“That was the most important thing. We know what we want to do on stage – we want to get fucking crazy, fucking insane – and if we make pussy-soft songs, no one’s going to want to jump.” Pharrell takes it one step further. “No one will ever know what kind of a rush it is on stage to play these kinds of songs until you experience it for yourself. But that’s the thing, we wanted to give that feeling to our audience.” Not all the tracks on Seeing Sounds are sonic monsters – they also display the group’s musical breadth. “Sooner Or Later,” evokes the elegance of ‘60s UK pop, while “Yeah You,” a first-person account of having a female stalker, flirts with smooth, ‘70s soul-jazz.
We aren’t limited by anything other than our imaginations and what we feel, so why would we make music packaged into a little box?” says Pharrell of the groups third album, Seeing Sounds. “Every thought makes a sensory impression, but sometimes the wires are a little crossed. When you hear a sound, instead of just your brain receiving electric impulses and then interpreting them, something happens and it invokes other things, a feeling, a memory, an emotion. That’s how we make music.” Seeing Sounds was recorded over the last fifteen months, and is a reflection of the life lived by the three men as they have traveled the globe and interacted with people from all walks of life.
“In that way, the music is a reflection of the world in a way that producing for someone else could never be,” Pharrell explains. The overarching theme of Seeing Sounds is its energy. A song like “Killjoy” moves at a quick clip, like a fast-rap throwdown by Big Daddy Kane from back in the day, with a fierce percussive breakdown serving at its emotional center. “Anti-Matter” moves through several different tempos throughout the song, flirting with psychedelic guitar funk and a dirty south bounce, teasing the senses with its stop-and-start momentum. “Spazz” has the complex rhythms of Indian music that eventually gives way to noisy breaks. In forgoing all genres, or rather in not remaining faithful to any one genre, the boys N¤E¤R¤D are creating their own. “We made this music anticipating the live show,” explains Pharrell.
In the end, it’s about transposing those feelings we all have – of rebellion and conflict, of confidence and insecurity – into a form of music. Seeing Sounds, hearing memories. “Our fans are an army of individuals celebrating individuality,” says Pharrell. “They come from so many different walks of life, there are so many archetypes in our crowds, and they all meet up here in that moment with our music. That’s a beautiful thing and we have to honor that in our music.“We’re not doing this for the money. We are just trying to keep the movement going. We owe it to the people. More than rock out, we want them to bounce all over the room and get lost in it.”
Thanks To Nep Nerd
N¤E¤R¤D – Seeing Sounds (2008) (June 10th)
– Everyone Nose
– Laser Gun Carrying
– Kill Joy
– Someday We’ll Laugh About It
– Untitled feat. The Hives
– Sooner Or Later
– Yeah You