With the release of their sophomore album, Coracle, Walls have achieved widespread critical acclaim, with all quarters of the music world, both fans and critics alike, agreeing the band have achieved a more developed and matured sound. Therefore when we here at the 405 had the opportunity to pose a few questions to Sam Willis, I offered my services quicker than The Complete Stone Roses decided to call it a day.

 

Such was the release of Coracle, Sam argues that his favourite gig under the Walls banner came "at the Shacklewell Arms – it was packed with friends and family, plus a really vocal audience." However he stresses that the process behind recording the album stayed very similar to that of their self-titled debut album. While Sam admits "we did consider moving into a proper studio for a while for recording & mixing," as opposed to the studio built in his spare bedroom, they decided against it, which Sam explains was due to the fact that "we got a producer to work on one of our tracks as a test, but it ended up being a bit of a dead end as he didn't really feel he could add too much to it."

 

What many, including myself, truly enjoy about Coracle is it’s unique control of emotion in a lighter and dreamier sound compared to their debut. However Sam wages that ‘quite simply we've gotten a deeper and richer understanding of what we want to achieve together musically’ with their debut sounding, according to Sam, "scrappy, and at times naïve" in comparison. This said, there is a real sense of pride in Sam’s answer when he discusses his debut record; therefore Coracle was certainly not a determined separation away from the band’s beginnings. Moreover the succinct flow that exists within Coracle’s track listing is termed by Sam as "hugely important" and something he is much "happier about in comparison to our debut album."

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After listening to 'Coracle' there feels like there is a real flow to the record. How important to you that an album must work as a whole as apposed to simply being a collection of great tracks?

We're glad that you noticed! The flow of the record is hugely important to us, it's something we're much happier with on this one, as opposed to our debut...We want the record to be an experience that people listen to all the way through.

With there being so much potential and diversity in electronic music, how do you normally approach a remix? I imagine it's something which is unique to each track?

Correct, each remix we work on is totally bespoke to the song.. we take the collection of sounds we're given and basically create a walls track out of them, whilst being mindful to keep some expression of the original in terms of the melody / vocal etc.

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At the risk of our interview sounding too positive and productive, I raise the question to Sam about his worst gig as Walls, to which he replies immediately with "we played a show in Lucerne, Switzerland to about 6 people, and to make things worse we had had a 10 hour train journey through the Swiss Alps." However as Sam is writing to me from the back of his tour van somewhere between Montreal and Toronto, he is quick to mention the grand experience they are having supporting Battles with a tongue in cheek "nothing fun happens, Battles are extremely serious …"

         

When I press Sam on new material he produces a glimmer of hope by revealing "we're always working on music, but we'll see how long it takes us!" So in the mean time enjoy the wondrous beats that are crafted within Coracle!

 
  • Sam of Walls is listening to:
  • The Field
  • Luke Abbott
  • Nathan Fake
  • Motion Sickness of Time Travel