The Wallflowers make it up as they go on new album
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- As producers are known to do, Jay Joyce called Jakob Dylan to discuss plans before they were scheduled to start recording The Wallflowers' first album in seven years.
Joyce was surprised when Dylan said he really didn't have anything.
"We had a couple of songs, nothing but a bunch of stuff on a laptop that I said, `This might sound like this. This might sound like this,'" Dylan recalled.
"But they were lyrics," Joyce said in mock protest.
"I was like, `This is what I got,'" Dylan, 42, said with a laugh.
The singer and producer got together recently in Nashville to talk about "Glad All Over," the first Wallflowers' album since 2005's "Rebel, Sweetheart." This time around the Grammy winners tried something different as Dylan — no longer comfortable with his lead songwriting role — took a step back and tried to blend into the band.
In the past, he'd shown up at sessions with demos and strong feelings. This time, there were no demos or completed lyrics; just ideas the group — which includes longtime members Rami Jaffee on keyboard, Greg Richling on bass and guitarist Stuart Mathis with new drummer Jack Irons — took and ran with.
"If you (pre-write), those songs come with an implied feeling, groove, tempo," Dylan said. "They can limit the bass player. They can limit the drums. You've already got your vocal locked in and you're not going to budge. So it can be stifling. You realize you're bolted in with what the song already was. This lets the band lead, lets the band get out and front, and I can find a way to fit in the opposite way."
"It could have gone horribly wrong, man," Joyce said. "It was sort of fun. That's what attracted me to it: `Oh, (expletive), this is scary!'"
What emerged is a writhing, rhythm-heavy album that has Joyce's grimy fingerprints all over it.
The rising Nashville producer known for crafting hits with artists as varied as Eric Church, Cage the Elephant and Little Big Town first met the band when T Bone Burnett flew him to Los Angeles to play guitar on their 1996 debut, "Bringing Down the Horse."
When Joyce's name came up, Dylan jumped. He felt like Joyce would know where they were coming from and could play guitar on the album. "Plus," he joked, "I don't like to meet anyone new."
"I was just a band member," Joyce said. "My job in this situation was first of all be part of the band. So I was worried about my guitar playing. I was worried about being fired from the band."
Joyce also kept the band on track, wrapping recording in a month. His presence helped Dylan achieve his goal of having five guys in a room — and only five guys — working out the songs.
"I wanted to keep it simple," Dylan said. "I knew when we got here we weren't going to be about perfect chord patterns and structures. It wasn't going to be that type of songwriting. It was going to be knocking the things out on the run. After this many years of not doing this, if we were going to do it we just didn't want it to be heavy and didn't need any ballads or mid-tempo things. We just wanted to have fun."
That ethos shows up several places on the album, but perhaps nowhere better than "Reboot the Mission." Featuring a guitar-and-vocal cameo from The Clash's Mick Jones, "Reboot the Mission" is funky, wide-open and a little loopy with self-referential lyrics that refer to the band's days in the studio.
Songs like that prove Dylan's faith in his leap was justified. Looking back, he says he can see why everyone was nervous, especially the people paying for the sessions. But he's convinced he did the right thing.
"What stuck in my mind is I just couldn't imagine Billy Gibbons sitting at home, writing songs and making demos, you know?" Dylan said of the ZZ Top frontman. "I can imagine they hit the studio, they bring what they got and they just jam and they make songs up."
Follow AP Music Writer Chris Talbott: http://twitter.com/Chris—Talbott.
Kim Kardashian says her pregnancy lips are out of control, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders.Watch Video »
Check out Hollywood's hottest bikini bods on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
Robert Pattinson has moved out of the house he shared with Kristen Stewart, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders.Watch Video »
Better with age
See which stars just get better with age.Watch Video »
Check out some of Rihanna's worst wardrobe choices on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
Find out who went after Kendall Jenner on social media on today's Celebs Gone Social ...Watch Video »
- Magic LoveThe stars of "Now You See Me" chat learning magic tricks and experiencing the real deal.Watch Video »
- Workout ObsessedGwyneth Paltrow works out for two hours a day, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- Twitter AttackFind out who went after Kendall Jenner on social media on today's Celebs Gone Social ...Watch Video »
- 'Fast' TalkWatch as the cast of "Fast & furious 6" talk about getting injuries while filming, getting jacked and a whole lot more.Watch Video »
- Feeling SwollenKim Kardashian says her pregnancy lips are out of control, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders.Watch Video »
- Party AnimalsCheck out some of Hollywood's biggest party animals.Watch Video »
- Carrie's ChangesSee how this country cutie has changed her looks over the years.Watch Video »
- Moving OutRobert Pattinson has moved out of the house he shared with Kristen Stewart, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders.Watch Video »
- Who Am I?Check out how Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and more stars of "Fast & Furious 6" looked when they were in high school.Watch Video »
- LovebirdsFind out what Jessica Alba and Cash Warren tweeted to each other on their fifth wedding anniversary on today's Celebs Gone Social ...Watch Video »
- Worst LooksCheck out some of Rihanna's worst wardrobe choices on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- What's Sexy?Heidi Klum hangs with two comedy legends and shares what she finds most sexy in a man on today's Celebs Gone Social ...Watch Video »
- Sexy SecretsVictoria's Secret model Adriana Lima talks about the What's Sexy list, her model friends and more with Wonderwall.Watch Video »
- American TravelsGet the Prince's travel details on Replay hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
- Birthday GirlTori Spelling turns 40, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- Fashion OffendersFlorence Welch, Zoe Saldana, and Ali Larter all get an F on this week's Fashion OffendersWatch Video »
- Bikini BurnsFrom Kim Kardashian to Jessica Alba, see the worst celeb sunburns.Watch Video »
- Double TroubleFrom the Olsens to the Mowrys, see some of Hollywood's most famous twins.Watch Video »
- Roasted?Lindsay Lohan refuses to be roasted, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- Beach WorkoutsFrom Julianne Hough to Alessandra Ambrosio, see celebs who get their fitness on in the sand.Watch Video »
- Miley's MusicMiley Cyrus mixes music and fashion while ignoring her relationship status, on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
From Videos of Wonderwall
From MSN Entertainment
From Crowd Ignite