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- Posted on Apr 1st 2010 1:00PM by Innika La Fontaine
If his new album tells us anything about the life on the road, it's that even performing upbeat reggae-pop constantly can't keep a lively soul from growing weary.
"We needed a break as a band," Malinowski tells Spinner. "It was just getting increasingly isolated on the road and we weren't really enjoying ourselves. It was just overworking ourselves and not living well, and I think it just caught up with me."
Returning home after Bedouin Soundclash's international tour early last year, Malinowski had a lot to consider. After almost a decade of playing together drummer Pat Pengelly departed, leaving a gaping hole in the band -- and they were still touring on material that was at least two years-old.
To sort through the mental baggage he'd collected while away, Malinowski retreated to Vancouver, where new material began to take shape.
"I wasn't writing new songs on the road, it was just stuff that was building up that would be the subject matter for a lot of the [songs on the album]," Malinowski says. "I didn't really have a band at the time and I just started writing some songs about stuff that had happened to me personally."
"You have to deal with being gone for five years [on tour] and reintegrating yourself into normal living and these songs are sort of that catharsis for me."
The ethereal album was released mid-February through Bedouin Soundclash's new label Pirates Blend. The songs are down-tempo and mostly acoustic, mirroring his emotionally and mentally draining time on the road.
He knew the songs wouldn't have fit with Bedouin's reggae-pop sound, he says. This record was more about self-indulgence.
"It was literally a labour of love," Malinowski says. "The best thing about this album is that I had no expectations of it beyond that I was writing it for myself and a few other people. I wasn't thinking at all about how it would be received. Recording it was really a personal reason so anything that has come from it has just been nice."
Malinowski wrapped up his cross-country solo tour in March. Compared to past Bedouin Soundclash tours this has been a lot harder, he admits, because for the most part it's just him and his guitar at centre stage.
"It's a lot quieter than I'm used to," Malinowski laughs. "All the crowds have been really great; they have been very respectful and it's a lot more intimate. Some people come because of Bedouin, but a lot of people just know the record which has been interesting.
"I also really enjoy it because it can be a lot more intense. There is a lot more depth to doing a show like this."
After taking the time out to explore his own artistic pursuits, Malinowski is eager to get together with founding Bedouin bass player Eon Sinclair and new drummer Sekou Lumumba to write their next album, due out later this year.
"We're in a really good place," Malinowski says. "Bedouin Soundclash is really hitting its stride in terms of how we've been playing and being excited about music right now. I think the highlight of the year will be getting that together."