Spiritualized will release their fifth studio album, Amazing Grace, on September 9th. According to frontman J Spaceman (real name Jason Pierce), the record was inspired by a former Spiritualized collaborator, New Orleans musical legend Dr. John.
"He was talking to me about writing songs," Pierce says, "saying, 'Your shit means something. You should write to tell people where it's at.' So I tried to write a record that told people where things were -- 'Amazing Grace' came with that. It means something to everybody."
Pierce wrote all the material in September 2002, demoing the tracks in Primal Scream's London studio. A month later, he gathered the rest of Spiritualized in South Wales, where they laid down the album in just two weeks.
Gleaning inspiration from their work with a jazz quartet, Spiritualized sound more raw than ever.
"Jazz musicians spend their lives doing improvised music," Pierce says, "so they know what they want to achieve in it. My idea was to capture people when they're still exploring what they can do -- before they've learned, 'Oh! This is the drum roll that goes into the chorus.' This kind of magic can only happen once."
Spiritualized were still signed to Arista when they recorded the album, but have since been able to leave the label and take Amazing Grace with them. "We made this record with Arista's money," Pierce says. "We robbed the bank, to use their words." The record will come out on Sanctuary, who approached the band immediately after they became free agents. "Anybody who can put together a contract that's less than eleven pages long, I'll put my name on it," Pierce says. "They give a shit about music."
Before Amazing Grace hits record store shelves, all eleven tracks will be shuffled around for a series of three vinyl-only EPs: Love, Live and The Universe, due out in the last two weeks of August and the first week of September, respectively.
Spiritualized are planning a U.S. tour for October.