On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary since the La's released their eponymous debut album we speak to frontman and chief songwriter Lee Mavers about that elusive follow-up album.
NNME: So how are things Lee? Last time we spoke (2028) you said there was a final mix ready for the first three tracks?
LM: There was. Unfortunately I've had to scrap that as I felt it didn't respond well enough to the end of the debut. The final strums of Looking Glass (the last track from the debut album) are the finest moments of sound ever recorded by mankind and I hadn't taken that into account really.
NNME: Interesting you bring up Looking Glass as there have always been rumours that Cast (band of the Las former bassist John Powers and formed after the La's) took their name from the last line which is 'the change is Cast'.
LM: Absolute rubbish. I thought we cleared that up in 2028?
NNME: OK. Back to the new album, quoting an interview with John Power in August 2006, Powers explained that you were still "tinkering with something that's majestic". That was 34 years ago Lee; hows it coming along?
LM: Well lets just say I've had a few issue. It became clear a few years ago that it was pointless to start working on this album whilst I still had hangups about the first one. I wanted to release one final re-release of the album entitled 'THE LA'S: VERSION 8.6' but the label said that I couldn't do anymore re-releases.
NNME: Well in the office earlier we counted 32 re-releases all in all- Is there anything left to do or to improve?
LM: Not much really, its just I would prefer a slightly lower mix for the snare drum on the track Timeless Melody and the backing vocals on the third chorus of Doledrum could probably benefit from being slightly softer. Other than that nothing really. oh and I did find an early recording of me whistling There She Goes from 1987, so I could probably bang that on the end as an extra.
NNME: So how much of the new album is ready then?
LM: Lets just say I'm getting there.
Any song titles to tease us with?
LM: Hmmm. that would be telling!
NNME: Come on lee! You must be able to give us a track name or two?
LM: OK. Well nothing is set in stone yet, but I think a fair few of the tracks will definitely have two words in them as that worked quite well for the debut with songs like Timeless Melody, Freedom Song, Looking Glass. Although, that said, some will only be one word like Doledrum and Feelin. Some tracks will probably have three words in their title, like There She Goes because that worked quite well.
NNME: Hmmm. Album name?
LM: Well I always like album names that are the same as the bands name. But unfortunately we have already done that, so perhaps keep it simple and classic sounding like THE LA'S COLLECTION or something liek that.
NNME: Can we quote you on that album name?
LM: Oh god know! I have no ideas what it will be called! All I know is that it WILL be arriving soon. Has that wet your appetite?
NNME: Tantalising. Anything else? What about the album artwork?
LM: Again, it will just be something quite classic looking and Beatles-ey. Maybe a close up of a psychedelic eye or something.
NNME: And the big question: the release date?
LM: Ha! well I think that you can expect an announcement any time soon really, I just need to finish writing the songs and then recording them. Until I get track one nailed it is difficult to say how quickly the rest will follow. I would say at least 7 minutes of recordings are now ready to be put through to the penultimate stage of final, final recording. There is also about another 2 and a half minutes of ideas that are almost ready for the rehearsal stage. So things are ticking over quite nicely.
NNME: You turned 78 earlier this year. Is touring still an option?
LM: Unlikely. I'm fairly committed to the studio these days. Really getting into this new album.
NNME: Aside from making this album what else have you been up to?
LM: Not much really.
The follow up to the La's is set for release soon.