Exclusive: Broken Social Scene Put the Brakes on Tortoise

Exclusive: Broken Social Scene Put the Brakes on Tortoise
While Tortoise are set to leave their Chicago home for a short North American tour next month, the instrumental rock pioneers haven't made much headway writing new material since the release of last year's excellent Beacons of Ancestorship, according to bassist/guitarist Doug McCombs. And who do they have to thank for the hold-up? Broken Social Scene.

"We had a tentative plan to start in December but John has a session that's been going on in his studio that keeps going over," McCombs begins to explain in an Exclaim! interview. "He's working with a band."

That's John McEntire to be precise - Tortoise percussionist/multi-instrumentalist, drummer for the Sea and Cake, and owner and operator of Soma Electronic Studios in Chicago. As an engineer and producer, McEntire is known to keep a busy schedule, overseeing records by Canucks like Bell Orchestre and now, as previously reported, their Arts & Crafts label-mates, Broken Social Scene.

McCombs confirms that it's the latter band that is proving to be an obstacle for McEntire's own creative, musical impulses.

"Yeah, he's working on that Broken Social Scene record. So, he's really overworked and so Tortoise hasn't been able to get in the studio and work on anything," he says. "Hopefully we will some time soon... They come down here, they eat all of our food and drink all of our booze, and won't leave us to our own."

Well, at least the time away from Tortoise is proving to be fruitful for McCombs, who has a few other projects lined up. "Eleventh Dream Day is working on new songs," he explains. "Rick Rizzo has a bunch of new songs that he's been dying to work on for a while. We've been working together on some stuff and are pushing to make a new album at some point. Other than that, David [Daniell] and I are trying to tour as much as we can in March. I think we may be in Toronto in the second week of March even. And David and I are gonna try and squeeze in some mini-tours wherever we can. We haven't really played much outside of Chicago at all."

As of yet, there is no firm release date on that as-yet-untitled BSS record, but it is expected to drop this spring.

Tortoise tour dates:

2/11 Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall*
2/12 Nashville, TN - Exit In*
2/13 Birmingham, AL -€“ Bottletree*
2/14 Atlanta, GA - The Earl*
2/15 Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle*
2/16 Washington, DC - Black Cat*
2/17 Millvale, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre*
2/18 Toronto, ON -€“ Lee's Palace*
2/19 Ann Arbor, MI - The Blind Pig*
2/20 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall**

* with Disappears
**with Robert A.A. Lowe

David Daniell / Douglas McCombs Dates:

3/11 Toronto, ON - The Music Gallery
3/12 Montreal, QC - Under the Snow Festival / Festival Sous La Neige, La Sala Rossa
3/13 Boston, MA - Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts