Dhani Harrison Enlists RZA, Regina Spektor for thenewno2 Releases
Dhani Harrison's thenewno2 pack a lot of special-guest driven power into its new EP, "EP002," out now. The band, led by the son of the late Beatle, George, has recruited not only Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, but also Regina Spektor,and rappers Crisis and Sir Eyes to appear, all in the space of just four tracks. And the EP is just a warm-up, Harrison tells Billboard.com, for the full length due early next year.
The RZA, Crisis and Sir Eyes appear on "EP002"'s lead track "Mr. President," while Spector sings on "Live a Lie," putting their thumbprints all over thenewno2's intricate, groove-driven, laptop-aided rock.
"We wrote the track and emailed him," Harrison says of how the RZA got involved. "We did a really funny other song which is going to be on the  record. It was 4/20 and we were like what are we going to do for 4/20 and the Wu-Tang turned up. It was pretty intense... Another song was written that day which is called 'Battlestar Galactica.'"
"Regina was staying with me in England, hanging out with her guy," Harrison says of Spektor's guest spot. "They're really good pals and so I managed to get her to drop some chorus on that." He adds that violinist Jessy Greene, who previously toured with his other band, Fistful of Mercy (which also features Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur), augments thenewno2ers' Harrison, Jeremy Faccone, Nick Fyffe, Jonathan Sadoff, Frank Zummo, and Paul Hicks on the EP track, "Wide Awake."
As for the forthcoming album, the four-year-old band's second, Harrison divulges that in addition to more from the RZA, the still-untitled record will feature Harrison's Fistful of Mercy cohort Ben Harper, Eleven's Alain Johannes, and Icelandic singer Thorunn Antonia, with Rage Against The Machine engineer Ryan Williams also on board.
"We hope to have it out at the end of January, but I hope to have it finished at the end of next month," Harrison says, adding that thenewno2 will also hit the road in 2012. "Next year we'll be touring. I want to do all the festivals, as many as we can. I'd really like to get over to things like Reading and V or Glastonbury, somewhere in England. Because I've never done English festivals."