In between Big Star reunions, R.E.M. tours and fronting the Posies, Ken Stringfellow re-emerges this spring as part of the rock quartet the Disciplines, comprised of three-fourths of defunct Norwegian band Briskeby.
Stringfellow says "fate" led him to this project, citing the Posies success in Norway as a primary catalyst for getting the new group together. Already released in Scandanavia, the Disciplines' album, "Smoking Kills" is due April 28 in North America via Second Motion Records.
Recorded in Oslo in December 2007, the album finds Stringfellow and company exploring raw, grungy rock'n'roll. "I think this is the garage-y band we all should have been in before our polished, literate pop bands happened to be the things that brought us our first recognition," Stringfellow tells Billboard.com. "We do pursue this with a teenage kind of fanaticism. And aid it with Pilates classes!"
For Stringfellow, the Disciplines provided a new way of participating in the songwriting process. "Bjorn [Bergene, guitarist] actually brings in the rough beginnings of almost all the material, even much of the lyrics," he explains. "I then pick out stuff that I like, or can imagine writing to, and I edit or rewrite the words."
"I love that Bjorn can go with things that are way more simple and direct than I would naturally come up with," he continues. "The simplicity and directness of it is in contrast to the dreamy, often opaque ways of my solo and Posies work."
Stringfellow hopes to take the Disciplines on the road this spring to North and South America, as well as Europe. And although the occasional one-off opportunity will bring Stringfellow to the stage with the Posies and Big Star, there are no immediate recording plans for either.
"I am waiting for songs to emerge that are appropriate for the Posies, at which point we will work on another Posie opus," he says. "That's the intention."
Here is the track listing for "Smoking Kills":
"Yours For The Taking"
"Get It Right"
"There's A Law"
"I Got Tired"
"Like So Many Times Before"
"Cause Or FX"
"Shadow Of Your Doubt"