The Old 97's, once a humble bar band from Texas, have contributed seven albums…
- Posted on Oct 26th 2010 11:00AM by Eric R. Danton
"Salim is really good at encouraging us to rock," Miller says. "We would try a song and Salim would walk up and go, 'That was really great! Now try playing it more like the Clash."
The foursome was pleased with the results.
"We wound up with a record that kind of sounds like the Clash, and that's where we started as a band," Miller says. "It was always very specific: we wanted to be like Johnny Cash meets the Clash."
The new songs have that same rollicking, seat-of-your-pants urgency that characterized the Old 97's earliest work, which came out in the mid-'90s.
"It's tempting to make these records as you're getting older that sound like you're getting older, but that's no fun, and it's just not who we are," Miller says. "The longer we play, the tighter we get as a band, so why not use that?"
The band recorded most of the songs live in the studio during a week-long session in Austin, Texas, last spring with a handful of overdubs added later. It's as fast and easily as the group has ever made a record, Miller says, which stemmed from a certain of sense of purpose.
"There were times in the past when I personally have battled insecurity about the quality of my songs or the recordings or my voice that every artist, I imagine, deals with," Miller says. "But now, it's like, what more do I have to prove? That opens you up to just create and not second-guess or worry. This record really captures what we do live better than anything else we've ever done, except maybe the early stuff, when we didn't know what we were doing."