In The Studio: Letlive

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No one would blame Jason Aalon Butler if he felt that following up 2013’s The Blackest Beautiful was a tall order. Letlive.’s stunning third album pissed four- and five-star reviews on its release, not to mention a practically frothing 910 review from Hammer’s own Stephen Hill. But the frontman feels no pressure to make their fourth album live up to any sort of hype.

“There’s no pressure bigger than the pressure we put on ourselves,” he explains. “Either more people will like this record or more people will dislike it. I know we like this record!

We’re making sure this album is what we hear in our heads

“We do keep the fans in mind,” he adds by way of afterthought. “It’s not like we say ‘fuck everything’. I do care to have people like my music, but I have to believe in what I’m doing.”

He’s brimming with the kind of excitement a 13-year-old might feel at nailing their first Metallica riff when he reveals further details, and it’s hard not to get caught up in his enthusiasm. “We are in the middle of mixing,” he beams. “We’ve just wrapped up some strings with a quartet. I’m singing on 80% of the record and we’re making sure it’s what we hear in our heads. I love it!”

Jason enlisted the help of a professional composer to help bring the album’s soundscapes to life. “I’m a very crude arranger, I don’t have any training, so I arranged these parts then gave them to my buddy who composes for television and movies,” he explains. “It might take some people by surprise, but in a good way. I’d say this is a better rendition of ourselves.”

Jason says he wanted a single to be released at the end of 2015, but the meticulous piecing- together of the recordings left the band “a bit behind on the plan. Maybe the beginning of this year, when we’ve got all our ducks in a row,” he says.

Rhythm guitar on the album is provided by stand-in Kenji Chan after Jean Nascimento left last February, although he won’t become a permanent member. “Letlive. is a four-piece; most of the writing has been done by these four people, and we know what we want,” says Jason.

The punx are on the up.

If I’m The Devil… will be released later in 2016 via Epitaph