'It's a big clusterfuck,” laughs Patrick Pentland of Sloan, about the band's latest recording project.
The venerable rock-pop quartet is working on a double-vinyl release in which each member gets his own side of wax. The presently untitled project is about a month behind (the scheduled release date is spring 2014), but Pentland acknowledges the delay is simply a combination of four people trying to create something in one studio space while adhering to their time-consuming summer schedules. Although, Pentland managed to bang out a song in one sitting the night before.
“The hard part for me usually is lyrics; I don't really have a whole lot of appropriate lyrics for rock songs, so I usually get the music done fairly quickly and then I'm just sitting around trying to come up with rhymes,” he says. That latest composition is a three-chord, fuzzed-out guitar garage-rock tune; some of his other contributions include a song he began in 2000 and shelved until a few lyrical adjustments—and a simplified rhyme scheme—allowed him to finish it for this project.
“You can't just force it. I don't want to put a song on a record just to get it out; I want it to be good … I feel like a song should kind of come to you and be done and be good or just move on and try to do something else. That's why I wrote a song last night out of the blue.”
All four members of Sloan have always been heavily involved in the writing process of each album, both lyrically and musically. But for this project, with just over 15 minutes of airtime per person on the record, each band member was free to experiment as they saw fit. Pentland hasn't heard much of what the others are doing, but says his will lean towards straightforward rock accented by some atmospheric material.
Pentland's lost count of the number of times it's been suggested Sloan release four solo albums like Kiss did (back in 1978) or write songs together rather than the band's albums being a collection of solo material, but he says it just doesn't work.
“I don't think it works for anybody. Name me one band aside from, like, modern pop where there's 10 writers, but that's not 10 people sitting in a room together. There's different levels of the song being passed around,” Pentland says. “The Beatles didn't do that, Rolling Stones don't do that, U2 doesn't do that. If you have four cooks dealing with a pot of chili, it's not going to be very good in the end.”
Fri, Sep 27 (7:30 pm)
With Mo Kenney
Arden Theatre, $38