With Apologies To Rock ‘n’ Roll.

“We set out to do something and we did it. I’m the most proud of this record.”


With Apologies To Rock ‘n’ Roll.
An Interview with Manchester Orchestra’s Chris Freeman.

“We wanted to make the kind of album that’s missing at this time in rock: something that’s just brutal and pounding you over the head every track,” explained Andy Hull in the press release for ‘Cope.’ His band, Manchester Orchestra, have been going for a decade and in that time, have carved out a reputation for heartfelt indie-rock. Their previous album, ‘Simple Math’, was a swirling and delicate watercolour. Open to interpretation, designed for multiple views. Something to stand back from, admire. ‘Cope’ is four letters carved onto a wall. ‘Cope’ is the reaction.

“Rock music got really sad in the early 2000’s. Everyone said, ‘fuck this.’ Let’s go listen to something we can dance to. Everyone else went the super acoustic route. I think people forgot we could still be loud. We want to be that representation of loud rock music.” Explains Chris Freeman, Manchester Orchestra’s keyboardist/percussionist.

For a band known for their beauty, this recorded departure was a calculated risk. “Our fans got their sweeping, sprawling ‘Simple Math’ and now we’ve tried to bring it back to what we do live, which is heavy hitting. Once we figured out how we can do that well live, we realized we could do that in our studio.”

Manchester Orchestra have changed, evolved with every release. Some would say growth, some would argue struggle for identity. “It’s growth. We have the ability to do a lot of different things, so we have to figure out which one we want to choose. When we were writing this record, we were going in different directions. This one felt cohesive, right and part of that mission statement of being that loud rock band.”

It’s painfully clear that Manchester Orchestra achieved their mission statement goal for ‘Cope’. It’s visceral, it shudders with a sense of unabridged power and it’s loud. Really loud.

Beyond that though, the band have an idea for what a post-Cope world is like. They have an idea about what you can take away from the album.

“The idea that we can still rock. As a culture, as people, that we’re allowed to be turning guitars up and just scream it out.  Hopefully we can start the ball rolling and get rock back in the minds of people. It’d be nice to inspire a change. Hopefully we can be a part of it.”

Musically, Cope is straight to the point. It’s the hammer and the nail. But, as we’ve come to expect from Manchester Orchestra, the lyrics confront a more primal need. The topics in question may be bleak, but they provide a comforting sense of together. You’re not alone.

“You can apply these lyrics to your own life, in different ways. It’s open to interpretation, as is the title of the record. This record leans towards the mid twenties. You’re starting to live this adult life, which no one told you about. Cope is about dealing with that, figuring out how to work through that.”

Cope is a snapshot of Manchester Orchestra, as they are at present. They’re a band with dreams of headlining festivals, with aspirations to do this forever, and with the scope to achieve. The grand plan for this is a simple one. “Just getting back on the road. We’re just going to continue on this cycle until nobody wants to see us play anymore, then we’ll go home and make another record.”



~ by justdip on 29/04/2014.

One Response to “With Apologies To Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

  1. […] In an interview earlier this year, the band admitted they’d like to headline festivals. Everything from the light show, the assured stage presence to the avoidance of tired demands to clap hands and singalong, sits Manchester Orchestra closer than you might think to this dream. They’ve always been a great live band whose charming progression has felt natural, but this step up could see the band run and run. A glistening snowball amidst an unstoppable avalanche. […]

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