Idlewild Inspired By Classics On New Album
Although he's known for his earnest and introspective tales, Idlewild singer Roddy Woomble says writing lyrics for the band's upcoming 2005 release is more of a chore than anything else.Although he's known for his earnest and introspective tales, Idlewild singer Roddy Woomble says writing lyrics for the band's upcoming 2005 release is more of a chore than anything else.
"I find it really strange to write lyrics," he tells Billboard.com. "I write a lot anyway, prose or fiction or just stories. But lyrics are so different because the emphasis is really given by the music and I don't play an instrument so I have to specifically write lyrics. If I'm traveling somewhere, I can't just look at a sunset and decide to write a chorus. I have to really get into it, to concentrate on it."
Once indie-rock darlings, Idlewild eschewed fan and critical expectations for its more mainstream-oriented 2002 release "The Remote Part," which debuted at No. 3 on the U.K. album chart. Woomble says the trend continues on its upcoming album, which is currently untitled.
"I stopped caring about that, really," says Woomble. "I think you reach a point really, where those kind of people are going to criticize anything. I know what it's like because I was 17 years old and I was like that. Even though I loved a band, I'd slag them off and say 'They are doing this wrong.' You reach a point, and for me it was during 'The Remote Part,' that you start thinking that these are just really good songs. I'm comfortable with the songs that we write and the kind of music that we write. I just think it is just good music. That kind of should be enough. Indie rockers are never satisfied."
After coming off the road last summer, the members of the Scottish band enjoyed a few weeks respite before convening in the Highlands where the idea was "just drinking a beer and writing a rock record." After recording in Sweden at the end of last year, the band felt the songs were lackluster, and only two survived.
Earlier this year, Idlewild decided to start from scratch. Songwriting sessions ended a few weeks ago during a two-month stay in Los Angeles and yielded 14 new songs.
Considering Idlewild's listening habits over the past few years have grown to include Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, the Grateful Dead and Ravi Shankar (Woomble is currently entranced by the sitar legend), the vocalist hints the new album's sound is a familiar one.
"The songs definitely have a sound to them, kind of a bit ragged," he says. "The scales of the band were kind of showing through and also harmonies. There are kind of three-part harmonies on pretty much most of the record. I'd hate to pigeonhole it before it is even released but its sound is definitely rooted in classic rock."