You Am I recorded
their 'difficult' second album, Hi
Fi Way, at Greene Street Studios, New York from September
15-22, 1994 - straight after their much publicised support
slot on Soundgarden's national
tour of America. They teamed up again with Lee
Ranaldo to produce Hi Fi Way.
Ranaldo shared the mixing duties
with Jon Auer, (The Posies) who also played some Hammond
organ on the album.
You Am I went into the studio unsure what
musical direction to take Tim's songs in, many of which
were still without lyrics. They were also completely worn
out after the Soundgarden tour
and working to a tight recording schedule. Tim eventually
overcome a bout of writers block and found inspiration in
his childhood. "Suddenly all these things started to
come," he says. "I had perspective on those events.
I could admit things. It was really fun."
"Most of the tunes had their own
central idea, but our usually rushed time frame and a complete
inability to edit left some ideas more enunciated than others,
for example Jewels & Bullets
was written in 10 minutes just before recording it at 4am
on the last night of recording."
Wing Commander is about being 9 and pretending you're
an airplane (specifically the corsairs in Baa-ba Black Sheep
with Robert Conrad...) at lunchtime. The Wing Commander's
sister's name was Jane methinks... Once again there's fiction
with the non. She Digs Her,
Minor Byrd and Punkarella
are about folks, but exacerbated versions of 'em; whenever
the truth got in the way of Rusty's fills... the lyric would
be forever changed! I mean, do you sleep on your dick? No,
well don't step on the drummer!"
After rushing through recording the album,
Tim was unsure about what the band had done. "When
we finished making this album in seven days - it was pretty
hazy at the end and totally amphetamine logic 'cause we
had no time - I was freaking out, being a total arsehole,"
recalls Tim. "I went back to this loft we were staying
at in New York, at six in the morning, and I was just crying
all day. I couldn't believe it. I thought, 'I've totally
fucked up this record, this is shit.' I spent the next three
days at a bar called Boo Radley's on a bender."
Released in February 1995, Hi
Fi Way was greeted with five-star reviews throughout
the local music press and scored the band its second consecutive
ARIA award for 'Best Alternative Album'. It is regarded
as one of the greatest Australian albums of the '90s and
a benchmark in Australian music.
Hi Fi Way Lyrics