By Alex HudsonBeloved '90s piano-rock trio Ben Folds Five recently reunited for the album The Sound of the Life of the Mind, marking their first new full-length in 13 years. According to the group's frontman and namesake, however, it won't be nearly such a long wait for the next new record.
"I think we should make some more music," Folds tells Exclaim! when queried about the band's future plans. Although they will be on the road for the next while overseas, their tour will likely be followed by another recording session. "I would anticipate that, if we were talking about going into the studio, it probably wouldn't be any earlier than spring," he says.
So what exactly will the new material sound like? While the album will undoubtedly sound unmistakably like Ben Folds Five, the frontman hints that it will likely be a departure from the aggressive rock approach of The Sound of the Life of the Mind.
"This is a fairly dynamic record," he says. "I think we're interested, at the moment, in maybe [something] slower, more ambient — not dance ambience, but ambient. There's something we're gravitating to in the best moments live right now that I keep thinking, 'When we get into the studio, I think this is going to be a thing.' But that's all I really know."
Each of the band's albums, he says, have had a slightly different tone and have appealed to a different fan base. The next will likely be no exception. "It's a wavelength, and we've changed wavelengths between our records."
Even Folds won't know what the collection is going to sound like until it's recorded, since he typically doesn't finish writing until he's in the studio. "I always come in with lots of fragments. I complete the songs in the studio. I like to play them with the band and see which ones are happening with us, what's inspiring," he explains.
Despite his uncertainly of what the next record will sound like, it's reassuring for fans of the Five to know that he's already begun thinking about the group's next step.
You can see all the band's upcoming tour dates here and read more of Exclaim!'s recent Ben Folds Five interview here.