The Bees (aka: A Band of Bees) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021  

The Bees (aka: A Band of Bees)

2007 Preview Bonus Interview

Jan 01, 2007 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The Bees, England’s pioneers of revamped ’60s psychedelic peace music, will return in 2007 with Octopus. Bees’ songwriter Aaron Fletcher describes the new album as “sound[ing] more like 1666.” Promising to remain true their vintage sound, Fletcher elaborates on the sessions by saying, “[We] had a lot of fun with tape delays and echoes, reverbs, singing in Portuguese, [and] flushing the toilet for sound effects.”

Under the Radar spoke to Flectcher about the British band’s forthcoming third album via e-mail. [Note: The Bees are known as A Band of Bees in America thanks to a Nashville-based band also named The Bees.]

Under the Radar: What progress have you made on the new album so far—how much has been recorded and how much is left to record?

Aaron Fletcher: The recording and mixing is all done now, just getting all the fiddly bits together like art and text. We've spent a lot of time on this baby! It's been a different process to the other LP’s.

UTR: What can we expect from your next album in terms of its sound and how it compares to your first two albums? You’ve said that the new album sounds like a mix of the first two records, can you elaborate? Which elements of which record have you taken and put into this new record?

Fletcher: Having the studio at home is a winner for us. We get a lot of input and activity around the studio. Much like the Sunshine Hit Me album, the environment and atmosphere played a huge role in inspiring the record. The sea, the weather, the hills and woods will always be inspiring to us. And then taking this sound around the world makes for revelations and surprises that naturally we absorb, and reshape into our own Bees thing.

UTR: Are there any new influences that you are including in your sound on this album, influences that weren't brought out in your previous releases?

Fletcher: Country not western music, harmonicas, baritone sax and trumpet solos!

UTR: The new album’s first single “Left Foot Stepdown” has a kind of dub vibe, which is reminiscent of your first album, is the song a good precursor in terms of what to expect from the rest of the album? Is that dub vibe carried over onto other songs on the new record?

Fletcher: There are a few tunes which we've made for the new album which have come from a real primitive roots rhythm vibe. That’s something we've always loved and listened to, these tracks carry a meditate quality. Pulsing, certainly pulsing.

UTR: Can you give us a hint as to what themes or subjects are tackled on some of the lyrics on the new album?

Fletcher: A positive theme will always shine out from The Bees.

UTR: Last year you told us that the new record “had a working theme behind the record that is ‘country music from the sea.’” Is that still the case and if so, could you elaborate on what you mean by that?

Fletcher: It’s because our home is like that, and it had not really been noticed—we thought.

UTR: What have been the biggest challenges of recording this new album?

Fletcher: The ability for our equipment to function. It’s been like mining, with music being the gold.

UTR: What aspects of your last album were you unhappy with, aspects that you'd like to improve upon with your new album?

Fletcher: Record sales, because we need them.

UTR: Are you using any strange instruments on the new album or have you utilized any weird recording techniques?

Fletcher: Splicing 2" tape was scary at times, had a lot of fun with tape delays and echoes, reverbs, singing in Portuguese, flushing the toilet for sound effects, using a pen holder for the funkiest cow bell.

UTR: You used a lot of vintage recording equipment to give your previous album an old ’60s recording sound. Are you sticking to that vein of recording? Free the Bees sounded as if it could have been recorded in the mid to late-’60s. Are you taking a similar approach with the new album, or will it be more modern sounding?

Fletcher: This one sounds like 1666. We'll remain vintage until it's all gone and computers don't even work anymore.

UTR: What are your commercial expectations for the album when compared to your last album? Are you hoping to win over a lot of brand new fans with this album or do you hope to mainly preach to the converted?

Fletcher: Octopus is going to set ears on fire—new and old.

UTR: Is there anything about the new album that will really surprise your fans once they hear it?

Fletcher: Maybe me singing the first song. I reckon the grooves on this album will get to people, and they won’t be able to live without it.

UTR: Can you give us a description of one are two songs to give fans a little more information about the record?

Fletcher: “Listening Man”: Track 5, souled out. “Let love be the reason, between me and you, as real as the morning as fresh as the dew.”

“Who Cares What the Question Is?”: Track 1, more bounce to the ounce. “Who cares what the question is? When all your love’s in messages, glorious in tenderness when they enter my mind.”

“The Occularist”: Track 8, anglo/porto psychfolk. “How glad it is the waters edge, bending to the shape of land. Before too long when the blossoms gone, the pollen and the summer song. The seasons make you want to cry.”



Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

June 22nd 2009

A Band Of Bees is my favorite band and really they had given us a golden 60 peaces of music…

July 3rd 2009

Thanks for this, I guess.

I know this band. Are used to be interesting and good. This interview is so nice though, it makes me feel good.

November 24th 2009

Wonderfully said

Scissor Lift
November 24th 2009

I was searching for similar information. Thanks for it and i promise that i will be visiting here often from now !

Solar fonds
December 18th 2009

The Bees has relish great very interesting post about the England’s pioneers Bees.


March 3rd 2010

I just finished listening to some of their stuff,  great band!!!