Published Apr 29, 2010The latest New Pornographers record, Together, isn't out on Matador/Last Gang until Tuesday (May 4), but the band's de facto front-man, Carl Newman, is already thinking ahead to its follow-up.
"I always have a lot of songs on the go, and now that I've finished this record, I'm thinking, 'What am I going to do next?'" Newman tells Exclaim! in a recent interview. "I start listening to little primitive demos that I've done and I think, 'God, I've got enough for another record here.'"
Newman remains mum on just what form this next album will take, but he knows that he would like to change up the recording process.
"Usually I start making a record and I go, 'Let's just start working and see what comes out,'" he says. "But the next one, just as a challenge to myself, I'm gonna go, 'No. You can't start working until you've got these songs completely written.' There's going to be a lot of pre-production and hopefully we can do the recording in two weeks."
The approach hearkens back to Newman's early days of recording with his first band, '90s Vancity alt-rock collective Superconductor.
"Back then nobody knew how to do decent home recordings," Newman says. "We did our first album [1993's Hit Songs for Girls] in three days. We must have paid $800 or $900 a day. I think we had a $3,000 budget, which was enough to pay for three days in [Vancouver's] Mushroom Studios... Now I'm amazed anyone can make a record in three days. But if you practice, you can."
Both Van Morrison's Astral Weeks and John Cale's Vintage Violence,, he points out, are classic records that were thrown together in a short time period. But Newman cautions, "I can lay no claim to being a person who's done anything like that. I've toiled much longer just to create inferior work."
And anyone awaiting some fancy-pants reissues of Superconductor and Newman's other pre-New Pornographers band, Zumpano, are S.O.L. Despite high-profile reissues for fellow Pornographers Dan Bejar and Neko Case, group mastermind Newman sees no reason to dig up his past.
"I think the Zumpano stuff is available on iTunes," he says of the band's two Sub Pop records: Look What the Rookie Did and Goin' Through Changes. "If anybody is crazy enough to want it, it's out there."
To hear the New Pornographers' Together, the record is streaming here on Exclaim.ca until May 3.