Photo by Andrew Parks
Recording Under the Influence is a recurring self-titled feature where we ask artists to ignore their musical inspirations for a minute and share what really went into the making of a particular record. In this installment, singer Nic Offer decodes the disco-punk of !!!, who release a new record (Strange Weather, Isn’t It?) through Warp next Tuesday.
There was a time when I would look stuff up at the library while writing lyrics, but now I just use the ‘net, despite the fact that it’s not as romantic as the library. When writing the lyrics for “Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass,” I wanted the base intentions to ride the line between dirty and sweet (the finest line there is, some might say), and so in the end, I would say that I merely wanted to put flowers in her vase. I looked up the names of flowers and picked all my favorite ones: jasmine, magnolia, night shade and coral rose; candy tuft, prickly pear, queen anne’s lace, and honeysuckle.
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE
We didn’t really have a decent title for the record until I watched this movie. There’s a scene where the leading couple runs into each other on rain drenched streets at a time when the relationship between them has been altered drastically. Since they don’t even know where to begin to address their situation, the actor says to the actress, “Strange weather, isn’t it?” Maybe seeing the title written in the subtitles made it come alive as the title to me, but whatever the case, I felt like it summed up how I felt about having to step back and look at what the record was saying. The bitterness had surprised me and instead of addressing it, I changed the subject.
I was at a restaurant in Mexico waiting for some tacos when I pretty got much got hit with all the lyrics for “Hollow.” Maybe it was the sugar rush from that natural sugar cane in the Coca-Cola. Maybe if the service had been worse, the song would be longer.
There was a point when we were working on “Jump Back,” and I told [producer] Eric [Broucek] how they always ask us in interviews about non-musical influences, and I’m never sure what to say. For once, however, I wanted the keyboard riffs between parts to flash quickly like one of those quick word flashes in Godard films. He told me if he read someone say that in an interview he would think they were pretentious…Hi Eric!
In all of Western Europe, the best kebab is easily in Berlin. (Paris is second, and I’m not sure what’s in between, but the UK is definitely last. I have British friends who won’t eat kebab unless they’re out of England.) When we were working in Berlin, this is what we’d usually grab before a jam session or after coming home from the club. I’m not sure how it influenced the record, but we ate too much of it for it not too have crept in there somehow.