Alex Ebert says Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes have more where "Here" came from.
The frontman says the Los Angeles troupe recorded more than three dozen tracks and culled just nine for its sophomore album, which came out in May and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. The group's third album, which Ebert expects to release in March, will be culled from the remainder.
"The next album is far more rambunctious," Ebert tells Billboard.com. "It has a lot of songs that are represented by a musically adventuresome sort of feel, where the songs dive off to the left and then come back around the other side of the lobe and meet back up with themselves. That's fun. We've been playing some of these songs live lately, and it's a blast to have this roller coaster ride within the songs."
Among those, Ebert says, is "High On Love," which he says is "one of our favorites at the moment, just a really wild song about the conundrum of this idea of love and when you're faced with things that are less than savory and much more difficult to love -- but we're taking the approach that opposed to wishing them away you should focus on positive things and really roll and bounce and dance and embrace all the sort of horrendous aspects of humanity and sort of make a party out of it."
Ebert does not think the material will yield yet another album -- which would be the band's fourth -- but he does predict that the band "will release a bunch of B-sides" or use some of the songs on the members' various solo albums. And, he adds, the creativity has not ebbed. "The great thing is we have this studio now in Ojai, and any song that we didn't quite finish, we have this place to go back to and all we have to do is make the to go in and work," Ebert explains.
He's also looking towards more projects to evolve the story of Edward Sharpe, which started as a book portraying him as a messianic figure who struggles with earthly distractions. After the novel "spun out of control," Ebert is currently planning a graphic novel "to tell the whole story, and we'll see where it goes from there." He says a 3D graphic novel is under consideration, while a movie could also be a possibility. "There's no timetable," he says. "I want to get the idea all down on paper. I'm not sure I'll base it off the novel, but some ideas came from that, particularly his sort of superpowers, which I think are really sort of awesome and fun and would be really empowering, musically."
The Sharpe gang wraps up its current North American tour on Oct. 5, then plays a Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers show with Mumford & Sons on Oct. 20 in Dungog, Australia.