nine months on that last album, but not constantly recording; nine months working on stuff, then taking a short break, listening to it, and going back.
No, actually we've produced all of our albums ourselves, from the very first one. On this album, we not only produced it, but we engineered it ourselves. We got an old house, bought some microphones, tried to figure out how to place the microphones, tried to learn how to use the equipment.
Because I think my prime directive is to be in service of the song, whichever song that is. Not some sort of conceptual idea about the evolution of a band, which to me is just senseless if it's not in service of the individual song. An overarching evolution of a band is inevitably going to violate the individual rights of a song. In other words, say you have 10 songs, and you say, "Oh, we're going to move it in this direction." Well inevitably four, five, or six of those songs don't want to move in that direction. It wants to move in the opposite direction. So everything has to be taken on a song-by-song basis.
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