We Have Band are preparing for the release of their sophomore album next week (30th January). ‘Ternion’, from the Latin for a group of three, sees the group take a stylistic departure from their debut ‘WHB’ so we asked the threesome to give us a Track By Track account of the record, complete with a stream below.
This was the first track that came out of the initial writing sessions for ‘Ternion’. We decided to have it open the album because its a subject that much of the album follows. It’s us traveling and moving and being in so many different spaces, and how we’ve had to embrace that so much in our lives. The organ that you hear at the beginning that builds up and into the chorus was all played live by Thomas and Luke Smith so they had to do lots and lots of takes until they got it just perfect.
2. After All
Ostensibly about accepting who you are, where you are and where you have come from, this track began with a sampled loop of a well know naughties dance track. The loop was soon replaced but its drive and the subsequent toy keyboard fills and synth buzz are the real back bone for a track. Texture and a further drum record were added with Luke Smith. Verse vocals were husband and wife intense, but the chorus was a big We Have Band shoutathon.
3. Where Are Your People?
We all have questions and need answers and this song tries to address this. It’s not political with a capital p, but clearly certain areas of society and the ruling elite who support those groups have quite a bit to answer to at the moment. Where does their mandate really come from? How have they become endorsed, and by which shady alliances? Musically the track began with some delayed keyboard lines which were binned in the final process, but what they suggested can still be heard in the intro Korg MS-20 synth sound.
Lyrically this track sits slightly apart from everything else on the album as it’s about something very external to us. We read an article about a guy living in Los Angeles, trying to change his body in every way you can imagine to be more socially accepted and be successful in Hollywood, and it really touched us. The Trombone sound was initially done by a synth and then we got by Marc Pell from Micachu & The Shapes to play it live, and then we blended the two together.
5. What’s Mine, What’s Yours
This song went through quite a few different versions before we got to where we ended up. The big chaotic section at the end was us with lots of percussion in the live room at Luke’s studio, which we decided not to edit out. The track is about a relationship that spanned across most of the time the band have been together but ended last year. It’s a love song really about a memories and a bond that is shared between two people that can never be forgotten or broken.
6. Steel In The Groove
Thematically this song is closest to ‘Shift’ - the effect of constant travel - but specially it relates to the married couple in the band. Musically, we hope it reflects a controlled chaos that you have to have for bands like ours to function. Moods go up and down tension and heat are created but there is euphoria and joy and hopefully the song communicates that.
7. Tired Of Running
This track is about being honest with yourself and not running away from the past or things that you know you need to change about yourself. There’s a bit of a half time beat to it which is nice to groove to; it’s already a favourite of ours to play live.
The idea for ‘Watertight’ came whilst on tour. We were in an apartment in Lisbon opposite the venue and just about to play with the 1960’s film Bonnie & Clyde on in the background. After this We decided we wanted to create a song with a cinematic theme. The musical energy represents a rickety car chase with a fatal end. The lyrics talk about the inevitable demise of Bonnie & Clyde, and they also refer to the inevitability people feel when they know a relationship is over but they don’t want to let go.
9. Rivers Of Blood
Again a track that begun with a drum sample, we just wanted something on the album that felt sparse and tight. Luke added some moving modular bass, and when more guitars and key parts were put down, the song really took shape. It was one of the tracks we worked on first in the final production process and one we listened to very loud with no vocals and it sounded almost as good as an instrumental.
10. Pressure On
We spoke about how we wanted to draw more on our own personal experiences for this album. For Dede the inability to sleep had become the ruling factor in her life towards the end of our touring. She wanted to try and put into words the emotions she was going though, but present it in a more comforting lullaby style. It’s strange we had the title before the subject matter, but in many ways it really suits the song. You feel an overwhelming pressure to sleep.
We Have Band’s new album ‘Ternion’ will be released on 30th January.