Poppin' Champagne With Sex BeetBy Ringo Gomez-Jorge
Last winter Sex Beet put together a compilation of their 7” singles, tape releases and unreleased demos, named it Greatest Shits, and sold it online. This of course made them millions. With that in their pocket, they decided to head to Berlin this summer, to record their first real album with our old buddy King Khan. I got the guys to take some photos, and had a chat with their singer Luke.
Noisey: So you've been making an album. It's the first LP. Is it new songs or are you just recycling the old crap?
Luke: Surprisingly, it’s mostly new songs, thirteen in total. A few are hits we’ve been playing for a while, but didn’t get to record yet. Actually we also did "I’m In Love With You (So Shut The Fuck Up)" again, but a real slow country style. With a professional soul singer actually. That one turned out amazing.
That does sound amazing. Did you get to fuck Berlin sideways?
No, we barely saw it. We pretty much recorded non stop, we only had a week to get everything recorded. The only night we actually tried to “go out,” we walked to White Trash where our friend Fredovitch was DJing. There was a real pompous prick on the door, wearing the worst fucking hat I’ve ever seen, and he saw us street-beering outside and decided we were too drunk to get in. So that was that. There was an Aldi store close to the studio though, so we kind of partied in there with cheap wine.
And King Khan produced the record, how did it go with him?
He was great; perfect for us really. One minute he would be screaming at us for fucking up, the next I’d turn around and see him almost naked in the corner riding a surfboard during a take, to help with the atmosphere. His family are the fucking coolest too. We owe them all, big time. The recording actually happened like 10 months later than originally planned, after Khan said he wanted to produce it, it took a while to actually find a time when everyone involved was actually free. I’m so glad we waited though, I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else.
I saw a video of him popping champagne at the end of your recording. Where did you steal that?
That was actually from Aldi too. It was called “Fizzy Bubbly.” It was the last night, and we were getting sick from rum and wine cocktails. The engineer Jochen was literally crawling around the floor and vomiting by that point, so we thought we’d splash out and spend €4 on something a bit nicer.
What can we expect from the album? Cleaner songs or more lo-fi crisps in a bowl?
It’s cleaner than the early stuff. Obviously it makes no sense to go to Berlin to record something that sounds like complete shit. We could have done that at home. It’s still pretty rough and ready though, it was all straight to tape and whatever. Khan made sure of that. He also insisted that we left in a lot of mistakes as they sounded “punk as fuck.”
Do you think you wrote a masterpiece?
I’m pretty sure Pitchfork will give it an 11.6, put it that way...
Good for you. Now talk us through your pictures please.
Besides producing a hit record, one of Khan’s main roles in the studio was inspiration.
We met this guy hanging out outside the studio, and invited him in to lay down some percussion. We paid him in wine for the session, which he was more than happy about. Probably the best moment of the whole week was when he let slip that his name is “Echo Savage.” No shit.
Henry’s got a bit of a bass player complex, which meant he had to hold a six stringed guitar at every possible opportunity.
On the second day, Tom ate some bad acid he found on the studio floor. He spent pretty much the rest of the week wearing this fucking hotdog suit that he found in a bin outside Chick’N’Chips. It didn’t affect his drumming much, but he insisted on screaming, “DO YEE WANT SAUCEEEY WITH THAT?” every five minutes or so, which led to a lot of re-takes.
By day three, the bass complex got to Henry a little too much, and he spent that whole evening sulking, listening to Lord of The Rings podcasts on his headphones while we were running around Berlin eating pizza. He also dropped his wallet at some point this night.
Tom’s hotdog trip was completely driving me insane, and under that added pressure I could barely talk, nevermind sing. Henry stepped up and volunteered to look after vocals. He sounds surprisingly like Kanye through autotune.
And this is the whole happy family. The girl is Queen NO, who sang on a couple of songs. And the hungover dude next to her was our engineer Jochen, who spent most of this day vomiting Kahlua.
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