Pitchfork’s latest cover story with The xx is a rare intimate portrait of the notoriously shy trio. Romy Madley Croft, Jamie Smith (aka Jamie xx) and Oliver Sim all open up about their writing process, comparing the openness to experiment on this third LP with the overanalysis it took to craft their sophomore effort Coexist.
“There was so much pressure from ourselves about: What do people like about us? What makes us sound like us? What do we need to hang onto?” Sim is quoted in the interview. “When we’re thinking like that, at our worst, we can end up sounding a bit like a parody of ourselves.”
Sim is the member who opens up the most, actually. He is quite honest and introspective when speaking on his struggles with alcoholism and overindulgence.
“I was going out a lot with the excuse that I was celebrating — ‘celebrating’ — the past few years,” he says. “Just fighting the idea of becoming an adult. Some friends had started to mellow a bit, and I didn’t want to … And with alcohol, like a lot of things, it’s all or nothing for me. So right now it’s just nothing.”
The article notes happily that Sim hasn’t had a drink in just over a year. The story also sheds light on the childhood friends’ relationships through the years, how they work with one another inside and outside of the studio. Sim tells a story about a young Jamie XX saying he was “at peace with the fact that I’m not going to make big waves in the world,” ironic given how giant the producer has become even outside of the xx’s fanbase.
It’s definitely an interesting read for any avid fan. Check out the full interview via Pitchfork.