Golden Smog Are Legends In Their Spare Time

By Jason SchneiderThere can’t be too many places more dissimilar than northern Minnesota and the south of Spain. But on their first full-length album in eight years, Another Fine Day, Golden Smog have managed to combine the dark and light of both worlds. The songwriter-heavy super-group, consisting primarily of Jayhawks Gary Louris, Marc Perlman and Kraig Johnson, along with Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, were given the opportunity to do some soundtrack work and quickly found themselves with enough material for a record.

Split between sessions in Louris’s new Spanish production base and their traditional home of Minneapolis, the album is the band’s most adventurous yet. "A bunch of us were recording some instrumental stuff for a friend’s movie and having a lot of fun,” Johnson says. "When word got out that we were working together again, we had an offer to do another album and that got us writing together for the first time. This is by far the most collaborative record we’ve ever done.”

While the band originally leaned on the members’ pedigrees in the alt-country world, there is little trace of that sound left; Johnson says everyone’s listening habits have expanded. "[Tweedy] actually couldn’t make the sessions in Spain, and when he got to Minneapolis he was surprised by all the weird stuff we’d done. His first reaction was, ‘People are gonna blame this on me!’ Right from the start we talked about doing something different.” With the busy schedule of each member, it may be a while before another Golden Smog album appears, but Johnson says everyone now accepts that the band will be there whenever they need to blow off some steam. "Nobody expected this record to be made, and most of the time really cool things happen when you have that attitude. It definitely feels more special whenever we get together now, and I think we all want to keep it that way by not planning things too much.”
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Article Published In Aug 06 Issue