On the Record

Unintentionally personal

Neko Case on the making of The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight ...

//Emily Shur//Emily Shur

Neko Case—where do you begin? The singer-songwriter has garnered a decade-spanning career as a solo artist as well as part of the indie rock group the New Pornographers. But we’re here to talk about her solo work, and particularly her latest album, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, a collection of songs that reflect on a particularly dark period in her life. Prior to her show in Edmonton, Case answered a few questions for Vue about the making of the album.

Vue Weekly: How long did it take to make The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You from the initial songwriting through to the end of the recording?
Neko Case: About three and a half years.

VW: When you were writing the songs, did you come at them in a particular way? Lyrics first? Music first?
NC: Both ways, though I don’t remember a lot about the early process on this record because I was so preoccupied.

VW: Where did the lyrics begin for you and what did you want to express with this album?
NC: They were subconscious and muddy. It took a long time to make sense of them. I didn’t WANT to make a personal record. I wanted to tell stories.

VW: What were the recording sessions like for this album? Is this the kind of thing you recorded live or did you piece it together one track at a time? Why?
NC: All the bed tracks are live, then there are things added. Sometimes people you want to participate aren’t there that day and ideas grow. There will always be an idea that needs my attention after the fact.

VW: Were there any other songs written that were left off the album?
NC: No.

VW: You produced the album yourself. Why did you want to take this approach and what did it allow you to do?
NC: I’m a control freak. I am there for every second save a bit of time at mastering. I work with a LOT of people who helped make this album sound like it does though, Daryl, Tucker, Craig, Chris and ALL the musicians have a say. I make the executive decisions, but it’s not just me. That’s why “producer” should be looked at in different ways, as ONE word it can fall short. V

Mon, May 19 (8 pm)
With the Dodos
Winspear Centre, $40

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