Following the departure of two members and being dropped by their record label, American rock outfit Manchester Orchestra took a break. Frontman Andy Hull talks about the band’s recovery.
Your last album Simple Math was an experimental concept album. What made you return to a traditional rocksound for Cope?
It’s always important to challenge yourself as an artist, and with Cope the idea was to maintain intensity and power throughout 11 songs. We felt this was the best addition to our catalogue of albums. We always want to do something different than before – I’m sure the next one will be a step forward, left, or right, as well.
Was Cope as much of a personal exploration as your previous albums?
Simple Math was a very personal album detailing a specific time in my life. Cope is definitely an album of personal thoughts but painted with more broad strokes and less lyrical detail.
“The mission of creating challenging albums for ourselves has never changed”
Is coping a lyrical theme on the album and what is it you were dealing with?
I found that the word had a different meaning to eachperson I would ask. I liked that it could chameleon itself into whatever the listener wanted it to be about. I think the word is fascinating.
How has the band been affected by losing old members and gaining new?
At the core, the mission of creating challenging albums for ourselves and getting better and better has never changed, but there is always going to be a shift when members come and go. We have been blessed to always have a replacement that has forced the original members to step up our game. I would have never imagined that it would work out this well.
Did you worry the band wouldn’t recover after losing members and your record label?
I never worried about recovering. It challenged us and gave us incentive to get our priorities focused and become stronger and better.
How did your affinity with Manchester come about?
I love the city. We always have a blast playing there. It is always a bit of a “hometown” show because everyone knows we named our band after their city. We are really grateful for the love Manchester has shown us over the years.
Manchester Orchestra play Manchester’s Ritz, 1 Oct, and at Leeds Met, 4 Oct.