With Nate Ruess releasing his debut solo album, he spoke to us at contactmusic.com about working with Beck - one of his favourite musicians. According to Ruess, his love for Beck stems from the artist's continuing ability to release new and interesting music, as well as his ability to shapeshift musically, and take on various different styles and genres at will.
Nate Ruess is set to release 'Grand Romantic' on 16th June 2015
When Ruess originally reached out to Beck to work on his album, he had already an idea for the song - and it was supposed to sound like Beck's 'Midnight Vultures' album. While he was a fan of both the albums 'Sea Change' and 'Modern Guilt', Ruess didn't want to make Beck record more music like that because he "didn't want to give him more of that, because he'd just been touring with that for a whole year". After continuing to work on the song for a bit, he soon discovered that it "wasn't like 'Midnight Vultures', unfortunately, but it was what it was, and I'm quite proud of that."
In addition to his voice, Beck leant his guitar skills to the song. During the writing process, Ruess recorded a guitar solo "just with [his] voice and cranked up the distortion, and [Beck] loved it and just wanted to play it over the top." Ruess continued to explain how when Beck "busts out the electric guitar it's a pretty phenomenal thing".
The song came about when Ruess decided he wanted to record a new duet for his album, but he had already recorded a duet with Pink on her recent album. When he decided to work on a male duet. He explained: "I've got a high voice, he's got a low voice, and I'm weirdly into country music, and it just fit with the song that I'd written."