wire at quietus

on the making of red barked tree and how it was different from the last 2 albums & some intriguing missed opportunities after 154 [link]

CN: The title for the previous album was really hard work, but when we were thinking about this one I felt strongly we should call it Red Barked Tree. Because it is singular, like Pink Flag it is a thing but Red Barked Tree has all these other connotations to it. I don’t necessarily read all of Graham’s text directly and follow every word, and derive the meaning that he derives from it, but I felt the piece was about the artistic quest for the elixir of life, a substance that will make everything work a little bit better – both a substance and a search for that substance. What we have been trying to do, especially since Bruce left, is figure out how we do this band. And the search for the Red Barked Tree is a poetic way of talking about that. If you go back to Send, our first record of the millennium, it is anti-lyrical. It’s brutal in its reductionism. It is not necessarily minimalist, it’s reduced. Whereas ‘Red Barked Tree’ allows a certain more lyricism, a poetic view, a bit of license and space about what it is you are listening to: how are you engaging with it and what are they saying? They are saying stuff but I am not really sure what they are saying. It is not obvious, it’s not banners or proclamations. It kind of deals with an emotional hinterland, which is more like the one that people actually live in. People don’t necessarily know what they feel about anything really. They feel a number of things and don’t define those things very well. Do you want art to tell you how to be, how to live, what to feel? Or do you want an art which lives in the same world that you live. That is how I feel about it – it’s a very personal view of it – but that is how I feel about this record as well. It’s got something about it that captures the soul of Wire that I don’t think anything has for a very long time. And that soul is not something that is very easily defined.


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January 2011
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