First record for five years from alt-rock pioneers
Pirner tells Billboard.com that he and the current incarnation of the band - guitarist Dan Murphy, who co-founded Soul Asylum with Pirner, bassist Tommy Stinson and drummer Michael Bland - have been working both in Minneapolis and in New Orleans, where Pirner now resides. "I've been cutting vocals here in my studio, and we've cut a bunch of guitars," he says. "When all four of us are in the studio together, it's pretty spectacular, but you've got to have a big studio, so mostly you're sitting in front of a computer. It's very odd the way the (recordng) approach has been misconstrued with all the digital technology. But it is what it is, and we make it work."
The music, says Pirner, will "be loosely categorized as rock. There's more personality than one would expect in this day and age because the personalities in this band are so strong," he notes. "There is actually some interesting modal stuff happening. I think what I've learned, being in New Orleans and trying to see past the obvious influence of roots music on rock 'n' roll, you start to take really bizarre, subtle detours that are really trying to sneak something else into the language. It's not a box you have to think outside of; it's a box you have to be comfortable with."
The band's last studio album was 2006's The Silver Lining, while the band celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut album Made To Be Broken later this year.