Published Sep 22, 2009Far too often, bands try too hard on that "difficult" second album. With the pressure on, it's usually the time to try something new to avoid repetition, but Glasgow downers the Twilight Sad have stuck with it. Forget the Night Ahead doesn't mess with the good thing they established on 2007's brilliant breakthrough debut, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters. Intact is the winning formula of James Graham's phlegm-y brogue, crooning words of introspective misery, and producer/guitarist Andy McFarlane flooding the surroundings with waves of guitar noise to heighten the gravitas. But it's also those two facets that see the only significant changes. Graham's lyrics have grown more despondent, referencing Godard in the self-punishing "I Became A Prostitute" and revisiting trauma in the lamenting "Floorboards Under The Bed." McFarlane, on the other hand, has swollen the band's sound. Having toured with ear-splitting neighbours Mogwai, they've filled in a much of the space Fourteen allowed for piano by boosting the levels with strident guitars that on the instrumental "Scissors" and the triumphant "The Birthday Present" bleed the distortion and reverb pedals dry. With these two forces converging so intensely, the Twilight Sad have proved that unlike most bands, they didn't need to tinker much to get another classic out of them.
How did your lyrics change this time around?
Graham: Although the lyrics on the first record were very personal they were observations on other people's behaviour and how they affected me and the people around me. The lyrics on Forget the Night Ahead are mainly about things that I have done and situations I have found myself in over the past two years, and being none too proud of myself. They revolve around losing people and things that I wish hadn't happened and things I wish had.
Is there a theme to the album?
Me being a bit of a dick! The title explains it all. There were some nights I wanted to forget, and there were some nights that I can't remember.
I heard you used some fire extinguishers as instruments on this album.
It was Mark [Devine], our drummer, who used the fire extinguishers as percussion on some of the tracks. He would just hit them and it sounded good. I am sure if you listen carefully you will here them. It probably wasn't that safe to be smacking a fire extinguisher in such an enclosed space but rather him than me. Plus, it sounded pretty cool. (Fat Cat)