"Insider is the 2nd Amplifier album. It was written Summer 2005, and recorded Autumn 2005.
Recording / work on the album took place with the help of Steve Lyon at Jacobs Studios in Surrey, England, in October - November, before further overdubbing took place at Miloco Studios in London November - December.
Finally the album was finished at the Amplifier room in Machester over Dec2005 - Feb 2006.
The record was mixed by Chris Sheldon in March/April 2006 at Eden Studios, Lonodon and mastered by Kevin Metcalf in April 2006
When you're in a band with a record deal,if you're lucky/unlucky enough, you'll come up against "The difficult second album" scenario.
Basically, this goes as follows:
You've had all the time in the world to get your first artistically succesfull album together, and then basked in all the wonderfull and ball cupping praise that accompanied it. You've toured your arse off and basically had a great time doing all the stuff that you've always wanted to do.
One day you get a phone call. It's your A&R representative. They tell you that the label really needs another album immediately in order to capitalise on all the good press and exposure that your band has been receiving. The only problem is that you don't have any new material because you've just spent the last 18 months promoting the previous album and there hasn't been a long enough period to do even some laundry let alone evolve a new record...
Ay ay ay !!! What are you going to do? You'd better reach inside your magic hat and hope you pull out a rabbit...
So basically to hatch Insider - I disappeared into a room for 3 months. I took a microwave, lived on snacks from the supermarket and with a never ending supply of weed, wrote the record.
We scored it all out because we wouldn't get a chance to rehearse it, let alone tour it before we went to the studio and then we just went in and recorded it.
Considering the bizarre way it came together It's actually a miracle that it got made at all, let alone that it came out as weird and fantastic as it did.
It was a pretty isolating experience birthing that record. That's probably why it's called Insider, although I wasn't exactly sure why it was called that at the time. It just was.
Self engrossed and reflecting, there are a lot of questions on that record, which I think is probably symptomatic of anyone who's going from being a young person to an adult.
This period of life is a kind of second puberty, except it's a spiritual and psychological one as opposed to biological. There is a darkening. A hardening. Call it commitment and resolve. There is no medicine more bitter.
Days became nights. Sometimes the nights were days. It's difficult to say how long it all took, because apart from when we went to the external studios, I lived in our rehearsal room that had no windows and no reference to anything except for a small clock that had stopped at some point in 2004 at 5:20 (am or pm?). If you look at the artwork in our first album, I think you can see that clock in one of the photos. I was working. On Insider.
Anyway, one day, Insider was finished.
I was pleased. I thought it was a document It was art I had bared soul and teeth and that that was what was important about being in a band. My friend was going through a hard time and I hoped I had captured that too. It was genuine and heartfelt and that's what is important.
The label HATED it. I can't even begin to tell you how maligned it was. They just didn't get ANYTHING about it.
They thought that they would just put us in a studio and that we would shit out another first album mark2.
In retrospect, I find it amazing that labels understand so little about bands.
We went from being favourite sons to not having our phonecalls returned. Lliterally overnight.
Understandably, I was pretty fucked off by this rejection but I never showed it.
And looking back at it now, I find it funny that THAT really was my first life lesson as an adult. And ironically, that all ties back in really nicely with the whole underlying philosophy that permeates Insider:
If something is worth doing, it is only worth doing for yourself or the people you love and you should do it with commitment, diligence, integrity and honor.
Honestly, don't worry about anyone else.
So - it's a different kind of listen to our first album, and the format is slightly different,
But inside - the DNA is the same.
It's a grower, so give it time.
My highlights are the titanic strides of "O Fortuna" & "Strange Seas Of Thought", recording "Oort" in a never ending wall of distortion, delay, skunk and feedback, the uplifiting glory of "Hymn Of The Aten" and the triumphant majesty of "Map Of An Imaginary Place" - a song within a song...
And obviously Matt's drumming which is exceptional considering I think he was making a lot of it up...
I was pleased..."
Insider was originally released by German label SPV on 29 September 2006 in Europe only.