In following up the success of their breakthrough debut, Spacehog have turned to a number of new sounds for their sophomore effort, including the voice of R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe. Stipe turns up on a track called "Almond Kisses" on the band's latest effort, "The Chinese Album," and guitarist Antony Langdon recently told our associates in the MTV Radio Network how the union came about.
"One day I just said to him, 'Well I've got this song that we'd recorded that was never really a song,'" Langdon explained.
"It was a song I wrote, but it was never really a song. It was just like a bunch of ideas, and we recorded it, and it was one of those ones that became magic, and the sound of it was just awesome.
"I said, 'Well, do you want to come sing it?' and he came in and... he's just got
such an amazing voice, that it made the song kind of feel like it was to me. Before it was just like a bunch of things, a bunch of ideas, and he finished it off, and that was it really. There was nothing more grandiose than that, you know. Other than just he came and had a listen, liked it, said 'I'll do it,' sang it, and was beautiful about it" [800k QuickTime]
Langdon explained the project after the band played an acoustic version of "Carry On" [400k Audio], one of the new offerings on "The Chinese Album," at the MTV Radio headquarters in New York. In preparing the follow up to their debut, "Resident Alien," the band also brought in a harpsichord and a 13-piece string section to fill out its sound on "The Chinese Album," which arrives on March 10.
Meanwhile, the Spacehog/Stipe union will continue in the upcoming film from Stipe's production company Single Cell. Langdon has a small cameo in the film, "Velvet Goldmine."
If Langdon's role proves to small for your liking, you might get the chance to see much more of the guitarist and the rest of the band. Langdon says the band is planning to shoot a film based on "The Chinese Album." While Langdon says the project is very much a "work in progress," he says that the band has a script and the funds, and now just needs to find the time to shoot the film. They had hoped to begin filming in January, but have now pushed that back to July.
"This is all presented in a very sort of surreal format. Nothing quite makes sense, and its a bit bitty, but at the end they get picked up by this guy in Hong Kong who's got a record company. They all move over to Hong Kong, and they end up working in this casino, called Mungo City, which
is of course the title of the movie and also our first single, and they end up working as prostitutes. Four boys working as prostitutes in this casino. It all comes down to this inanimate object called 'the object,' you never find out what it is. It's completely farcical and ridiculous, as is this whole bizarre life of ours in this business. The long and short of it is that it all ends happily and completely confused, as confused as anyone who's listening to this must be by my explanation of the movie. In other words, I haven't got a clue of what its about. I've read the script and I can't understand it" [800k Audio].
If the script raises questions, the whole idea of the project raises a few as well, as Langdon admits.
"What's going to help the movie be successful in truth is the band being successful. I mean, why would anybody want to watch a movie about Spacehog at this point... except that it'll be
extremely funny and entertaining" [400k QuickTime], he said.