Exclusive Interview: Urne talk writing, recording and gear!

Full of songs of weighty heart, running on a narrative based around the central character’s struggle as he’s pulled between good and evil, darkness and light, the recently released and critically acclaimed “Serpent & Spirit” album from Urne is one that is as deep and meaningful as you choose to make it while also packed full of big riffs. The band, formed of former Hang the Bastard duo in bassist Joe Nallyand guitarist Angus Neyra as well as drummer Richard Harris have earned the reward for their endeavours thanks to their hard work and dedication to ensuring they got the album sounding how they wanted it, with a few notable helping hands along the way. We spoke to them about how it all came together in the studio and the conversation went something like this…

What did you learn from your previous studio time for EP “The Mountain Of Gold” that you took into the making of “Serpent & Spirit“?

Joe: “We all had to practice more and focus more. I think the EP was fun and easy and we treated the process that way. We had a shock when we wasn’t at the level we needed to be when recording and we didn’t make that mistake this time around”

Angus: “Especially recording with Josh Middleton for the EP, I just felt I wasn’t up to scratch on guitars as I should have been. I took this to heart and made sure I practiced as much as I could for the album”

Rich: “The emphasis was definitely on practicing, time isn’t always on your side when recording and even the Serpent & Spirit session went right to the wire (midnight on the last day).”

How challenging were the recording sessions with Chris Fielding (Conan, Electric Wizard, Primordial) at Foel Studios in deepest Wales during lockdown?

Joe: “Honestly it was super easy and fun. The only hard point came with a bass line in Memorial, I hit a wall and had to sleep on it. But that aside it was the most easy and relaxed recording experience I have ever had”

Angus: “Foel studios was such an amazing experience to focus on the music, and Chris is so easy to work with. As we went for a wall of sound for the album, the challenge for me was quad tracking the guitars to be as tight as possible”

How on Earth does one go about getting their album mastered by acclaimed producer Jens Bogren (Sepultura, At The Gates, In Flames)? What was he like to work with?

Joe: “Thankfully Darren at the label is the master and sorted that out. Sadly we wasn’t there with him for the process but we loved the results and we couldn’t believe he agreed to do it. Jens has worked on so many classics albums and to have ours added to that was a trip”

How does the writing process of a new Urne track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first?

Joe: “It can be anything. We started one from a drum beat rich wrote, Some of me beat boxing etc, I think they all started in different ways and it’s fun to have three guys who all write music”

For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound?

Joe: “No one cares about the bass ha, but I use Ibanez BTB 5 string into Dark glass, Sans amp and electric harmonix pedals. Head wise I still use the classic Orange Tiny Terror, hasn’t failed me yet!”

Angus: “For harmonies and adding some thickness to guitars live, I use a DigiTech Harmony man pedal which has been so fun to use. I’ve recently replaced the maxon 808 drive pedal with a God City riff child pedal which adds a bit more grit to the gain”

Rich: “For recording I used Chris’s in house DW kit and a variety of different cymbals and snares etc, but I’m really fond of a Megabell ride and Pearl Demon Drive double kick

What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer?

Joe: “We would save some money haha. But they will also push the band and any promotion is good. I think if we landed some it would inspire us all more and more”

Angus: “Anything to help towards gear would be a amazing! Plus would feel honoured if I could be endorsed in amongst artists who I grew listening to, would be insane”

Rich: “Cymbals and Sticks come at me!”

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