Having recently produced songs for New Order and Beth Orton, the Chemical Brothers are ready to man an entire album. Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons are just waiting for the right project to come along.
“We would have to find an artist who we’re really excited about so there would be a point to it,” Simons said, sitting in his trailer backstage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Saturday. “People that have good ideas,” or, he quipped, “people that haven’t got any ideas. I’m very intrigued to hear this Fatboy Slim and Blur thing. I can’t imagine what it will sound like.”
Unlike their friend Norman Cook (a.k.a. Fatboy Slim), however, the Chemicals are not putting their own recording careers on hiatus to produce. “The next thing we want to do is make an album, but who knows what after,” Simons said.
The Chemical Brothers, who just finished an April tour of the States, have only some vague ideas for the follow-up to Come With Us, which was released at the beginning of the year. Still, they hope to have a single out by the end of the summer.
“We’ve got some stuff that we’ve worked out live that we want to get in the studio and maybe get out for Ibiza,” Simons said. Added Rowlands as he adjusted his signature glasses, “Playing live is good because it shows you what people react to, what works. Our music is very energetic. It’s made to be listened to by a lot of people. Sometimes it just reminds you of the certain power.”
In the meantime the duo have just released the third single from Come With Us, “The Test,” which includes guest vocals from Richard Ashcroft. The video for the track features footage of a woman who lives underwater and sees haunting things when on land.
“The song is quite psychedelic and big, so it fits with the woozy video,” Rowlands said. “It’s just mad. I’ve never seen a video like it before. That’s always a good thing.” Dom & Nic, who have directed several of the Chemical Brothers’ videos, including “Setting Sun,” were chosen for “The Test” thanks to a treatment that pleased the pair.
“Quite twisted and psychedelic is generally what we’re aiming for,” Simons said.
Dating back to their first album, 1995’s Exit Planet Dust, the Chemical Brothers have worked with other artists, particularly Orton. However, the title track on her upcoming Daybreaker album and the New Order song “Here to Stay” from the “24 Hour Party People” soundtrack mark their first major producing projects outside of their own music.
“Sitting in the studio with Bernard [Sumner] and Peter Hook, these are people whose music we grew up with and worshiped, so it was fun to be in the studio at the same time,” Rowlands said. “And the track we did with [Orton] for her record is a really beautiful piece of music. We’re really excited about it.”