No Strings Attached to Pernice Brothers

No Strings Attached to <b>Pernice Brothers</b>
"I wanted to make a guitar record, which I've never really done," says Joe Pernice, guitarist/vocalist and principal creative force behind the moody, melodic and occasionally opulent pop outfit Pernice Brothers.

If by "guitar record" Pernice means one devoid of the lush string arrangements that accented every other track on the band's previous studio outings, he's done that on the band's third full-length, Yours, Mine & Ours, with the assistance of bass playing co-producer Thom Monahan.

"A lot of times strings, even though they add more instrumentation to a song, will actually make it sound smaller," says Pernice, who still stands by the band's previous recording, strings and all. "You end up getting all these different instruments competing for a certain amount of audible landscape. By taking some instruments out we were able to jack other instruments up and make a bigger sounding record while actually using fewer instruments."

The less-is-more approach is novel, but hardly a theoretic exercise. Pernice and Monahan have managed to sparse things up in the past, most recently on Pernice's 2000 quasi-solo album Big Tobacco. But that disc was a clearing house of old, unrecorded songs that had been collecting dust since Pernice's tenure as leader of the Scud Mountain Boys.

Happy with the latest results, Pernice is eager to get to work on the next recording, but realistically, he doesn't expect to get a crack at that until a few other projects are out of the way, not the least of which is an exhaustive international tour that brings the band to four Canadian cities in July. Also on Pernice's to-do list: a sophomore release from his mellower-than-mellow side project Chappaquiddick Skyline and, of all things, a musical.

"I've got the idea and the outline and I've just started writing a treatment for it," says Pernice, opting to forego other details. "I kind of want to wait until I have some more of it written before I let it out of the bag."