The Wallflowers' 7-Year Hiatus Was a 'Good, Healthy Break,' Says Dylan
Jakob Dylan never doubted that the Wallflowers would get back together to make another album, even as the group's hiatus stretched to nearly seven years from its last album.
"Knowing everybody as well as I do, I knew we would," Dylan tells Billboard.com. "Glad All Over," the Wallflowers' first new album since 2005's "Rebel, Sweetheart," releases Oct. 2, with the first single, "Reboot the Mission," featuring the Clash's Mick Jones, already out. "We had a good, healthy break and got a little distance and a little appreciation for all of us to realize what a good thing it is to have the collaborative possibilities with the band and people you've been with for a long time."
But Dylan acknowledges that with him recording solo albums and keyboardist Rami Jaffee playing with Foo Fighters, coordinating the reunion was a little trick.
"It was just a question of time," he says. "We've been trying for the last year and a half. It was a lot of work getting everybody to find the time. We all wanted to go but you take on commitments when you take those breaks. People find things to do and get busy. Because of our schedules, we weren't able to get together beyond the telephone or a dinner here and there. We weren't able to make much music until we got to January of this year."
"Glad All Over" was produced by Jay Joyce and recorded in Nashville, with Dylan and Jaffee joined by longtime bassist Greg Richling and guitarist Stuart Mathis and Jack Irons (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam) installed as the group's new drummer. Unlike previous Wallflowers efforts, Dylan opted not to "take on the normal burden to have 15 songs completed when we showed up" but rather let the other band members work out ideas and come into the session with lyric and melody ideas he could add to their work.
"We wanted to get in a room and make music together," Dylan explains. "We talked about getting back to basics with rock 'n' roll and the simplicity of it, not getting hung up on chord structures and being musical. The band could certainly do that, but this time we really wanted to just find a groove and three chords and keep it simple."
And as a huge Clash fan, Dylan is certainly stoked to have had Jones on board for the decidedly Clash-like "Reboot the Mission" and another track, the reggae-flavored "Misfits and Lovers." "It would be preposterous for me to say ('Reboot the Mission') doesn't sound like the Clash. That was our intent. I even mention Joe Strummer in the song," Dylan says. "So we thought, 'Let's take it all the way home and see if we can't get Mick to participate somehow. I've met him a handful of times throughout the years and just saw him when he played in L.A. with Big Audio Dynamite...so he was fresh on my mind. He mentioned doing something together, so I just called and he was into it."
Dylan says the Wallflowers are "just putting together" tour plans for the fall, though the group is on the bill for the DeLuna Festival on Sept. 23 in Florida. He also says that the group has "six, seven tracks or so we could start on" when the group does reconvene for another album -- and he doesn't think it will be another seven years before that happens.
"It doesn't feel spent at all," Dylan notes. "I've done records before where we're exhausted, nothing left in the tank. I could do one again next week if we could. I feel like the band is more fired-up now than we've ever been. It was such a relief to know we could go in with confidence and (make an album) in a different way that we hadn't done before. It's very encouraging."