Everything’s getting older… is the title of a previous Aidan Moffat album. Given that collaboration with Bill Wells, featuring the beautifully funereal ‘Copper Top’, it’s almost a surprise to be laughing and joking in the company of the former Arab Strap frontman.
Especially as we’re joined by RM Hubbert – who himself on the surface might not seem the cheeriest, having covered depression fully in his own music.
“It’s not depressing,” insists Hubbert, of the duo’s new album Here Lies The Body – yes, it does sound like a gravestone epitaph – “but neither of us are ever going to get away from that. The irony is we’ve never been in a room together and not ended up laughing.”
The two have ‘previous’ together, Moffat joining Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos to perform ‘Car Song’ on Hubbert’s Scottish Album of the Year winner ‘13 Lost And Found’.
“We ran out of gullible fools to take credit from,” he laughs.
“Except me!” Moffat counters.
Once the pair had decided to work together things progressed.
“Every few months Hubby got two or three songs in his inbox,” reveals Moffat. “And I didn’t want to be the one holding it up so I’d run off and write a couple more,” adds his bandmate.
Despite having worked on their parts separately they have no fears of the launch shows coming up. “It’s a fairly simple record…” begins Moffat. “You speak for yourself!” interjects Hubbert. “I’m not talking about your playing, there’s a lot of sparseness.”
Integral to the arrangements are former Arab Strap drummer David Jeans, plus Siobhan Wilson, just before she nips off to Canada to support the Proclaimers. “Siobhan’s done things I would hope she’d do but not have to ask for,” says Moffat, like on ‘She Runs’ – ‘Aidan, will I do the heavy breathing bit?’ ‘I didn’t like to ask, but…’ plus last time she baked a cake, so full points. Jeansey’s brought us nothing!“
With the album written, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite elected to put out the ten tracks on his band’s Rock Action label. Two weeks later they were ‘signed’ up, alongside OutLines. “Rock Action do a great job on that type of music…” Moffat pauses. “ I was going to say depressing… exhilaratingly sad!”
The new album has been described as focusing on sex and death. “What else is there?” “Romance?” I offer.
Moffat looks at me, as if I’ve set him up for a punchline. “Romance is just a means to an end,” he laughs.
But not all the songs are about that. How about ‘Quantum Love Song’ and its multi-universe theory? “That’s just unlimited variations of sex and death!” Hubbert interjects.
Next up, after the tour, and after the Christmas single the shorts-clad Moffat is working on, there are no fixed plans. “When I did the album with Bill I decided to just do records with other people but we ended up doing a second one because we really enjoyed making it.” “This is the same,” agrees Hubbert. “Nae rules, and no rush either.”
Here Lies The Body is out on May 11.
This article originally appeared in the Falkirk Herald