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October 18, 2018

LIZZY BORDEN On METAL BLADE RECORDS' BRIAN SLAGEL: 'He Convinced Me To Start Making Records Again'


Lizzy Borden was recently interviewed by Jack Antonio of “Do You Know Jack”. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):

On his new album, “My Midnight Things”:

Lizzy: “After I put out ‘Deal With The Devil’ and ‘Appointment With Death’, it was right around the collapse of the music industry. It got to the point where it was like, ‘What’s the point in making records if I can’t get it to my audience?’ There was no way to do that — there was no system in place, and people were getting very used to downloading for free and not buying the records. We were touring all over the world, playing in front of a young audience all over the world, so I didn’t really need to put out another record, but I did miss being a recording artist. I love that part of it — I love playing new songs live, I love putting new shows together. [Metal Blade Records owner] Brian [Slagel] came to me and said, ‘Look, it’s a different world now — we were able to weather the storm and figure out to do this now, and how to make it work.’ He convinced me to start making records again, so here I am.”

On his long professional relationship with Slagel:

Lizzy: “He lets me do what I want to do, so there’s no interference like I would get at a major label. [He said,] ‘Do whatever you want to do.’ He liked what he heard – he heard some of the demos and loved them. I already knew that he was going to like the album. If he likes a band, then generally, he likes what they’re doing, so he lets them do what they want to do.”

On why he decided to produce the new album himself:

Lizzy: “The way that producers work nowadays, it’s a little different. I usually write and record at the same time, and I needed that kind of hands-on thing. A lot of these producers, they sign on with a band and they have a block time — ‘Okay, we have four weeks to make this record,’ or whatever it is, and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is in the end. They just have to finish it at that moment in time, and I didn’t want to be structured like that and just say, ‘Well, I only have this much time to make this record, and whether it’s done or not, that’s all I get.’ I knew right away that since it’s the first record back, I definitely didn’t want to be under those confines, so I decided I had to do it myself. I was glad I did – I worked through so many different things, and I couldn’t have done it in a band situation, and I couldn’t have done it with a producer, unless it was Elliot Solomon, who did ‘Master Of Disguise’ and ‘Deal With The Devil’. He’s the only one who could have understood that way of working, because he taught me how to do it that way.”

On whether the album’s title stems from his late-night writing and recording sessions:

Lizzy: “That’s a small piece of why I called it ‘My Midnight Things’, but it was a small major piece, because I recorded it in my studio in North Hollywood in an industrial place. After closing time, it’s dead — it’s like a ghost town. I spent a few months there by myself and sometimes I wouldn’t even see anybody for a couple of weeks. I wanted that to come out in my voice when I was singing these songs late at night. There’s no distractions, so my imagination was the only thing that I had to work with. I just went with it and kept it going, and it bled into each song.”

On layering vocal harmonies:

Lizzy: “Since ‘Master Of Disguise’, the last two albums, I’ve been doing a similar thing. That’s my influences from QUEEN and a lot of other bands. With QUEEN, there was four guys, so you could hear the [individual] voices, and they all blend together as one. With me, it was just myself, so I really wanted to fight to try and find different personalities within each harmony, and flush that out. That was really my focus on that. I knew this was going to be a very vocal record — it was going to be all about the vocals, all about the song. It wasn’t going to be about showcasing musicians or anything like that — it was all going to be about the song and the vocals. My whole thing was to get the music to enhance the vocals rather than having some guitar competing with everything, or the bass over-playing. I just wanted the song to rule. If that meant pushing the guitars out of the way, that’s the way I wrote it. If it meant playing a more straight bass line, that’s the way I did it. I let the song control where things were going to go. That’s kind of what I did on ‘Visual Lies’ and ‘Master Of Disguise’, and those are my biggest-selling records, so I wanted to have that same sort of format going with this record.”

On why he hired mixing engineer Greg Fidelman:

Lizzy: “I really loved the way he mixed the last METALLICA record. I thought it was really good, and even though my record doesn’t resemble that kind of music, I just thought that he had the right take on what I was trying to do. We hit him up, and he loves LIZZY BORDEN, so he took the job right away.”

On his plans for live shows in support of “My Midnight Things”:

Lizzy: “What I do for every character, I create a whole character, a whole look, and then I create the stage show. That’s the way I always do it. For this one, it’s going to be a big deal. So far, I think it’s the biggest production we’ve done since ‘Visual Lies’, at least what we’re talking about right now. Then I’ll put a cool lineup together, and we’ll hit this world tour soon.”

“My Midnight Things” — the first album from the theatrical rock frontman in 11 years — will be released on June 15 via Metal Blade Records. The record was mixed by Greg Fidelman (METALLICA, BLACK SABBATH, ADELE, U2) and mastered by Tom Baker (DAVID BOWIE, ROB ZOMBIE, MARILYN MANSON, TOM PETTY).


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