Almost Best Brothers: Interview with Disclosure
Three years ago, Guy and Howard Lawrence, speaking as Disclosure, began trying to make a difference in the radio charts for the better. Last September, the band released their second album, “Caracal”. Henier Richter decided to interview them and met in Berlin two mature, confident and very dissimilar musicians.
I want to apologize right away: three years ago we released an article about Disclosure’s debut album “Settle” under the title “Mama’s Sons.” Not too nice of us. But what can you do if there are two such nice, polite and at the same time young guys who have made a perfect start in their careers thanks to their musical parents? Father is the guitarist in the group, mother produces radio jingles.
But parents are by no means all. Much more important is the relationship between the brothers themselves. Presenting their second brainchild of “Caracal”, Guy and Howard are again sitting in front of me in a Berlin hotel and telling how they changed everything over the past couple of years: the plan was to make the house suitable for listening to the masses, to put it on the charts.
“In the UK, house is now tantamount to pop music. And it has a direct connection with us,” says Guy, who is responsible for the electronic component.
However, with regard to boltology and production, he speaks like a leaflet, and therefore young Howard, who plays the role of an honest artist and skeptic, seizes the initiative and throws the phrase: “There is even a whole mass of radio house that I don’t like, but overall it’s true. ”
It is very convenient for brothers and sisters to rehearse roles with each other and practice teamwork. Also in Disclosure:
“We hone our separation of roles and become even more autonomous. I concentrate on writing songs while Guy produces them,” explains Howard.
Guy clearly contributed to the sound of Disclosure. While Settle sounded like a house with allure pop, Caracal is different.
“This is the same musical formula, it’s simply more versatile and less oriented towards clubs. We no longer want to be known exclusively as a house duet, we want to show that we can do more.”
Without a doubt, a house is still the backbone of Disclosure. But the rhythm and pace have changed and there are vocal parts in each of the tracks. On 5 compositions, Howard himself sings, the remainder is filled with invited stars: from old friend Sam Smith, Miguel Pimentel, The Weeknd and Lorde to jazz artist Gregory Porter and Brendan Reilly.
“Those who want to work with us should visit and spend a lot of time with us,” said Guy. “It is important for us that the development is organic, and therefore first we sit down and discuss everything except music.”
Thanks to success, these two are in the best position – they can choose with whom to collaborate.
“I’m a huge fan of Brendan Reilly and I’m very glad that he is on vocals in one of our tracks. But his influence on“ Caracal ”goes far beyond that,” says Howard. “Not because he did something specific, but just his presence as such helped me improve my songwriting skills.”
As it turns out, the youngest of the two brothers, by the age of twenty, still feels more like a fan than a colleague of a musician. He is wildly pleased to meet Miguel Pimentel. And Mary J Blige! When they talked in person, the r’n’b diva was very sweet and earthly. “One of us,” he says, and exposes himself to the fact that he still has not realized his own belonging to “them,” pop stars.
Guy, who is 3 years older, on the contrary, has already grasped the essence of “business” and is broadcasting about production, trademarks and the market.
“We have a well-recognized brand. When one of our songs plays on the radio, the listener can easily say that it is Disclosure. For us it is very important, even when taking into account the changes on the new album.”
To achieve this effect, the recording conditions were left as close as possible to the debut album, Guy explained. Howard and James Napier, who managed to collaborate on “Settle”, sketched keyboard sketches, Guy dropped it all on a laptop and brought it in Disclosure style.
“House rhythms, hardware and software drum machines. We could record songs in another form: with an electric guitar or keyboards. But then it would not be Disclosure music,” says Guy.
Co-author James Napier, while recording his own EP “The Making Of Me”, managed to record on the label “Method” and the Lawrence brothers. Its sound is similar to Disclosure, which is not surprising, since they helped in several tracks.
“At the moment we are focusing on the Method White label where we publish our club tracks.”
But the brothers are not only occupied by labels. Together with the DJ-residence in Las Vegas, last summer, together with the Rudimental, they oversaw the Wildlife Festival in Brighton.
“We invited Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Mark Ronson and many others. It was a lot of fun and we will definitely do it again,” Guy says.
Naturally, they themselves acted as headliners. However, they themselves had to be content with performing with their old material.