InVettagating: Charlie Burchill - April 2005 page 1
Hi again, underneath the interview I had with Charlie Burchill. Simple Minds professional Guitarist / Songwriter and joined driving force for Simple Minds with Jim Kerr. Simple Minds; A world renown band with 26 years of professional experience. With their roots in Punk Rock they shifted their music towards synth and industrial pop-like sounds and atmospheres in their songs. Charlie's atmospheric layers of guitarsound accompanied with synth like tones and the destinctive voice and presence of Jim made them a solid part of last decades musichistory.
At present they're working on their new album at Wisseloord studios in Holland. With the same fire and passion inside their hearts as when they first met when they where 8 years old. The enthousiasm and drive is very obvious when meeting up with them. This is also what they put into this new recording.
Charlie will comment on the questions layed before him on the use of his Vetta amps and how it got him hooked. The service and assistance that Line 6 provides for him and his involvement in writing and playing music. Charlie Burchill; guitarist, a writer of tunes that appear Simple, a creative Mind, a warm personality.
Hi Charlie, nice of you to meet up with an old pal, nowadays I travel the world and write InVettagations exclusively for Vettaville. But enough on me, how are you doing?
Hey Vinny, it's nice to meet you once again and old pals should hang out together every once in a while. But to answer your question. I'm doing fine, we're working hard but here in Hilversum it's very nice and we can work like we want. They have a museum of gear here, just had the place covered in snow. Today a the sun is out and it's becoming springlike outside.
You can see that bird, it's trying to get in here for the last two hours! And you know Vinny, we can ride our bikes here. Holland has this thing with bikes. But I love it, there no other country in world that has this landscape, this lighting in the air and so much bicycles. So I'm doing fine.
You write and or co-write most of the Simple Minds songs, were do you get your inspiration from?
To be completly honest, I don't Vinny. It's not a consious proces. You know, you can consiously sit down and think I'm gonna write a song. This proces for instance we are gonna write for a period of time, not write a song in an hour. Normally at home I can record an idea on a computer and later on taking that idea to the studio, mixing it and add some finishing touches to it, just as a rough mix for us to have an idea.
And suddenly you find... It's a bit like using the internet these days. When you're searching something suddenly you'll find yourself somewhere completly different. You've made this weird journey and there's no obvious relation to where you've started. And writing is a bit like that. You start with an idea, go the journey and sometimes things start to happen and you think this is great, this has a lot of potential. Then you can go back to the original idea and do that again. Whell the songs happen, more like accidents really, accidental I mean.
We also can start with chords and try an idea from Jim, then we work through the whole proces, add some words and suddenly...., we both look at eachother and know that we've found something. We get rid of all other things and start to work around that idea. It's just random, hard work you know.
The new album that you're working on now, is it running smooth?
lt's going worringly going smooth (laughing) Vinny, to say the least. Whell it's a strange thing because in the nineties with all the digital possibillities and all linear systems. We started to know that it took so long to make albums, that irony. You know these things would've been supposed to make live more easily.. Of course they offered more possibillities. But we found ourselves putting off important discissions until later, and it was taking so long that we sometimes kinda lost track of the overall picture.
So we decided that on this new one we would take 7 weeks or two months and it looks like we're actually gonna finish it within that period of time and that's remarkable. What we've done was: we had a lot of stuff written but not completly finished. Just a rough picture or at least structured parts with a vocal on it.
Then we got the band together and rehearsed for two weeks here in the studio and then started recording. that's exactly what we planned and it worked. We tracked all the drum parts and stuff in 10 days, then guitarparts during daytime and vocals during nighttime. And we're truly delighted. We have lots of atmospheres and strange things processed to make a certain type of ambiance. You know Vinny it's not easy to lay that into a track but we're on track for the 20th of April when we have to start mixing.
The new album does the overall sound change?
Mmh, yes and no, there lot's of atmospheric things going on but also strait forward guitarplaying. I use a lot of effects again on this album. That reminds me of a previous meet with a producer and he said to me: 'when we release this album and you use so much echo..., people will hear it 3 weeks later' whell you know (laughing).
Whell with the Line 6 Vetta Amp I have patches with 4 delays running, with a lot of feedback on them aswell, that's how I create 'the mist'.
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