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Monday 9th August, 2010 11:41AM

Decortica have a new concept album on the way entitled ‘Love Hotel’ which the band says is based on Japanese social institutions and garish city nightlife. To elucidate the background to the album and everything else Decortica are currently up to, lead singer and guitarist Mathew Bosher did an email interview with UTR which you can check out below.

How are you?

Great, thanks.

Can you please give us a little bit of background on the band?

We're a three-piece alternative rock band from Auckland. Decortica has been together for around five years, with our new drummer joining the ranks about six months ago. We released our debut record "A New Aesthetic" in 2008 are have just finished our second album "Love Hotel." Can't wait to release it.

How would you describe your sound?

It's a riff-orientated band with a melodic twist. "Alternative" is a nice, big umbrella to sit under, but I would say the new material is more progressive, which has been a really rewarding development.

What has Decortica been up to lately?

We've just finished mixing this concept album, and are about to send it off to New York for mastering. The crux of it was written and recorded fairly effortlessly, I think due to having a really interesting theme and a strong relationship with our producer (David Holmes - Jakob, Kerretta, Gramsci). We then let it marinate for a while to develop all of the sonic and lyrical elements really well. It's an exciting time in any band's career, and we're just dying to show people the record and play these songs live. We've been planning for a busy second half of 2010.

Your new album ‘Love Hotel’ is forthcoming. What is the release date?

August, I think.

You’ve said that the album is based on an “inspired concept”. Can you tell us a bit about what that concept is?

I got really interested in the ideas of ennui, escapism and fantasy in an anonymous context like hotels. I did a lot of reading and I learnt about these Japanese "social institutions," love hotels, which provided the perfect backdrop. So the album narrative is set in this otherwordly if garish city nightlife. Rather than a linear storyline though, I wanted each song to be a vignette in a modern sense; so it's image-heavy and observational.

Why did you decide to approach the album in that way?

We just wanted to make something interesting for ourselves and others. I enjoyed the research as much as the writing: I read everything from manga to anthropology books. Musically we had a lot of goals for our next record, and the production was so good it really provided a cool platform for something equally ambitious lyrically. All the elements resonated well together: you kind of get this innate sense of the fluorescent lights, seedy streets, eroticism and melancholy throughout.

In what other ways is the album different from your debut ‘A New Aesthetic’?

"A New Aesthetic" was a really unique experience: we turned a Raglan beach house into a live-in studio for two weeks. It was one of the best times of my life. The whole thing was completed quickly as far as albums go, and was a good snapshot of the band. By its very nature, and also because we were recording locally, "Love Hotel" was more considered with lots of short sessions over a longer time frame. It matured into a well developed body of work. I also think there was a certain freedom we enjoyed in embracing the progressive side of the band; it gave way to some cool songs. Things like programmed drums and synths were introduced for the first time too.

How long did it take to write and record?

The music was written over about three months, with some lyrics being finished much later. We started recording at the end of September 2009 with a number of short sessions over the following months. The main instruments were captured quickly and then we took our time developing other ideas.

Where did you record it and who with?

We recorded it with David Holmes at his Auckland studio. He produced the last record and he's just the ideal person for us. He invested a lot of himself in the album too, so it was another really positive project.

What is your writing/recording process?

It stems from the guitar, develops like a conversation when jammed with the drums, melodies arrive similarly, and lyrics are something I journal over time.

What made you choose ‘Monster in a Pretty Dress’ as the lead single?

There's an immediacy to it that people responded to, and it touches on lots of the themes of the wider album.

Do you have plans to tour the album locally, or overseas?

Definitely. We're looking at a few trips to Australia this year as well as some cool local shows.

What’s your favourite thing about touring?

I love travel.

Who are you favourite bands to play with?

We're playing with Battle Circus on May 22nd and they've always been good friends and great to gig with. Our original drummer, my brother Daniel, is full-time with them now, so it's really a family affair. There are a lot of really talented local bands I'd love to play with and hopefully that will happen later this year.

What was the best or most memorable gig you have played?

There have be a few for different reasons. But I guess the first that is springing to mind right now is at the Dog's Bollix sometime last year. It was a full house, we were supporting friends, and it was the first time we debuted "Monster in a Pretty Dress" which went down well. Just one of those shows where the vibe was so good it all just became effortless.

What are you listening to at the moment?

The new Deftones record.

What’s your dream collaboration?

I'd actually really like to do something cool with Holmes. He's a brilliant musician--it's kind of embarrassing playing guitar in front of him. And maybe Josh Homme, if we're talking dreams here.

What else does the future hold for Decortica?

We're looking forward to playing the shit out of this new record and continuing the musical journey. It was cool to have a particular focus for an album, and while I haven't quite put my finger on the next vibe or approach, that elusive quality is inspiring us to start writing again and go hunting for the sound.

The state of music in NZ is…

Improving, hopefully (in terms of infrastructure). Feels like there is a little groundswell of great non-mainstream acts at the moment too, which is exciting.

By Gareth Meade