Drummer Colin Robison talks about In Case of Fire’s debut album, Align the Planets, their influences and Muse.
What are your main musical influences?
We take our leads from the Mars Volta, At the Drive In and Muse. We also love the Bronx and Refused because of the way they attack the stage every night. We’re the same: it doesn’t matter if there are two people in the audience or 200 we always give 110%
Do you mind being compared to other bands?
New bands always get compared. At the beginning, Muse couldn’t escape from being compared to Radiohead by every journalist, but they outgrew that very quickly. We’ve been compared to bands like Muse or Queens of the Stone Age. It’s very flattering, actually. Comparisons are nice, but you have to concentrate on finding your own place in the music world.
Do you find it hard to maintain a balance between technicality and feeling?
We love having many different parts in the songs, but we also like to keep them listenable and, hopefully, under five minutes – we don’t want to fall into self-indulgence territory. When we write new songs, we always record the rehearsals and listen to them at home afterwards. If a song survives the overnight test, we know is right for us.
Were you worried about being able to capture your live sound in the studio?
We originally recorded the album in our house. At that point we were an unsigned band, so it was really important for us to make the album sound as grand and well produced as possible. That recording got us a deal, but we spent seven months making it and it was a bit overproduced. When we got our record deal, we rerecorded the album with producer Gil Norton, and he really wanted to capture our live energy. Gil helped us achieve a great guitar sound right from the start so we didn’t have to overdub guitars later.
How was it working with him?
Probably the best five weeks of our lives. When we found out that we were going to work with him, we couldn’t believe it. The first time we met him we were like: “God, this is Gil Norton!” But after spending one day with him we realised that he’s a really fun guy to work with. We finished the album in 2008, but it has taken a year for it to come out!
How did you feel having to wait for so long for the album to hit the market?
It was frustrating. It’s hard to tour without an album out because you feel like there’s nothing to back you up. After the gigs, kids would ask us where could they get the album and we didn’t even know exactly when it was coming out. Also, when the first single, “This Time We Stand”, came out some people got the wrong idea about our music – mostly because they couldn’t hear the whole body of work. They thought we were a grunge band! It was a tough year, but it harden us as a band.