Seminal Shoegaze legends RIDE return to Australia and New Zealand for their first headline tour in over twenty-five years thanks to SBM Presents! Forming in Oxford, England in 1988, RIDE set the blueprint for the shoegaze scene with the release of their landmark debut album Nowhere – a timeless classic which spurred the emergence of a new generation of psychedelic bands to follow.
Fast forward to 2019, RIDE returns with their highly anticipated sixth studio album This Is Not A Safe Place and sees Ride reunite with revered DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, who was on production duties for 2017’s critically acclaimed Weather Diaries. Rekindling that creative partnership has once again seen Ride push their sound forward, as hypnotic rhythms and washes of lush guitars come together with left field electronic influences. The combination creates a sound rich in their trademark shoegaze atmosphere, whilst simultaneously sounding fresh and creatively ambitious. Andy Bell answers some questions for Hi Fi Way.
Do you feel any pressure or weight of expectation with album number six?
I probably would have done if we hadn’t come up with the album already ! Which is to say, we managed to write it before any feelings of pressure might have crept in.
Are you surprised with coming up with two albums in relative quick succession now?
Yes it did happen faster than expected. I feel there is another album out there somewhere in the future, the kind of epic follow up to Weather Diaries – but along the way we’ve just popped into the studio and banged out this little beauty.
Did you have a vision of what you wanted This Is Not A Safe Place to sound like?
Yes. A lot of the record takes inspiration from the same influences in music and art that we were absorbing right when we formed. It is, in a lot of ways, a manifesto of everything Ride was, as a group, in 1988. But it takes all of those influences and makes a 2019 album out of them , if that makes any sense.
After Weather Diaries did you start the creative process from scratch for This Is Not A Safe Place or did you revisit some songs that didn’t make it for whatever reason?
It’s all brand new. There are definitely good ideas left over from Weather Diaries, and also quite a few left off this new album as well. We have started making EP’s in-between albums to try and deal with this. We did one last year after Weather Diaries, but ended up writing a few new songs for that too! So there was only one leftover song used up. It’s getting to be a problem.
How was the studio experience and did everything go to plan?
It was really good. I think we all really enjoyed recording the drum tracks for the whole album first. Loz motored through it all in four days actually and by then we had put down a lot of guitar and bass parts that ended up being kept as well.
Did you have that moment in the studio where you knew that you nailed these songs?
I guess during that first week, it already sounded so good.
Do you think the Ride sound has changed much?
I think it is ever changing.
Twenty five years is a long time, are you excited to be getting back to Australia for what is the start of many more tours including Adelaide?Yes, it will be great to come back to Australia !
What set list highlights can Australian Fans look forward to?
We’ll play enough old songs to keep the original fans happy but we’ll play plenty of post-reunion songs too. To be honest I’m starting to lose the ability to tell them apart now.
Beyond the tour what are the future plans for Ride?
Another record, I hope.
Interview By Rob Lyon