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The 1975 gave themselves some ground rules: avoid twiddling with computers and concentrate on what can be done in the studio live. “Anyone can make something with technology, but we’ve been a band for 20 years—it isn’t algorithmic,” Healy says. “George is one of the best drummers in the world, play the fucking drums! Hann fucking rips on the guitar, so rip on the guitar!” Even with these guideposts in place, Healy admits it took some real restraint to rein things in. “I want my records to represent who I am, and I’m so fucking many things,” he says. “And I also never wanna do anything that feels humble, because that would be performative.”

I need native speakers help. What does to rein things in mean in this case? Does it mean that he really had to make an effort to stop himself from doing too much?

Thanks in advance.

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The phrase "to rein things in" means to control them, or cut back on them, to reduce them. Originally it referred to pulling on the reins of a horse or group of horses to cause the horse(s) to slow down. In this case I think it referred to Healy having to exercise control to get the other members of the band, or indeed himself, to make less use of digital adjustments to their sounds.

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  • That makes more sense. Thanks so much for the explanation.
    – whitewater
    Aug 11, 2022 at 19:11

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