Fred Schneider blames the 16-year gap between B-52's albums on a lack of proximity.

Fred Schneider blames the 16-year gap between B-52's albums on a lack of proximity. "All our other records we basically wrote together in one place; now we all live in different parts of the country," Schneider says ahead of "Funplex," due this week via Astralwerks. "We'd get together when we could, but it was a slow process."

"Funplex," which follows 1992's "Good Stuff" and the two new songs which graced 1998's "Time Capsule: Songs For a Future Generation," was recorded with producer Steve Osborne (New Order, KT Tunstall) over two sessions earlier this year in upstate New York and Athens, Ga.

Despite the layoff, Schneider says writing the new material was a natural process. "Keith (Strickland) brought in music and Kate (Pierson), Cindy (Wilson) and I jammed on it," he explains. The sound, he says, is "sexed-up and hyper fun and danceable. It's a B-52's record." There's also a bit of social commentary on the title track and "Keep This Party Going," but Schneider says, "we don't hit people over the heads with it."

"We're just totally behind this record, and we think it's one of our best," Schneider notes. "There hasn't been a B-52's record out in a long time. We have to fill that void that we left."

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