Sunday 2 May 2021

Time For Salvation. If You Need It Of Course. An Interview With 1968.

1968 released their new album "Salvation If You Need..." recently and it's perhaps their most daring, creative and boldest album yet. You can read my review here.

The band have been making a great name for themselves within the Stoner Rock/Metal scene since they released debut EP back in January 2016. I became an instant fan of their trippy style of Stoner Rock which merges elements of Psych Rock, Prog Rock, Hard Rock and Classic Rock into their overall sound.

It's seen the band win fans and critical plaudits for all of their records.

I wanted to interview 1968 for a while and now here is my chance....

Hi guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today?

“We’re all OK, we’re safe, we’re back to real life now in all of our personal lives which has provided a huge wave of relief, thank you for asking.”

For people not in the know. Can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today.

“The band came together in 2013 after an online meetup. We have managed to ride out the worst of the storms that can face an independent band in the current musical industry climate and produce a back catalogue and have a fair live reputation we feel.”

The band have gone slightly heavier and more doomier on your new album Salvation if You Need…. compared to your previous records. It has a seedier Punk Rock and Doomier vibe. Is that how you wanted to go for this release?

“Thank you, we opted for a different route in the recording of Salvation. We took the feedback we received from Ballads and particularly Chemtrail Blues, which we had recorded live with overdubs. We took this and ran with it, when we entered the studio, we only actually had three or four of the songs finished. In short, we wrote most of the album in the studio and recorded it live. This ended up in a kind of Stooges era sound coming through which we embraced by turning it up more and basically just had fun with what foundations we’d laid.”

Salvation if You Need…. about. As it’s quite dark but still being a thrilling RAWK record.

Yeah, it has darker moments for sure, but we aimed to have a full spectrum of colours and sounds for each track. We’re glad it’s giving out the thrills.

Why did you call the album Salvation if You Need…. - Any particular reason for this title

“We settled on Salvation If You Need… as the sessions were following the first lockdown and quite frankly, after we hung up our touring/live show boots, we were all in desperate need of some form of Salvation due to the nature of lockdown 2020. After further discussion we decided another studio album would be in order. Ballads has been out for a few years now and we felt it was time for a follow up. It was timed to be out when the pandemic ended and it feels like for once, we were on time.”

You’ve signed to No Profit Recordings for this album. How did you hook-up with them?

“We’ve worked with No Profit before as they realised the dream of getting our first EP’s pressed on vinyl. The whole team is absolutely awesome. They understand how record deals should work going forward for bands that don’t necessarily rely on others to run their craft. They contacted us first and have a keen eye for detail that not many other labels have in our experience. The deal for Salvation album ends when the vinyl is sold out just like for the 1968/Fortuna Havana album, we have album-by-album deal and it is agreed upon by both us and them.”

Did you have any other labels interested in releasing the album?

“Nothing other than a few slippery DM’s, which is likely a direct result of us burning the last contract we physically signed. C’est La Vie”

You recorded the album during the brief reprise lockdown break in Summer 2020. How was recording this album during this period? Did you have to do anything differently compared to your previous releases.

“We recorded Salvation in a completely different way to Ballads as we recorded it all in the same room and used the best of four takes to get the right one. We then added overdubs and vocals but tried to keep them to a minimum in order to capture the live feel.”

What influenced or inspired you when making this album.

“I guess we were influenced by being able to sit off with our friends when the world was in meltdown was a pretty big inspiration. I would say that our influences hadn’t changed and the fact that we had some salvation in the room together meant we inspired each other.”

What comes first for you when recording new music. Lyrics or Music.

“Definitely the music, the rest write riffs then vocals are added either during the jams or afterwards. They’re usually the last to be tweaked.”

COVID-19 has pretty much put a stop to all life as we know it for the time being. How big of an impact has it affected 1968 And how are you surviving in this stressful time.

“In all honesty, COVID-19 allowed 1968 to record. Which is something we’re usually pretty lazy with. Band members had some struggles with bereavements and travel restrictions which were heavy times but part of the deal with life. The stress was largely ignored until it was channelled into the studio”

After everything is back to some sort of normality. What does the future hold for1968. Will you be touring the record in the UK.

“Yeah, for sure, we’ll be likely playing slightly less shows than normal but we will return when normality resumes.”

The album cover for the new album is excellent. Who designed the cover and how much input did you have into the overall design of the cover.

“The cover was a bit of a strange one where an idea that resonated with us all and became a collective piece. We had seen Emily Blay post B-movie style art online which looked like an album cover to us all. We met Emily’s demands and used her photos which were then doctored by Scott Leyland. We then had artwork created by Mark Vernall for the rear of the LP sleeve, Matt Negus and James Byles provided some of the best photography of our time at the studio. We also have Jamie Jones and Fos from Heroin Skateboards providing their art to it. Basically what happened was an idea we had, initially wouldn’t work so we made it work by adding more and more art to it”

What have been your favourite records that you’ve heard this year. Regardless of genre.

“Woven Man, Revelry In Our Arms, Particularly the track, With Willow”

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom that you want to say to your fans.

“Thank you all for your support, we couldn’t do this without you all. Please stay safe, stay loud, stay positive and ignore the negativity.”

Words by Steve Howe and 1968

Thanks to Mario at No Profit Recordings for arranging this interview and for 1968 to answering my questions.

Salvation. If You Need… will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via No Profit Recordings


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