Amanda Edwards, Getty Images 20 years ago, way before he became a lion, Snoop…
- Posted on Jan 11th 2010 2:00PM by Dan Reilly
"We did something like 220 shows over the last year," frontman Mikel Jollett tells Spinner, laughing as if he almost can't believe the number. "All you can think about is getting to the next show, getting through the next hangover to go off and do something meaningful at some club see if you're gonna pull it off or not. Sometimes you do and when it's great, it's great. Some nights when it's not, you're like 'why am I out here? What's the point of all this?'"
Now that the band is home in Los Angeles, it only has two pending gigs: a Jan. 27 benefit in Hollywood and a Jan. 30 show where it and Calexio will perform with the Louisville Orchestra. Though Airborne plans to have a few months away from the road, that doesn't mean they're not keeping busy. For his part, Jollett is eager to get back to the novel and other writing he abandoned to work on the group's 2008 self-titled debut.
"It's been nice to have some space to write," he says. "When you go on tour, it's like you're running out the door and you're just gone for years. Your life suddenly is all about this other stuff and so all these projects that I had left sitting there for a couple years were suddenly interesting. I was like 'Oh my god -- time to sit down' and I started writing within 24 hours. Just to sit down at a desk somewhere where it's quiet is unbelievable."
Jollett says he's also penning what will become the quintet's second album. "I have about eight songs written, another 10 half-written and a decent idea of what I want the record to be," he says. "There's definitely a lot of reflecting about the road and what it's like to feel lost. They always say your second record is your road record, like your first novel is an autobiography. All you've done is be on the road -- what else are you going to write about? There are themes of isolation, losing your bearings and being lost in some big tremendous blur."
Another adjustment for Jollett will be getting used to being signed to Island Records, which inked the band last March. "I was a writer and I made a record at a friend's house, we went on tour for a year and a half and now suddenly I'm on the biggest record label in the world," he says. "They're like, 'So, what are you going to do about producers?' and I said 'I don't know. Maybe we'll produce it ourselves?' They were freaking out, like 'what!?'"
Obviously, Jollett has no complaints about being on Island. "They've been nice to us," he says. "Island is mostly a hip-hop label these days. They've got Kanye West and Beyonce and people like that, so they're almost charmed by us. They're like, 'Aw, look at that little band, playing little 2,000-seaters. They're adorable!' We're just like this local band from L.A. and they're rooting for us like we're the little band that could."