Photo by Shawn Brackbrill
Any album that takes the better part of three-and-a-half years to make is quite an undertaking. Now think of such a project emanating from The War On Drugs, a band that is known for the intricacy of their arrangements and the depth and breadth of the songwriting. You’re probably imagining Coppola out in the jungle making Apocalypse Now with a bunch of madmen, or something akin to that.
But for Adam Granduciel, the mastermind behind this eagerly anticipated release, the process, with the accompanying rollercoaster of emotions, is becoming old hat. “You know like six years ago, if you’re making your second record, you might not be prepared for those ups and downs,” Granduciel says. “I’d been working on it for more than a year and then we started recording it as a band for real in May 2016. By the end of that summer I was really pumped by what we had done and what the songs were feeling like.”
“And then two months later, I was thinking that everything was ruined and that all the songs were awful and I had to scrap it all. You get used to that and, by the late winter, I was feeling like I was connecting with it again. There is always an up-and-down. Feeling the work you put in wasn’t enough or ‘I need to rethink everything’ or ‘I rethought it too much’ or ‘The sounds are a little weird’ or whatever. And I think that’s part of doing it. The more records you make, you get used to what happens when you’re making it. There is a process of writing and recording, and then there’s the process of emotional ups and downs of producing music.”