Over the last 15 years, Tim Vanhamel has been working on several musical projects. After two seminal, critically acclaimed Millionaire albums and years of intensive touring, he wrote a succesfull solo album ‘Welcome to the Blue House’, before taking on other projects such as Broken Glass Heroes, Eat Lions, Disko Drunkards, Magnus and The Hickey Underworld. But the time has come for Vanhamel to finally bring his legendary band Millionaire back together. Sixteen years after their debut album ‘Outside The Simian Flock’ and twelve years since its successor ‘Paradisiac’, the long-awaited third Millionaire album ‘Sciencing’ was released on 19th May.
For the recordings, Vanhamel and drummer Damien Vanderhasselt (Eat Lions) went to elStudio, a brand new recording space in the Costa Rican village of Santa Teresa. The studio is run by compatriot Jeff Claeys (ex-Admiral Freebee, Jon Spencer & The Blues Explosion) who assisted Vanhamel as sound engineer. “Never before has a recording process felt so pleasant and free. It was like playing in a sandbox” said Vanhamel about his time in Costa Rica.
He stayed in Costa Rica for two months, and returned to Belgium with an all-new Millionaire record under his belt. The album, produced by Vanhamel himself, was subsequently mixed by Greg Gordon (Oasis, Wolfmother, Triggerfinger) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, The White Stripes, Beastie Boys) and Jerboa, who mastered the bonus tracks.
The first single ‘I’m Not Who You Think You Are’ sounds as nasty and edgy as ever, while ‘Wastelands’ is Millionaire at its funkiest. ‘L’Homme Sans Corps’ shows off Vanhamel’s French and the ballad ‘Silent River’, a duet with Canadian singer Clara Klein, would not look out of place on the soundtrack of Twin Peaks.
“Now that I’m a bit older, I feel the need more and more to make something that can also be beautiful,” said 39-year-old Vanhamel who calls ‘Sciencing’ a surprising and, above all, a mature album. “The groove is more important than ever, and this album is made in accordance with the less-is-more principle. I’ve omitted more guitar riffs than I’ve added. We don’t feel the need to hit the listener over the head anymore.”