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Armada Music interviews: Chicane

February 13, 2015

Hi Nick! First of all, it’s an honor to have you here, and we’re absolutely in love with your new album. Thanks for joining us!

You’re returning with your first studio album in three years. Can you tell us a bit about your process when creating a full length album? Where do you start?

To be honest, I don't really start, more 'carry on'. I am constantly in the studio, out on the road at the weekend & studio during the week. I have a concept for the albums I produce for sure, I have an idea for the beginning & the flow, and see how & where things take me. I have of late been working quite a lot inside my head, now I know that sounds mad, but I am now composing much more than just experimenting in the studio & see what comes out.

Are there any songs from ‘The Sum Of Its Parts’ that have a particularly significant meaning for you? Or is there a great story behind one of the songs?

The tracks with Lisa Gerrard are so emotive, she is quite unique and can inject incredible soul into and electronic soundscape, the other tune which sticks in my mind is Oxygen. Written with Paul Aiden, not long after my mother passed away last year, it's a song that really moves me and hope to be a future single, it's a good fusion between a song and a big club tune.

Wrestling with the tension between “commercial/mainstream” and “underground” can sometimes be tricky, especially in a business where record sales have already been sharply declining for years. Does the desire to be commercial creep into your musical process, or do you just create whatever you happen to be feeling? Is there a difference?

I think I have quite a commercial ear, with a club biased slant. In short I do what I do, I have to write the tunes for myself first, but I think I am fortunate that it is slightly commercial. I could be into some peculiar brand of death metal!!??  When you start to write music 'because thats what the radio is playing' you can come very unstuck.

It's just super important to stick to your guns, do what you do, but also one must shift with the times and remain current without jumping on the latest bandwaggon, this is one of the cleverest tricks in the book!

When selecting either a vocalist or a featuring artist, how do you decide who you will work with?

I tend to write a piece and have an idea whom I would like -- a sound -- but these things are always governed by schedules, for instance, the tracks with Lisa Gerrard took 4 years to put together!!!  yeah...

Years ago, you pioneered the iconic “Chicane pad sound” and were famous for (un)successfully wrestling with finicky vocoders. How would you describe the “Chicane sound” today?

It's much the same to be honest, the Chicane ethos has always been one about an approach to melody & atmosphere that isn't really bound by any particular genre. I like to think I write music which is emotive, I simply don't understand music which doesn't do this, unless we are talking about some sort of funky groove type of material, which is a different bag altogether.

Where is the Chicane tour bus headed this year? Any exciting shows on the horizon?

All over as usual, I have my Sun:sets residency at Zero Gravity in Dubai, Ibiza is calling once more... Asia, Australia... it's going to be a great year on the road.

During your career, you’ve conquered an impressive array of accomplishments. So what’s next for Chicane/Disco Citizens? Is there a milestone you still hope to achieve?

Still yet to score a movie, that has to be ticked off... But we are enjoying the massive success of my sun:sets radio show & live events, this is a new brand to the chicane family and we think we will grow it onto a big FM station in the UK, the show is already syndicated to nearly 40 stations world-wide so far. It's gonna grow & grow this one..

We wish you loads of success on your new album, and once again, congratulations on releasing such a fantastic record!

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