Barts Classic Track NL #3: Kensington – ‘Sorry’ | NPO Radio 2
Welcome to a brand new Classic Track NL. With one of my favorite songs by the band Kensington. One of the most
beautiful songs they ever made. The song called ‘Sorry’. We’re behind the big mixing desk again,
in the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum. With the guys from Kensington. Sometimes songs need a lot of time to make. Every song is made differently. As I understand,
the song ’Sorry’ was made very quickly, right? Yeah, that song was made real quick! The song was written… Right before… The breakup of my relationship. Not after, but shortly before we broke up. When I knew the end of the relationship was near. I felt very guilty about what happened. About the pain I caused. And then, suddenly, I felt the emotion. And then this was the most appropriate song to write. Where were you, when you wrote the song? I was at home, on my couch. You recorded it on your phone, right? Yes! You sent me the recording… So we can listen to this moment you sang… ♪ ‘Sorry’ for the very first time, on guitar. Later on, you can hear that I’ve got problems singing the song. ♪ ‘Sorry’ for the very first time, on guitar. Right here…! ♪ ‘Sorry’ for the very first time, on guitar. But I continued playing… I felt tears in my eyes.
I got a little emotional. There’s only one person in the world this song is about. And, although I know you
hardly talk about your personal life, I’m wondering what it was like for her to hear this song? I played her the whole album. But I didn’t dare to play her this particular song. Like, there’s also another song. I’ll play it for you, one day. Exactly! And then, all of a sudden, I was like: ‘ok, now the album is almost finished, I got to play her that one song!’ And then she got real emotional! And she said:
‘These are the exact words I wanted to hear from you all this time.’ Wow! So that was her reaction… It was such a full circle moment. It was like: ‘Ok, we’re cool!’ And what did you guys think
when you heard it for the first time? When you heard this new song idea. Because, how do things like this work?
You guys got some kind of Kensington group app… To share audio ideas? I played this in Tuscany for you guys for the first time, I remember. Yeah, after the first Ziggo Dome shows in 2015 we went there. To relax a little. To mix business with pleasure. So we worked on the first demo’s
for Control in a laid back way. And then Eloi came with this idea. And we were like “this song is great’.
Let’s finish this song. And one of the first things we adjusted, compared to the demo, is that we used a piano instead. Because playing the song on guitar sounded too sweet. On piano it sounded more impressive. Yeah, because on another demo you recorded in Tuscany… At the end of the chorus… … we can hear strings!
– Yeah! ♪ ‘Sorry’, with strings. Man, I forgot! ♪ ‘Sorry’, with strings. The second verse starts here… But why did you eliminate the whole string section?
Because of this reason? I think so yes, part of this reason. We wanted to keep it simple.. Because of course you can make it one big cliche… … make it very sentimental… We added a lot of things, but in a darker way. The sound of those layers is darker. Yeah, I found such a layer here… In the second verse… You EQ’d this part by cutting the high frequencies,
so you hear a nice dark layer of sounds. But if you add the frequencies that you cut in the process. Then you hear this… power… There’s this brass, metal sound in it, The only material that can generate this sound. Because… you can add strings, piano’s and sorts… Then you add something sweet and beautiful, But these sounds bring some kind of danger. It’s this Hans Zimmer, soundtrack kinda feel. And that’s what we were looking for. That Christopher Nolan movie vibe, you know. The Dark Knight and Inception, those kind of things. Those were good references for us! One other story that is nice to tell is about the piano. The piano on the record was also used in the demo, played by Casper. And he said:
‘I think we should ask a professional to play this part’. So we asked a professional in Rome to play this piano part. A classical pianist, and he did it within a few hours. He did it like this. And the next day I entered the studio, And I was listening, And I was like: ‘guys, I don’t know’… … there’s hardly any emotion left. There’s something missing! And we all felt the same! But no one had the guts to say it. It sounded fantastic… But it sounded too perfect?
– Yeah! And of course you’re like: It cost us a lot of money, this guy already played the whole part, It took him a lot of effort to do that, And we all said: Casper, I think you should do the part. And I was like… No! Because the production process was kind of finished! A classical pianist would play this part in a totally different way! He would use way more keys. And when I play it, it sounds very basic. Simply because of the fact I can’t play any better than this! That’s literally the reason.
But that’s the strength of it. Perhaps less is more. The idea is: ‘let’s just be unique because of your limitations’. And not by how many notes you can play. No, exactly! ‘Is it enough for the song?’ That’s the idea. We work towards the end, where Eloi does a long shout. I don’t know if it succeeded immediately, but that lasted…
How long is it in total? How long is it in total?
– It’s 13 seconds. Yes, I know that very well. It’s 13 seconds. I’m trying to find it. Where is it? ♪ ‘Sorry’, vocals only. There he comes. ♪ ‘Sorry’, vocals only. That raw edge on it too!
– Do you hear that? ♪ ‘Sorry’, vocals only. Yes, it’s the last note. It gives the final bit of emotion! Is that why the long note is in it? It has to go there. There is no other way. And even though it does not work the first 20 times, it has to happen. It also has to be sung in the rawest way possible. One more time a capella, and then with music. ♪ ‘Sorry’, with music. Nice guys. Thanks! Your’e welcome!