Buffalo Tom Picks Up The 'Pieces' On New Album

Veteran alternative rock trio Buffalo Tom will break a nine-year hiatus from the studio with the July 10 release of "Three Easy Pieces." The 13-track set will be the first release on Danny Goldberg's

Veteran alternative rock trio Buffalo Tom will break a nine-year hiatus from the studio with the July 10 release of "Three Easy Pieces." The 13-track set will be the first release on Danny Goldberg's new label, Ammal, through New West. It's also Buffalo Tom's first new album since 1998's "Smitten."

Since then, the band best known for '90s rock favorites like "Taillights Fade," "For All To See" and "Soda Jerk" has largely been on hiatus but would play live "at least once a year or more" in its Boston hometown. The urge to craft some fresh songs finally took over last year, according to frontman Bill Janovitz.

"I remember consciously saying, listen, this is enough for playing out if we're not going to come up with some new material," he tells Billboard.com. "It was like, if we're going to be a band, let's move forward."

In the past, Janovitz, bassist Chris Colbourn and drummer Tom Maginnis would work separately on ideas before submitting them to one another. This time around, Janovitz reports, "We said, whatever. Let's get in a room and write and play and record in a style that floats our boat."

Janovitz says Buffalo Tom fans will gravitate to new songs like "You'll Never Catch Him, "a melancholy ballad with all the Buffalo Tom touch points in it." The band stretches out on the Colbourn-sung "Pendleton," which Janovitz describes as "a pretty cinematic, epic song with no guitar. I played piano and trumpet on it and there's a lot of layered vocals. It belies some of our influences, like Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen."

On the heels of well-received performance last month at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, the group is plotting to play shows this summer but is ruling out an extensive tour.

"We got burned out on trying to reach more people that way," Janovitz admits. "One of our last tours was opening for the Goo Goo Dolls in 1998, when they were really getting huge. I remember playing in Oshkosh, Wis., to a bunch of 15-year-old girls. My wife was home pregnant and I just remember jumping up and down on stage trying to get these girls to not yawn through our set. It was like, this is just ridiculous. Why am I doing this?"

That said, "If the record starts to do really well, we'll keep supporting it, but I can't go out on the road for six weeks any more," Janovitz. "We call what we're doing the British Pop Star tour -- just jetting out to the Midwest and L.A."