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The Zutons - Anything All The Time

Author: Jon Appleby
Monday, October 13, 2008

Since their formation in 2001, Liverpudlian quintet The Zutons haven’t wasted any time in piecing together a successful career. Drummer Sean Payne tells 3D’s Jon Appleby of the ups and downs of recording album number three.

Considering the current wave of high The Zutons are currently surfing, you wouldn’t predict the endless headaches the band endured when they sat down to record their third album You Can Do Anything. Citing “musical differences”, guitarist Boyan Chowdhury left the group in mid-2007 but was replaced quickly by multi-instrumentalist Paul Molloy, formerly of the Skylarks.

“Last year was a little bit of a tricky year,” Sean Payne says thoughtfully. “That was something we definitely had to get over. Boyan left in about June but it took most of the whole year before we decided what we should do and if we were going to get someone else in and what-not. After we got Paul in, it all became better.

“Going to LA to record the album was a bit strange. I think we all kind of came together a bit at the start of it and then it weirded it us all out a bit, so we were a bit glad when we came home. But I think everyone was happy with what we’d done.”

Travelling from Liverpool to LA, while a bizarre journey for the band to undertake, proved fruitful for the five. They were granted the opportunity to work with legendary producer George Drakoulias, who has worked on albums from such luminaries as The Black Crowes, Primal Scream and Tom Petty.

“The main reason we went over there was for the studio, and the producer lives there,” explains Payne. “With the good exchange rate and all that, it was a good chance to go and work at Sunset Sounds, a legendary studio. Lots of our favourite records have been made there and our record company put out a hand to let us do it. I’m not sure it was the best idea but that’s how it worked out. We just wanted to make a record and it’s tough nowadays with so many bands knocking about wanting to make records. It’s hard to get producers that you want. George is one of Rick Rubin’s protégées.”

Despite having a new member and being well and truly out of their comfort zone, The Zutons’ recording sessions with Drakoulias went reasonably smoothly.

“We pay a lot of attention to deal,” Payne reveals. “Maybe sometimes it seemed like we weren’t doing much but the process was always ongoing and they were always fiddling, trying to make sounds sound that little bit better. Sometimes it was over meticulous in some ways. I think the record has come up good but people say it’s a bit more polished. I don’t know, I don’t think it does. Each thing we went for has its little vibe to it.”

WHO: The Zutons
WHAT: You Can Do Anything through Deltasonic / Inertia
WHEN: Out now