I guess you have to reestablish that feeling.

Yeah. We’re all still playing music regularly, so it’s not like, ‘How do we do this?’ It’s more, ‘How do we do this together?’

And you’re actually recording now, right?

Well, I’m demoing some of the last songs before the record gets started.

How’s it coming?

It’s coming along really well. I’ve done a lot of batches of demos for this one, so it’s like the most songs I’ve ever recorded, and I haven’t even started recording yet. It wasn’t just out of any real desire, like ‘I gotta keep doing more songs’ or whatever. I just had them. I had the songs, so I was like, ‘Well, I might as well put them all on tape.’

There’s a certain perspective you have once you’re listening back to a song where you can really appreciate. If you’re singing it, maybe you miss what it lacks or you over-think it too much because it all lives inside your head. But once you put it on a tape, you know…you do the work for a couple days and then you forget about it. Then you come back and you just listen to it while you’re driving around and you see how it registers and if it really has any legs.

What’s the new material like?

Different and the same. I’ve stepped sort of to a new plane with a lot of the stuff and I’ve sort of stepped backward and revisited an old place again. It’s not all that much like my last record.

I shouldn’t say that because I can’t tell, you know? I’m too close to it.

I’m curious what people will think of the new songs. I’m curious if they’ll think they’re more of the same, or more of the old, old stuff. There’s definitely a mixture of the songs I used to write with Further element in there. There’s songs that have a lot more complexity without sounding like art rock or anything like that.

Was there something different in particular that you were going for when you were writing?

No, I just write. Whatever mood I’m in, I just write that mood, so I must have just been in those moods those days.

Do you have a producer for the album locked in yet?

Getting close.

How do you decide who to choose? Each record’s different.

Well, every record yeah, it is unique, and it’s like, ‘Well who’s going to be my Yogi or my guru on this little trip?’ I’ve met with a lot of people, and I’ve spent time, and it’s a combination of whose personality do I think vibes most with my own, and who do I think will have the most effect on my songs and recognize which element is the real energy and how do we expand on that element?

When you’re working with someone, do you prefer a lot of involvement? The songs are very personal, I would imagine you’d want to bring that to light too.

That’s why I say there’s got to be a personal connection. I’ve really got to feel like this person understands how I relate to music, and I really hope to have my mind expanded by how they relate to music.

guess the decision’s going to be made by who has the most to teach me, but also who I think really sees the value of what I’m doing. I’m not interested in going in and having somebody go, ‘Well, that’s catchy. Let’s put it in the pop format and make it a single.’ That’s not the growth path I want to go on.

You’re not looking for the dance backbeat behind it?

I do like a dance backbeat. (laughs) When it’s called for, I enjoy it.

Obviously it’s in the very beginning stages now, but do you have any idea when you’ll be done? Is there a schedule you’re on?

Well, for my own sake, I’d like to be done by late spring because I want to go out and tour. I don’t want to do like a big, huge tour before—like I don’t want to go out and do a summer tour like we did last summer this summer—I’d rather maybe do a tour like that in the fall or winter and just go out in the summer and do sort of small underplays, and feel that connection.

I try to go out twice a year and do solo tours, which is just me and a couple guitars and some friends and some friends’ bands. I’d like to do one or two or maybe even three of those over the summer, that’s sort of my plan, so I’d like to have the record in the can by then.

But then again, making a record’s either really fun or it really sucks. So if it’s fun, I probably won’t want to leave once it gets started. If it sucks, I’ll probably be dying to get on the road.

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