For Record Store Day (April 19th), Lefse Records will release The Space Project, a compilation of songs recorded using audio from the Voyager I and Voyager II space probes. Among the contributors are Beach House, The Antlers, and Youth Lagoon. But not every participant was so happy to go where no indie rocker’s gone before: in a new interview with NME, Spiritualized frontman Jason Pierce said he only agreed to participate in the project for a paycheck.
“I was broke. That was my main motivation,” Pierce said of Spirtualized’s contribution “Always Together With You”. He added, “They said they’d give me $1,500 to do a drone, which I can do in my sleep. And they got lucky, because I didn’t go in to write a tune, but I came out with that song, so it kind of worked out.”
So, how does the head of a long-running, critically-acclaimed indie-rock outfit end up, in his words, “flat broke”? As Pierce explained, “My last manager pissed about to the point where I didn’t know how much my debts were. So when I got rid of him I was completely fucked.”
As it turns out, a decent paycheck will make people do anything, even if it makes their BS detector go off. “They said they’d made recordings of the planets, but you can’t record in a vacuum,” Pierce said of The Space Project, displaying an elementary knowledge no doubt gleamed from viewings of Mr. Wizard. “There’s so much crap about how they did it. I’ve got the time but I didn’t have the will to read it all. But basically, somebody’s taken another form, like an infra-red or an electromagnetic wave – something you can record – and made that into a sound.”
(The recordings actually make use of “electromagnetic radiation fluctuations in the magnetosphere of the planets, moons, and large asteroids the Voyager probes traveled near” but who’s keeping track?)
The one shining light to come out of this crappy situation? Pierce said the recording has inspired him to begin work on a new album.
Revisit Spiritualized’s $1,500 track “Always Together With You” below.