“We ended up saying, ‘It’s not what we want on there, it’s what can’t we take off’”: Nuno Bettencourt says Extreme had three albums worth of material for Six
Bettencourt recalls the process of curating the band’s most recent LP.
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- READ MORE: Nuno Bettencourt on Extreme’s new album, Six: “I told the guys, ‘I wanna go for blood on this album’”
Speaking to American Musical Supply about the album’s making, the guitarist says: “The recording [of Six], a lot of people are saying like, ‘Man, [it took] 15 years,’ obviously, minus a few of the handmaid’s tale years, pandemic years. But the album itself probably, if you add it up, it took the same length as an album takes to record.”
“It didn’t take 15 years to record the album,” he adds. “It’s just that we probably had, like, three albums’ worth of material. The guys kept coming out to LA, and we would do a crop of songs, and we’d write another crop of songs or record another couple crop of songs.”
Bettencourt explains that the band had “set a bar” for themselves: “You really have to be super proud and super excited to share your music with anybody, even if it’s your brother or it’s your family member or if it’s Tom Morello that you happen to know.”
“Once you have that feeling of, ‘Would you play these songs in front of your peers?’, then you kind of know you got something there and you’re ready to go.”
He says it wasn’t until around 2017 or 2018 — when they started working on the Rise group of songs — that the elusive feeling came around, and that eventually the band “probably had about, like, 30, 40, 50 tracks” to choose from for Six.
Discussing the selection process, Bettensourt says that while the members might have a favourite bass or solo part, “the way we always end up choosing what ends up on the album is not what’s going on the album.”
“If there’s three or four songs fighting for one position, which there usually are… the way I think we end up deciding the actual curation of the album is, it’s not what we want on there, it’s what can’t we take off, if that makes any sense.”
“’Cause a lot of the stuff we’re fans of, and, ‘Ah, it’d be great to have this track or that track,’ but I think it’s the ones where we’re, like, ‘Okay, that really — the album itself kind of really needs it.’ So I think it’s definitely an album-orientated band in that we don’t sit there and write singles and think about, ‘Well, we need those three singles and we need four singles.’ We just say, like, ‘What’s the opener?'”