Take That, Damien Rice
Ireland's Bell X1 came about somewhat by accident. When noted folk-rocker Damien Rice left the Irish rock band Juniper in 1998 over creative differences, the remaining band members elected to carry on and move Paul Noonan from drums to vocals, Genesis-style. To call the result a success would be an understatement—the group are now second only to U2 in Ireland as both the top live draw and top radio play act in the nation.
As such, when U2 recently asked Bell X1 to support on a recent 80,000 seat stadium date, the Irish music press complained that Bell X1 were too popular for that sort of thing. After finding some American radio success in 2009 with single "The Great Defector," Bell X1 return to the USA this month in support of their newest effort Bloodless Coup (Yep Roc). The new album was recorded live in the studio, and trades some of the catchiness of its predecessors in for a more cohesive atmosphere and some electronic experimentation (albeit within reason—this record still has some great singles on it).
We recently spoke to Bell X1 frontman Paul Noonan about the group's new LP, the thrills of American touring and the Occupy protesters.
To start out, when I talked to you for the last record (Blue Lights On The Runway), you said that an electronic element or influence was something that was on your mind going into the recording process but "How Your Heart is Wired" was the only track on that album that really turned out that way. And it seemed like on the new record there was actually a lot more of that electronic texture. Did you push harder for that sound, or was that the way it worked out?