New Healer discuss their debut album ‘Ask the Dust’
What inspired your album?
Jack: Lyrically, I would say it’s hard not to be inspired by the world around us. It’s very ‘millennial’. Politically, environmentally, it’s only natural to feel a lot of anxiety about what’s happening right now. There’s quite a lot on mental health as well, and mine was in pretty bad shape for a great deal of writing for the album. We’re a bit beyond teen angst, so this is certainly an exploration of the anxieties of a ‘grown up’. I guess it’s not that different whatever age you are. Musically, we all took our own inspirations. It was all over the place. Anything from Fleetwood Mac to Deftones.
How much work goes into making an album?
Jack: I think it really varies depending on the type of artist you are. For us, a lot of work!! Our fourth member is our producer Joe of Magic Garden Studios, and he is incredibly busy. So, we had to fit our recordings in around his schedule, including our own as we all work full time. I would like to say the album came together easily but we did put a huge amount of time into it. We essentially re-wrote every song in the studio, and Andy (bass) and I spent a lot of time working on vocal ideas. Phil (drums) had it the “easiest”, he smashed all of his drum parts in two days. However, he then had to spend months listening to us record our parts, which is exhausting in its own way.
How was the band formed for you guys?
Jack: It’s pretty unusual, but the band really formed whilst recording the album. The album was definitely more of a project that turned us into a band. The three of us played and gigged together in our teens and early twenties, as well as going off to play in other bands and music projects. We’ve known each other for years and years, but I guess we didn’t really decide to release this album as New Healer until we’d nearly finished the record. It all feels very fresh and new, even though I’ve known both Phil and Andy since we were 16.
Was music something you always wanted to develop into a career?
Jack: Absolutely. Music is central to our friendship as a band, and personally it’s nearly all I think about. Making this album together has been the perfect test of how much we actually want to pursue music, and why we want to. You put a huge amount of time and money into something and you don’t even know if it’s ever going to be finished. That takes a lot of dedication, and we each have that in our own way.
What has been the most rewarding part of music so far?
Jack: I think it’s very easy to forget what you like about music when you work so hard on it. You can become obsessed with intricate details, argue over track listings, worry nobody will like it. But ultimately the most rewarding part is knowing ‘I went into the practice room with two friends, and we just created something out of nothing.’ That’s pretty amazing.
What are your plans going forward?
Jack: ‘Hopefully to tour the album, and make more music. We want the album to do well of course. And by ‘do well’, I mean reach an audience. And where the audience is, we’ll go play! We’ve started our own label (Paper Cloud Records) so after this album hopefully we’ll be releasing music by other artists too.
To find out more about ‘Ask the Dust’, follow @newhealerband on Instagram!
Words by Holly Hammond