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"It was amazing — glorious sound. It was a great thing to do. But it came over time, with a little bit of this nagging voice that said, 'Don't do this.' But while I was [performing], I felt it was more important to be looking forward," he says. "These shows inspired me. The importance is to do new stuff, and this was a huge moment for me. The shows created a lot of passion to continue. All these bands are re-forming and playing to events that already happened. So, really, a lot of the inspiration was to not be satisfied to look back and say we've done this, but carry on trying new things."
While Sweet Heart Sweet Light doesn't break a lot of new ground, treading all the well-worn Spiritualized pathways — "I think that you could probably take any one of my songs and put it on any one of my albums and it would fit," Pierce agrees — it does reveal how a creative mind, no matter what state it's in, can merge disparate sounds into something unexpectedly grand.
"I don't really set out with an idea to mix it all up. Making a record is kind of exploring the tolerances of it, seeing how far you can push it and seeing where it sits right and what works with it. That's the benefit of being able to record," Pierce says. "If I was just recording how we sounded in the studio on a particular day, that's really closer to playing live than making a record. If you're going to make a record, I think you should explore all the possibilities."
Easier said than done, unless you happen to be a bit out of your mind.