Do you ever see yourself releasing any more material as this configuration?
I don’t know. I think it would be a great idea. It’s a difficult group to get together. You can imagine, it’s three different entities all very busy and complete on their own (laughs). To get together, everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. I think it would be kind of cool to do something again, but I don’t know.
The first album was conceived in a couple of days, right?
Yeah, well there are some traditional gospel songs on there. But it was done over a few days. All the original material, we came up with together as a band. It would be great to do it again.
I’m sort of intrigued though with what MMW just did with The Radiolarian Series where you’re flipping your so-called touring cycle by touring material before you record it, but with the Word I got an early-mid period Miles Davis vibe, as in ‘Hey, we met last week, we’re writing a record tomorrow.’ Did Radiolarian feel like a better or more effective way to tour perform and ultimately create new songs?
No. If you use the Miles Davis analogy, there’s certainly nothing missing from those recordings. Or Coltrane or any of that. I just think it’s a different way of doing it. For us, all of our records have been different and a lot of times there’s always been at least a couple tunes on every record that we have been playing and working on on the road and when it comes the time to make the record a year after the last one, there’s a couple of new things and then we create a bunch of stuff in the studio to reflect where we’re at and where we want to go. That sort of sets off the New Year.
It wasn’t like it was a completely unfamiliar process, but to have the whole record be that process was the only thing that was different. It wasn’t like some new concept we’ve never done before; it was just concentrated. For us, it was a creative choice. It was one of the things that we’ve always talked about, you know, ‘We could make ten records a year as MMW.’ But we can’t, because we have a record deal and they won’t pay for that many records. In a way it was a chance for us to do what we know we can do, which is to have a lot of new material, and which is what that band thrives on. Having that creative feeling. And that feeling, that energy, is created a bunch of different ways, but one way for MMW is to have new material.
I think for the Word, because we don’t get together often—we need to do new material and we will—that other material is still fresh for us, because we barely play it (laughs). So it has that feeling when we get together and play.
I’m imagining the same audiences; do they come back for these gigs? Because you have so much cross-pollination between these three bands.
I think there’s some. I don’t know. People are always out there asking ‘When’s The Word gonna come out again?’ ‘Well, we’ll see who shows up.’ (laughs) I have no idea. I think it’s a great band, and we don’t get together a lot. It’s not like anything out there, and it’s not like any of our bands individually. It’s totally different. It’ll be great if people want to come out there to hear it.
So after the New York gig, you’re going on a cruise? Where does it go out of?
Out of Fort Lauderdale. And we’re actually doing a gig down there too. It’s how the last tour happened. Bonnaroo, those guys said, ‘I’d love to see The Word get back together again.’ They made it happen and that inspired us to do the other tour. We don’t have the opportunity to do it too much, because it’s complicated. We needed a little spark to make it happen, and the Jam Cruise was the spark this time. They’ve been mentioning it on and off for a few years, but finally whatever needed to come together to make it happen came together. And I think it’s cool So that’s why we said, ‘Well if we’re going to do it, let’s do a couple of gigs around that time too.’ It’s that simple.
The Word perform at Terminal 5 on New Year’s Eve. For more info, visit terminal5nyc.com.