Interview by Niels Kolling
21st March 2011 saw the release of first new Human League material in almost 10 years as the Credo album was released. It got great reviews amongs fans and most of the press and besides being packed with cracking tunes it was also lauded for it's sonical pleasures not at least because of I Monsters awesome production. So I caught up with knob twiddler supreme Jarrod Gosling that was part of the production team behind the unique sound to learn more about the proces of making the album.
First a little background. How did you become involved in the music business in the first place to end up as producer and musician?
My first entry into the music business, as in getting paid for it, would have been production work on Moby's 'Play' album. This was a result of connections with Mute records at the time. I consider myself more a musician/composer than a producer. I suppose if you're making electronic music, as we have done in the past, then the two roles are blurred.
Since you’re Sheffield based and titled a track “The Circus Of Deaf” on your last album “A Dense Sense Of Ancient Stars” I’m guessing you’re well into the bands vast history and back catalogue?
Well, the 'Circus' title was Dean's idea, so I'm not sure. I have always been aware of The Human League (obviously), going back to about 1981. I loved 'Being Boiled' when it was released as a single. I preferred it to the contemporary singles from 'Dare'.
Would you label yourself a fan?
I'm not sure what 'fan' means these days. If it means that I love their work, but don't have posters of them on my wall, then yes I am! However, I'll show you the tattoo one day.
A chance meeting, yes, but Phillip is always in the area and never far from contact. I thought, "cool, something to get our teeth into". At the time though, we weren't sure if it would lead to anything. We were just going to try some ideas out first. But it was exciting.
Spotting hit potential is particularly difficult these days. There was a whole album's worth of demos. Some more evolved than others. 'Sky' stood out from day one. That was the "hit", in my ears, ie, it's a bloody good song, and classic League.
Filers weren't sent over the internet. We did it kind of old fashioned - Phillip brought the files down on his pen stick! We spent very little time in the studio together. They recorded any new parts at their studio and dropped them off for us to work on in our studios. It was a very relaxed and agreeable way of working.
We both throw ideas in and agree or disagree. Two's company - three's a crowd. I worked on some tracks at my place, Dean at his. We worked on some others simultaneously. Of course, we got together to finish them all off. It's usually a very democratic way of working.
Since Human League fans have waited a long time for some new songs I was hoping we could pamper them by going into details about the individual tracks of the album. So looking at the song titles, I hope you can elaborate on the challenges of getting each track right?
Into The Night
Breaking The Chains
Stars Start To Shine
Philip Oakey has mentioned in interviews that they had enough material for 2 albums, so any tracks left over from the recording sessions for future use?
As time has distanced you a
bit from the album, how do you look back on the creation of it? Any
The 3 singles from the album has been promoted by the best Human League remix packages for decades, so have you heard any of them?
Most of them. Some are good.
I'm not a huge fan of clubby remixes though.
'Being Boiled' or 'The Sound
Of The Crowd' - because I like them!
A progressive rock version
of 'The Black Hit Of Space'.
I would love loyal and dedicated fans that try to get to as many shows as possible on a tour and follow us around the country, sleeping on train stations as they wait for the first train home.
The technology has evolved at an unbelievable rate in the music business in the last decade. So how is it working in a studio today, compared to when you started out?
The first is called Regal Worm, which is mostly instrumental 70s style progressive/psychedelic music. There's plenty of analog synths on there. The other, called Sovereign Of The Skies is a more song-based thing which will be much heavier and darker and modern sounding.
We're planning a new I Monster thing, which will be a collection of adult fairy tales/odd childrens stories, narrated over music, maybe with a book to accompany it.
We're also working on a large scale musical/concept/soundtrack album with a Sheffield Victorian criminal, two kids and some ancient Nordic aliens as main characters. We're not sure what name this will go under yet.
Check out these links to learn more about Jarrods current and future projects;