!!! Hit the Road

!!! Hit the Road
Photo: Tadayuki Aritaka
Catching up with Nic Offer this past February to discuss !!!’s impressive new album, Myth Takes, the singer had other things on his mind. "It’s been a bit of a stressful day,” he said. "A pipe exploded on our porch. It’s shooting water everywhere. All the water’s freezing. It’s a big mess.”

Under normal circumstances, Offer doesn’t mind things messy. !!! are not a band to keep things on the straight and narrow; the new album’s title implies its allegiance to complication. Their seven members don’t even live on the same coast, although that’s not a formula he would recommend. Still, they manage to make it work. "Distance, in this case, makes the heart grow fonder,” he says.

Whereas their 2004’s underrated Louden Up Now was recorded at a Sacramento studio, the follow-up spanned two years and several cities. "Mario [Andreoni]’s the one with the straightest day job, and he can only work from Sacramento or Nashville. So we decided Nashville this time. We rented a house, took our engineer, set up and lived there, and jammed in the basement where we recorded everything.”

While guitarist Andreoni still keeps a day job, up until recently Offer and guitarist Tyler Pope also divided time equally between !!! and another Brooklyn success story, Out Hud. But Out Hud broke up during the making of Myth Takes because, according to Offer, "it was hard juggling two bands. We always had a situation where the other people in both bands felt like they were getting shafted. It was great while it lasted, but ultimately it was a relief when it stopped.”

Fan disappointment aside, !!! sound more focused because of it. "Heart of Hearts,” the album’s first single, is arguably the best song they’ve ever recorded. As for the rest of the album, it verges closer to myth than mistake.