Ten years later, Beck delivered music fans his 10th full-length artistic achievement. Entitled The Information, the LP was released by Interscope Records on October 3, 2006.
“The recording sessions were done at my house and at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles,” explains Beck. “Ocean Way is one of the last classic rooms that are still intact from probably 30 years ago. The actual room we recorded in was the same way it was back in the ’50s.”
The recording process for The Information LP took the greater part of seven days, which Beck can only describe as, “frenzied.”
“It was just kind of mad and intense. We worked very quickly, laying down a bunch of different takes while changing the instrumentation and placement of certain instruments. Once we got done we spent a great deal of time with producer Nigel Godrich sifting through the session tracks and forming it into a record,” explains Beck.
Working with Beck before, on the 2002 critically acclaimed Sea Change LP, the relationship between producer and artist has moved past the limitations and expectations of those masterful sessions.
“This record was completely different for us than Sea Change,” says Beck. “I think whatever formulas we made for ourselves on a previous project we just threw away and started from scratch. I think we both have a strong tendency for wanting not to repeat ourselves.”
“Nigel is very hands on and I think that is his biggest asset,” praises Beck.
With a behind the scenes DVD included with this collection of songs, and sporting customizable cover art, The Information is proving to be a piece of music that fans are buying off the shelves and not simply downloading to a digital device.
“My records aren’t a complete statement unless you listen to the entire record. I don’t consciously write singles. There were two or three instances where a song detached itself from an album and went on to become a radio single. But the songs are meant to have a collective impact in the midst of a group of other songs,” explains Beck. “There should be a feeling of emotion being built over the course of an entire album. If artists were to think in terms of just downloading tracks then we would be back to the days of 78s and we would all be putting out two track recordings.”
“The record extras were an afterthought. A record is something that you should be able to hold and be a part of, so we were just exploring how we could engage the fan with the packaging,” explains Beck.
Things have changed dramatically for Beck since he was playing to coffee houses on the streets of Manhattan. A couple world tours, a couple gold records and a schedule crazy enough to crack lesser men have failed to distract Beck from his musical roots and beliefs.
“I don’t know if it was the period I grew up in or how I was raised but the idea of artistic integrity, to me, is a part of any artist’s survival. It is about being very careful about how people want to use songs. There are a lot of grey areas obviously, because everybody has their own set of beliefs. But as far as marketing, and people giving their music to commercials and stuff like that, it is just not a practice I want to participate in,” says Beck. “For me, I make music for the sake of making music. People who are in music to just get famous or to make money should find another occupation. If you are going to be a musician you have to do it out of a love for music. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of crap that I have turned down from advertisers,” says Beck.
“In a way I feel like I am cutting myself off as far as where my music can reach. Maybe my world is a little smaller because of it. But at the same time it makes the music solely for the sake of making art, and that is absolutely necessary. For me integrity is essential.”
Modern influential artists are always a hot topic of conversation and with Beck it’s no different.
“There is no doubt that Jack White has had an impact and a pretty large one at that,” says Beck. “Radiohead over the past five years had undoubtedly moved to the forefront and had been challenging everybody.”
While the last North American tour leg wraps up in Upper Darby, PA on Oct. 23, the road ahead for Beck seems to be one of escape and relaxation.
“I am going on four years straight of constant work. Between touring, recording and writing, I am anxious to get started on the next record because I have a few things in mind. But to be honest, we are probably going to take some time off,” reveals Beck. “But I assure you, I have some things up my sleeve.”
Beck will be appearing at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, NY, on Oct. 18, The Loew’s Theater in Jersey City, NJ, on Oct. 21 and The Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA, on Oct. 23. For more information including updated news, discography, and merchandise, Beck’s homepage can be viewed at beck.com