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Shed Seven open up on the making of new album A Matter Of Time as they reflect on ‘dream’ race to No. 1 [Exclusive]

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Shed Seven Press 2023-3

Shed Seven are on track for the highest-charting album of their career with their sixth LP, ‘A Matter Of Time’ – a project that, according to the group, took them back to their earliest years. 

For their latest outing, the band reunited with producer Youth for a body of work that stands out among the best of their career and boasts epic collaborations with the Libertines’ Peter Doherty, Rowetta from Happy Mondays, and Reverend and the Makers’ Laura McClure.

Speaking in the February edition of RETROPOP, frontman Rick Witter and guitarist Paul Banks open up about the creative process behind their latest body of work which, according to Paul, was “very much like when we were kids”. 

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The majority of the LP was conceived at his family home; Rick would come over a couple of times a week, they’d jam and record a demo, then take the idea to the studio for the rest of the band to play on. “It’s very much how we wrote [second album] ‘A Maximum High’ (1996),” he adds.

Rick elaborates: “We started seriously writing it in March 2022 and we’d completed the writing process by that Christmas. For us to write an album in nine months is kind of unheard of, really, but it just felt like me and Paul hit a purple patch where everything that we were doing just seemed to be working, which was amazing because it doesn’t usually happen like that.”

The majority of the material on their last record, 2017’s ‘Instant Pleasures’, was conceived with the band in the same room together, but this time around they took the tracks into the studio as fully-formed ideas, ready to be fleshed-out with producer Youth. 

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“If a song stands up on an acoustic guitar or on piano, you know you’re onto something,” says Paul. “So that’s how we took a lot of it into the studio, which in itself was really exciting because that’s when [the songs] really found their way.”

With their demos in tow – fleshed out remotely by the remaining band members from their respective homes – Shed Seven reconvened at Youth’s Space Mountain studio in Spain. “So we were in the studio for two and a half weeks – some bands go in for three months – and we’d start each day with me and Rick performing the song that we were doing that day on acoustic guitar, and he would help shape it before we took it into the live room setup as a band and played through it together, then did the overdubs,” he continues. 

“So we were really doing a song a day – there was no time to overthink anything, it was all about capturing moments of excitement.”

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Rick adds: “Youth is quite cantankerous; he’s a bit of a musical genius and he’s proved his worth over the years, yet he’d suggest things and we’d scratch our heads and think, ‘What are you on about?’ But then we’d try it and see the merit in it.”

Upon its release on January 5, ‘A Matter Of Time’ proved an instant hit with fans and soon took the lead in the race to the top of the UK charts – almost guaranteeing the group the highest-charting album of their career.  

“It’s a dream – and it’s looking like we’ve got a real shot at it,” Paul grins. Rick continues: “We’ve had so many songs out there and I think the highest in the charts we’ve been is No. 7 – which is kind of apt – but to get to the 30th anniversary since the debut album came out, and in the very first week of that 30th anniversary year to be releasing a brand new set of songs, is brilliant in itself. 

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“For us to get our highest chart entry ever, at this point, is just amazing. So I don’t even think we should even consider looking at the No. 1, I wouldn’t want to get over excited about it, but if it does happen we’ll tell the world!”

‘A Matter Of Time’ is out now on Cooking Vinyl and available to order here.

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