Gratisfaction

Album: Angles (2011)
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Songfacts®:

  • Lead singer Julian Casablancas (from the NME): "It's a sound that I usually hate, but when they were doing the background vocals on the chorus, I was trying to get (engineer/producer) Gus (Oberg) to get that, like, Boston chorus sound."
  • The song title evokes The Replacements' leader Paul Westerberg's 1999 solo album Suicaine Gratifaction.
  • Angles started under the helm of producer Joe Chiccarelli (The White Stripes) at Avatar Studios in New York City, but the band replaced him with their sound engineer, Gus Oberg, 10 weeks into the project. They reworked nearly all the songs on the album at One Way, the home studio of Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., in Upstate New York.

    Oberg told Sound on Sound how the band changed things up after leaving the Avatar sessions: "What we had done at Avatar was very straightforward, and the band wanted things more crazy. They wanted to take the sounds somewhere else. They did not want to make a standard rock album. They particularly had a problem with the drums from the Avatar sessions, feeling they were too busy, so they were re-tracked with hi-hat taken out, or a tom, or perhaps adding a kick, things like that The arrangement stayed pretty much the same, but they did add overdubs and made things a bit more complicated than what we had before. While they had played with the four of them together at Avatar, at One Way it was mostly a process of me recording them one at a time, even though a few songs were played together, like with 'Gratisfaction' and 'Games' I had two or three of them at the same time."

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