After the shows then back to the studio? You've talked about a new EP.
Right, we've been planning it all year but we haven't had the time. You know, that burst of energy you have when you start touring. "We'll find three weeks and record this." Then when that time comes, everyone's exhausted. So we're going to regroup after the tour ends.
So you've got the songs -- or ideas for songs -- for what you want to record?
I've got a few. At least one of them will wind up on the record. Pretty much they're just tunes, basically, that I have, just me messing around with the guitar. All of our songs just start with a basic tune. Ideas in general just sort of float around in my head, things I want to try out. And all these ideas just build up. But when you've got something like a record to focus them on...it's more fun.
Are you still working on the analogue remasters of the old records?
Well, I haven't done any work on them yet, but yes that's also in the works. That was one of the jobs I was supposed to do this month, as we've been off for three weeks. But for various reasons I've been bogged down in business-y type stuff. But doing that will probably be before the new EP, the first thing I'll do once the tour ends in NYC. The albums -- the vinyl album -- were never mastered in analogue, even back in the day. I only learned about this recently, but an increasing number of albums after 1979 went through digital processing before being cut to vinyl, even if they were recorded on analogue tape.
By the mid-'80s it was standard practice to master it onto a thing called a 1630 -- it was like a big videocassette but it was digital -- and that was the production master that all the records were cut off of. So even though all of the records we made were recorded analogue, they went through a digital process at the very last step. When I was remastering back in 2006, the Loveless master came from this 24 bit, 96k production master, but Isn't Anything came straight from analogue tape. During the cutting process I had a kind of remarkable experience listening to Isn't Anything front-to-back without stopping, which is how you have to do it when the actual record's being cut. A lot of memories came flooding back from the time of recording. A part of my brain, for lack of a better word, that made that record, there was a disconnect from the moment it was mastered and released. But hearing the true analogue, it was like when you smell something you haven't smelled since a child, it brought back memories and feelings together. Memories I hadn't thought about since I made the record. It was a time machine effect. My brain had stored these memories somewhere that could only be accessed by these analogue recordings. So I realized there really is a profound difference between analogue and digital. So I've become determined to let other people experience that too -- not that you're going to have my memories or anything like that. There's something fundamentally different about music that hasn't been digitized at any step along the way. We did that with the MBV album, the vinyl record is pure analogue, no digital processing. Unfortunately there's only a few places in the UK that can do that. We could only find two. I asked the guys who worked there how many people still bring in tape and they said only a handful each year. Steve Albini does. David Bowie did it. It's a tiny minority. I just think it's cool, especially now with vinyl becoming more popular, that people can hear albums the way they sounded before everything got digitized.
Is there a best place to stand at a My Bloody Valentine concert?
Honestly, just in front of the sound guy I guess. (Laughs.) It just depends on the venue, really. A lot of venues the desk is in the back, and the "sweet spot" is about ten feet in front of that. So... in the middle?