So, how did you find the recording process of “True North,” having put constraints on the album?
I actually think the recording process was probably the best of all of them. We really aimed to record short, fast, concise and stripped down punk songs. We didn’t really have the need to overthink and so we could focus on other things – the delivery and the conveying feeling of the tracks. I also think Joe Barresi (producer – The Dissent of Man, Pennywise, Queens of the Stone Age) had really gotten comfortable at the helm. We recorded on tape this time round, and I think that turned out really well.
I thought it was particularly interesting that it was mentioned that “True North“ is your “most emotionally accessible album to date.“ What is your opinion on that?
The most emotionally accessible album to date…. Huh…. I guess with every album, you hope to have that emotional connection. I suppose I can see that if anger and pain are the most emotionally accessible feelings. [laughs] That sounds about right to me, to be honest. [laughs]
How have you found the reception to “Fuck You“ and the title track?
It seems that a lot of people like it. I can’t force anyone to [like it] though. At the end of the day, if people like it, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s great too. They are entitled to have an opinion just as well. It’s always nice when they do though.
What is the meaning behind the title track?
It’s kind of how society has its way, yet you are finding your own way. You don’t fit in. It is just like how True North is considered just a little off magnetic North on the compass. Finding True North is a metaphor for finding your place in the world.
You said in our last interview, that with most of your albums, people claim it isn’t as good as “Suffer,” and then they grow to really love it over time. What are you expecting the reaction for ‘True North’ to be like considering it has similar structuring?
I anticipate most people still saying it isn’t as good as our earlier stuff. [laughs] Then in a couple of years, people will be saying that The Process of Belief (2002) was the best record we ever made. Then even more years later, people will catch on and say “Wow, this is a really good record.” [laughs]
You also mentioned that the rush of recording “The Dissent of Man” helped shape how the album turned out. Do you feel that was that the case again with “True North”?
Greg [Graffin – vocalist] had his teaching schedule, and Brooks [Wackerman – drummer] had tours with Tenacious D, so we didn’t have a lot of time on our hand. Greg was actually still writing his songs when we got to the studio. They were really incomplete, but it really worked out well. I guess the pressure was motivating but it wasn’t overwhelming. It was nice to have that push to get the record done, while at the same time, if the record doesn’t get done, that’s okay. It was just really fun and easy to make.
What would you say influenced you the most on this particular record?
“Suffer.” [laughs] I don’t know… I guess, as much as that was a joke, it really was a big influence. I kept looking back to it, to its structure, and the ideology of how we recorded back then. We wouldn’t spend a lot of time on it back then, we were really just mucking around.
The rest of the interview can be read here.