5 Billion In Diamonds, the latest project from Butch Vig, have released Travelling, the brand new single from their brand new self-titled album.
The third song to be taken from their debut LP, it was actually the first written by the collective that also features UK DJ James Grillo and UK producer Andy Jenks.
“James and I came up with a couple dreamy guitar loops, which inspired Andy to record all these amazing groovalicious keyboards, which inspired me to track some funky drums and to bring Justin Meldal-Johnson in on bass,” explains Vig, best known as Garbage’s drummer and the producer of Nirvana’s Nevermind.
Although the track evolved over a few months, it was completely transformed when singer Helen White wrote and recorded her vocals.
“Channelling hints of the Cocteau Twins, Free Design, and French singers Mireille Mathieu and Francoise Hardy, Helen took the song to another level and raised the bar for all the 5BID songs to come,” admits Vig.
Those songs to come were all intended as a tribute to the music that inspired Vig, Grillo, and Jenks, including Jimmie Spheeris, Ramases, Linda Perhacs, John Barry, Krautrock, The Free Design, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and cult film soundtracks from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
“James would bring in these obscure albums and play something for us, we would get jazzed by the music and try and channel that inspiration into a new song idea,” elaborates Vig.
To complete those song ideas, the trio recruited musicians like guitarist Alex Lee (Goldfrapp, Suede), bass player Sean Cook and drummer Damon Reece (Spiritualized, Massive Attack) and vocalists like Sandra Dedrick (from The Free Design) and David Schelzel (The Ocean Blue). Singer Ebbot Lundberg of Swedish rock group The Soundtrack Of Our Lives rounds out the line-up, recruited after Vig and Grillo approached him backstage at a show.
“We walked up to Ebbot and said: ‘Hey we’re in a band, would you like to sing on a couple songs we’re working on?’ Ebbot said ‘Yah!’ and a few weeks later we flew him down to Bristol.”
The results can be heard on the 5 Billion In Diamonds album, out now.