Grace Potter & the Nocturnals Almost Done With "The Lion The Beast The Beat"
Mon, 13 Feb 2012 11:05:56
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are nearing completion of their fourth studio album for Hollywood Records, which will bear the title The Lion The Beast The Beat.
The envelope-pushing new LP plays with reoccurring themes and big ideas. "I think there's a Lion and a Beast within all of us - as humans. There's also true goodness, and the appearance of goodness…" says Grace. "Maybe I've watched too much Mad Men, but I'm in love with the idea of a story with no heroes and no villains and these themes just kept creeping into all the new songs and I didn't fight it. I decided to embrace it." Among the song titles are "Stars," "The Divide," "Steady," "Parachute Heart," "Never Go Back," and "Loneliest Soul," both co-written with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, and the title track "The Lion The Beast The Beat."
"Each song stands upright on its own, but these songs really belong to this album," says Potter. "The way we've always made records is to put together a list of 30 or so songs, pick the best ones, throw them together and hope it congeals. I didn't want to do that this time. I came up with the track order before we recorded so we could really bring you in and out of these songs like scenes in a movie. I want to bring the listener into our weird fantasy and keep them there."
Potter co-produced the album with renowned studio artist Jim Scott. The band tracked the album live at PLYRZ, Scott's studio in Santa Clarita, CA, far from the distractions of Hollywood. "When I first met Jim, I knew I wanted to make this record with him. He totally gets us," says Grace. "He brought the perfect balance of sonic integrity and laid-back finesse. He clearly knows the 'Zen Dance' from many years with Rick Rubin and the countless records that he's been a part of. His knowledge of working with bands runs so deep, from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers to Wilco to Tedeschi-Trucks…Then we get to his studio, which is an F.A.O. Schwartz of vintage gear. I mean, the dude has enough drum sets for every single band member to play their own kit together, which we did—we'd go caveman apes**t every night before we left the studio."
The Lion The Beast The Beat also contains the fruits of GPN's collaboration with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Auerbach co-wrote and recorded with the band in his Nashville studio in the midst of the pre-production, resulting in the songs "Never Go Back" and "Loneliest Soul." Firing up his plethora of vintage amps, analog drum loops and "crazy kaleidoscope percussion," as Grace puts it. "Dan has really hit his stride as a musician and a producer, making epic music the whole world is loving," she says. "It was great to jump on his train and just let-a-rip."
Also, Gibson is working with her on the Grace Potter Signature Flying V, which she designed herself in partnership with the guitar maker's luthiers. "A rep from Gibson brought it to the studio last week and it was way better than any Christmas morning I've ever had. He told me that Gibson has only issued one other Signature electric guitar for a woman, and that was Joan Jett. I didn't realize just how big a deal it was until I opened up the case and looked at it. It's beautiful to look at – but more importantly, it sounds badass."
We expect nothing less from Grace Potter.
Are you going to cavort with The Lion The Beast The Beat?