God Is In The TV is proud to bring you an exclusive preview of the new William The Conqueror album, Proud Disturber Of The Peace, officially released on Friday 4th August through Loose.
It is a work of a man frustrated by the constricts of his major label contract and freed himself of those shackles by reinventing himself as a rock/Americana/bluesman. As frontman Ruarri Joseph says: “I think they wanted to box me in as something I wasn’t but I didn’t know what I was either at that time. I spent a lot of time on the folk circuit with my beard and guitar and had a blast. It paid the bills for a while and for that reason was tricky to think outside the box creatively. At some point, I figured my younger grungy self would’ve been disappointed in what I’d become. William became a way to pay tribute to those forgotten dreams I guess.”
CLASH recently premiered single ‘Pedestals’, of which Ruarri said: “We snuck it in last minute. Harry hit that drum beat in a soundcheck one day and the song just fell out, must’ve needed writing. Would’ve been rude not to include it. It’s confessional, a warning to my kids not to do what I did and think their parents are immune from making mistakes. If you don’t build me up, you can’t knock me down,” so it’s nice to be able to bestow the full album upon your ears right now, for it is a thing of wondrous beauty.
To whet our appetites, Ruarri has provided us with a track by track guide to some of the album’s key moments:
Sunny Is the Style
Like all William songs there’s what it means to me and then what it could mean to someone tuning in. I had years on the folk circuit where it seems traditional to let the audience in on the genesis of your songs, give them context or whatever, but the ambiguity is deliberate for William, I’m much more into letting people take their own stories away from it rather than be fed an interpretation. So ‘Sunny’ for example comes across as a pretty straight love at first sight song but really it’s more about the perils of obsession and how if you lead with your heart, shit can turn on a dime and leave you stranded. ‘Sunny’ is the style today, but things could go another way.
(This) was one of the first songs I wrote as/for William. I can’t begin to tell you what it’s about or where it comes from other than it was my way of trying to piece together things from my childhood that still didn’t make sense or can’t be unearthed anymore. It’s an alternative reality I suppose, or a dream within or dream or something?
Mind Keeps Changing
This was a staple live song but we hadn’t thought about it for the record. We went to this old airfield base to shoot some videos, set up a few basic mics and were just rattling through songs when this one came out. Something about the loose room-y vibe just seemed to work for us, it changed the whole sound of the record when we put it in there. It’s obviously about being fickle which I don’t necessarily see as a bad thing. What is the mind if not for changing?
I spent my teenage years growing up in New Zealand, it was like waking up in a movie set, just completely alien from what I’d known as an infant. We lived in a pretty quiet farming town but I got my drivers license at fifteen so any chance to get behind the wheel and try to find civilisation was leapt upon. The vast Manawatu gorge was what separated the sleepiness from the excitement, fifty minute drive along a winding road following the turns of the river to the nearest city. It seems nuts now to think of me being so inward looking that I didn’t appreciate the beauty of that place and that my focus was getting to the other side and going to the pool hall or the cinema or whatever, hanging out on street corners with skateboards. Sometimes wish I’d looked up a bit more often.
But anyway, don’t just take my word for it, have a listen and you’ll see – William The Conqueror is well and truly here to conquer if not the world, then certainly our hearts.
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