Interview The Boxer Rebellion: ‘Things Are Looking Good’

Adam Harrison tells us about the band’s recently released third album, ‘The Cold Still’.

Gareth O’Malley has a chat with The Boxer Rebellion’s Adam Harrison about the band’s recently released third album, ‘The Cold Still’.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind few weeks for you lot lately. How do you feel the Letterman performance went?
It went really well, I think it’s safe to say that at various points before our performance we were all pretty nervous. After the ad break, it came up on us so quickly that there was not time to let nerves affect anything. The people there were excellent and we really feel like we pulled off a performance worthy of any of our live shows.

The Cold Still’s gone in at #70 in the UK, which is quite an achievement for a band as genuinely independent as you are. What does it feel like in camp Boxer at the moment?
It feels great. To be a truly independent artist and to successfully compete feels like a triumph. It’s not a simple operation and we’ve had to become intimately involved in every part of our day to day decisions, but from that we feel empowered. We’ve got an excellent year ahead with our biggest shows to date and have the best album we’ve ever made in the bag, so yeah - things are looking good!

There seems to be a greater cohesion evident in the new album than your first two - does this have anything to do with the circumstances in which it was written? Did the added stability help this time around?
I think the cohesion comes from not only the short time it was written in (relative to ‘Union’) but also the way in which we recorded it. This time we had a solid five week block and slept at the studio. We immersed ourselves in the record and what you get from that is an album that sounds like a single piece. That stability helped our music reach it’s potential and we’d be very keen on repeating the experience next time round.

How different do you think the record would have sounded if you’d produced it yourselves?
I think it would have had less space; when you don’t have the perspective that a producer brings it is very hard to resist over tracking. We are very proud of how ‘Union’ came about but feel that this album had to be done with Ethan to progress our sound. There is nothing worse than making the same album twice.

This may be a hard question to answer, but: favourite song? You’ve presumably grown attached to all ten of them by now, but do any stand out?
For me ‘No Harm’ is currently the standout, I am immensely proud of every single song on the album but this one is a little bit special. When we first tried to lay it down something about it didn’t work, so we did something that we rarely do - dismantled it and then re-assembled it with Ethan’s help - the result, to me, is a song that can’t be improved upon.

Is there any material left from the sessions that’s being saved for later use? Or indeed, any song that just missed the cut like Murder Ballad and Broken Glass did last time out?
During ‘Union’, we had time to keep working on material that wasn’t quite album worthy just to see what came from it, but the more we write these days the easier it is to judge when a song won’t work. For that reason, when we went to record ‘The Cold Still’ we had a far more concise list of songs and worked hard to perfect those few that we’d chosen.

What else is being planned for the coming year? I can envisage it being a busy one, somehow!
We have some great things to look forward to. In March we’re starting our UK tour and play our biggest ever show in London at Heaven on March 10th. We’re also returning to South By South West in Austin, Texas, a festival we love and always get great reactions from. Other than that we’re going to keep touring in the US and perform at lots of festivals. I have a feeling it’s going to be fun!

‘The Cold Still’ is out now. Read our review of it here.

Both Sides Are Even by The Boxer Rebellion

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