"I wrote the lyrics for both tracks in a couple of hours sat in my car outside my house. When we got them into the studio we recorded them in an hour. They’re straightforward but they’ve revolutionised the sound."
Sleaford Mod's Jason Williamson recounts recording Spare Ribs, the band's sixth studio album released 15th January on Rough Trade Records.
Photo by Alasdair McLellan
"We started writing the album at the back end of 2019 when we were on tour. Andrew had a couple of beats and I just kept listening to them, writing rough lyrics and refining melodies. At that point it was just odds and sods, we didn’t really get going until we went into the studio for four days in January 2020.
A rough version of the lead single Mork n Mindy came first. I kept refining the first verse but wasn’t sure where it was going. The Mork n Mindy thing was there from the off. Andrew actually recorded the beat for it at the start of the UK tour in 2019 just after Eton Alive was released. I started experimenting with the track on my own and came up with a vocal melody for the chorus and started trying to perform it but quickly realised my voice didn’t suit. We’d spoken about collaborations and had an idea for Amy Taylor (Amyl & the Sniffers) but I thought that this would suit Billy Nomates because it needed a soulful vocal. When we got her in the studio she smashed it in two takes.
Andrew sent me a track for Shortcummings on the 2019 European tour and said it was a bit obvious and I might not like it. I always like it when he says stuff like that cause it often turns out to be a single. It took me ages to get a vocal melody sorted and took just as long to write the lyrics. I didn’t quite know what I was writing, and the verses turned out to be a mismatched stream of conscience, all tied together with a chorus about another Tory overlord.
We knew we wanted to ask Amy (Taylor) to do something but weren’t sure what that something was. All we knew is that it needed some edge. The idea for Nudge It then came together because I wanted to do something about the exploitation of working class culture and when Andrew sent me over the track, the lyrics came immediately. As Amy was in Australia we had to work remotely and it was quite difficult. It took a while for us to work it out, but when Andrew suggested that we drop her verse into the back end of the track and treat it like a hip hop feature it all fell into place. It's a bangin' tune and Amy makes it.
The whole album took about three weeks to record. We had a break in between week one and two and Andrew sent over the backing tracks for what turned out to be the title track Spare Ribs and also I Don’t Rate You. I wrote the lyrics for both tracks in a couple of hours sat in my car outside my house. When we got them into the studio we recorded them in an hour. They’re straightforward but they’ve revolutionised the sound.
All Day Ticket was another instance of Andrew having a beat he wasn’t sure about. It was right at the back end of recording and we thought we’d squeezed every last drop out of it. I wrote the lyrics on the spot and we thought it was the best thing we’d every written and was the last track we wrote that made it onto the album. We went into the studio the following week and wrote another six tracks but none of them quite worked."
Order Spare Ribs on LP or CD at roughtrade.com.
Watch the band's Rough Trade Transmission below.