In the studio with Bob Vylan: “What shouldn’t be ignored is our power to change things”

With their third album Humble As The Sun, Bob Vylan are entering their hopeful era. Frontman Bobby Vylan takes us inside the studio to find out what’s made them look on the sunny side…

In the studio with Bob Vylan: “What shouldn’t be ignored is our power to change things”
Emma Wilkes

How do you follow a 5/5-rated, Kerrang! Award-winning album like …The Price Of Life? Ahead of the release of Bob Vylan’s highly-anticipated third album Humble As The Sun in April, we headed into the studio with frontman Bobby Vylan to find out what we can expect.

Here’s what K! learned about how the duo are stepping things up…

1Bobby’s reconnected with nature while he’s been writing

“The past couple of years have been very busy, building up this thing that is Bob Vylan. I was fortunate enough to get into a studio space which had a beautiful garden. It offered me this place to be silent, and I started listening more to everything that was around me. I was sitting in the sun, connecting with it. Over the last year or so, I’ve been developing this relationship with nature and, more specifically, the sun, and then trying to listen and find out what it is that I’m supposed to be doing.”

2Album three is their most optimistic to date

“The hardships of life can’t be ignored, but what shouldn’t be ignored is our power to change things. As people, as communities, as collectives, we have to acknowledge the power we have in ourselves to change the things around us that we can’t live with. Even on the cloudiest of days, the sun is still there and it’s burning just as much as it is any other day. The biggest thing I took away from that connection with the sun is that I just want to be as bright as I possibly can, and I think we should all be doing that.”

3They’re still angry – but they’ve changed their perspective

“I felt more free to express myself in different ways this time. There’s a song called Makes Me Violent, which talks about the state of the country, but also my response to how it impacts me. When I listen to a song like We Live Here, it had to be made, but now I can see I’m only giving a platform to the country and what it has done to me and not how I persevere in the face of injustice, racism or economic hardship. Throughout this album, it always comes back to the response to the way the government makes you feel.”

4You might be confused at first

“From the very first track, people will wonder if this is a Vylan album. They might think they’ve picked up the wrong thing. Some of the production choices are quite surprising.”

5They’ve upped the production

“This album is a clear step above everything else that we’ve created. We went into different studios and used different musicians and instruments – I played the organ on one of the tracks and we brought in a woman called Hannah who played keys. There’s all these different instruments and recording techniques that we’ve never used before. It’s the first time I’ve worked with another producer – Jonny Breakwell helped me record and produce this album and Laurie Vincent helped produce [lead single] He’s A Man. I think it gives it this really immersive feeling when you listen to it as a whole record, from front to back.”

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