Your last album "A Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw" has a political concept behind it. What concepts or issues were on your inds when you wrote the new album?
I don't think the concept behind "Fire In Our Throats..." was overtly political. The idea behind the record was trying to find the means to self determination in your life, whether that be socially, physically, or politically. The release of the album coincided with a major rise of political bullshit in our country, so that definitely is the subtext that got the most lip service.
As far as the new record, it was largely informed by the experience of touring full time throughout the world. Playing so often on such a regular basis shaped how we wrote songs, rendering them shorter and more aggressive as those are the most exciting types of songs to play live. Since the material was musically affecting by touring, we chose song titles and an album title that reflected our road lives. Most of the titles refer to strange stories or experiences on the road. The title track refers to the strange feeling of familiarity from city to city, both in terms of audiences and layout. Sometimes cities blend together and become indistinguishable as the road stretches endlessly on. Globalization has had quite an impact on this as the effect becomes a very real thing instead of merely psychological.
It does and it doesn't. I don't really have any expectation of people appreciating or liking our music, so it is very flattering to draw a diverse group of people. I guess that the fact that our music is made by a diverse group of individuals with pretty divergent tastes means that our palette of influences is broad enough that the end product appeals to wider range of people than groups that are more genre-centric.Not that I really think any of the bands you mentioned are genre-specific, but perhaps that's what other people get from them.
As I said above the songs on the record are mainly titled to reflect ideas and experiences related to touring and making this band the center of our "professional" lives. "Bliss In Concrete" is titled as a direct reflection of this, finding bliss in the band stabilizing and being a more coherent unit. "Far From Fields" was a song I wrote while living on a farm in NC with my wife and was named after the long spans of time I was separated from her and home.
I think all of those influences are already there in one form or another. It's a matter of the mood of the listener whether they pick them out. For every young person who thinks we sound like Isis and Neurosis who come to our shows there is also some sixty year old fellow who comes up to us to tell us how much we remind them of King Crimson and Pink Floyd. Stuff like that is always in the ear of the beholder.
We're on our way to Japan and Australia in a few weeks and are in the planning stages of a European tour before the end of the year. Also have a DVD in the works that should hopefully be out by the end of the year.