Front End Loader are currently out on tour supporting their cracking new album ‘Ritardando‘ which has just been released. We caught up with the band’s drummer Pete to give us a little bit of an insight into the album via our ‘On The Record‘ questions. Click below to expand this post to take a read, re-cap tour dates and hear a few of the tracks.

Tell us about the title..
The album is called Ritardando. It’s a musical term for gradually decreasing in tempo. We’ve been around for nearly 20 years and it would be easy to slow down, and we have in some ways. But this record is also a refusal to stop.

Tell us about the artwork..
I’m to blame for the artwork. It’s pen and ink portraits of the band members. I asked the others for embarrassing photos of themselves and then drew them. Humiliation can be fascinating.

Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there..
We recorded Ritardando at Megaphon in Alexandria. We’ve recorded there before. It’s comfortable and private but doesn’t have any distracting luxuries. I think Midnight Oil owned the studio at one stage. Our engineer JonBoyRock keeps a lot of his recording equipment there and is really familiar with the rooms, so all of that and the fact we all live close by make it a logical choice.

Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them…
JonBoyRock is a most excellent engineer and a longtime friend of the band. I’ve worked with him on albums for The Stalkers and Hard-ons before he worked on Front End Loader’s last record, ‘Ape Got Fire’. He’s mixed a large amount of shows for us and knows the music inside out. To be honest I can’t imagine trying to make a record now with someone who I wasn’t already a friend with.

How long did it take to record?
The actual tracking was pretty quick. We did it in three blocks of a few days each. Then JonBoy set up a vocal studio in our singer/guitarist Bo’s lounge room and they had more time to not rush the vocals. Sometimes when making a record the vocals can suffer because they tend to be the last thing you do and often by then you’re starting to run out of studio time. That can be the case for most bands with a tight budget anyway.

Tell us a little about the recording process the band used..
We all set up in a room. The amps were off in adjacent rooms. Then we played the tunes. Lately we’ve been running through the song once with me hearing a click track then turning off the click and recording the next run through straight away. We listen to that take and if it’s good we keep it then do another straight away. Out of those two will, more often than not, be the take we’ll end up using. The click is good for helping us all come to a quick consensus on what the tempo should actually be. Then recording one straight after without a click is great because the tune will sound more natural and hopefully push and pull the feel of the song in the intended way.

Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
Yes. The Readjustment Five helped out with some backing vocals and made sandwiches for us. Cindy Ryan worked with Bo on words for a tune.

Anything particular stuff outside your usual live gear used in the process?
I borrowed some different cymbals for a couple of tunes but it was primarily our normal gear in regards to the kit, amps and speaker boxes. The guys did borrow some lovely guitars from some mates however.

Any memorable studio moments?
Our assistant Sabastian had a flashback to a trauma from what he later said was a previous life. He arrived at the studio in hunting gear and stalked none existent tigers through out the studio for half a day before taking off his clothes and recreating the second star wars trilogy using interpretive dance. Unbelievable. You couldn’t make it up. Davis has the footage somewhere.

Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
Definitely. There’s at least 6 songs song we recorded and mixed at the same time that aren’t on the album. Not sure what we’re going to do with them yet but we’ll be putting them out at some stage for sure.

Now that it’s ready for release, what can fans expect of the album?
I’m confident that if you are already a Front End Loader fan then you’re gonna dig this record. I’d be surprised if that wasn’t the case.

How would you compare the album to previous releases?
The longer we hang around as a band the happier I seem to get with our records. Ritardando and the last one, Ape Got Fire, are my favourites if we are looking at them as a whole. There are tracks here and there on previous albums I think are really good but the last two are way more consistent in all ways.

Any stand out track/s to you personally?
But Before I Do. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. The Duality Of Man.

Anything else of note you want to say about the album?
This record was made to be played loud. So fuck the neighbours.



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