Despite the loss of founding member Benjamin Curtis, Secret Machines are pressing on with their third Warner Bros. album.
Despite the loss of founding member Benjamin Curtis, Secret Machines are pressing on with their third Warner Bros. album. The group, which features core members Brandon Curtis and Josh Garza, is recording the follow-up to 2006's "Ten Silver Drops" in New York through Thanksgiving with producer Brandon Mason.
Guitarist Phil Karnats is assisting in the studio, and was onstage with the Machines during a recent residency at New York's tiny Annex, where epic new songs like "The Fire Is Waiting" and "Atomic Hell" were tested out.
"'The Fire' is one of those rare songs that just kind of came out fully formed and really hasn't changed that much," Brandon Curtis tells Billboard.com. "Performing it gave us more confidence. Another song is called 'Have I Run Out,' which is a longer, more open-ended song. Performing that live, we had this idea of doing this long section of instrumental music, but it being a little more formless -- not a particular riff or key that it is tied too. That sounds good on paper. But doing that in front of people, which we did at every show, we realized it necessitated composition."
"I like the idea of jam bands -- being that creative person who can spontaneously write great melodic lines," he continues. "But it seems like Secret Machines is the kind of band that benefits from calculation and having an idea of where we're going."
Curtis admits it has been odd to continue Secret Machines without his brother, but says the personnel change has helped push the music in new directions.
"I miss my brother being in the studio and having the emotional connection," he says. "But at the same time, this forced us to look at what we were good at. What can we offer? How is it Josh and I look at music? There's quite a bit of emphasis on things that have a bit of a different color than before."
There's no release date penciled in as of yet for the new album, and Curtis says Secret Machines won't play live again until after the New Year.