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Deerhoof Avoiding The Past On New Album

Deerhoof is putting the finishing touches on its next album, due Jan. 23 via Kill Rock Stars.

Deerhoof is putting the finishing touches on its next album, due Jan. 23 via Kill Rock Stars. The as-yet-untitled set will hit stores just over a year after the release of the acclaimed "The Runners Four" ushered in one of the most auspicious periods of its career. Deerhoof was handpicked to open for Radiohead this summer, and in September will support the Flaming Lips.

With so much of its time being spent on tour, the band is mixing the new album on the road, and the close quarters may be somewhat indicative of the sound Deerhoof is striving to create.

"One thing we're trying to achieve with this album is to avoid something we may have done a lot in the past," guitarist John Dieterich tells "We've always had this big sound, like it was made in large spaces. We're trying to see if its possible to avoid that crutch; if we can sound powerful but keep the sound like it's close up. As far as noise goes, using distortion can be another one of those crutches. We want to make noise, but without necessarily distorting everything we touch."

The band is still marveling at being chosen by Radiohead as a support act. "We first heard about the tour when our booking agent forwarded us an email, asking if we had certain dates in July to play for Radiohead. All I could really write back was, 'What?,'" Dieterich says. "We were just so touched that they wanted us to come along."

As for the Flaming Lips run, which begins Sept. 10 in Boston, Dieterich says, "It's amazing getting back-to-back experience with two completely different bands. When we played with [the Lips] in Oregon, it's like they knew how to say to the audience, 'Hey, we're all family, let's all do something good together.'"

Deerhoof will tour in support of the new album beginning the second week in January, but a number of other endeavors are on the books beforehand. The group has been working closely with actor Justin Theroux on the soundtrack and score to his directorial debut, "Dedication," due out by the end of the year.

In October, the group will visit a small island off the coast of Maine to witness a high school ballet troupe dance along with its 2004 album, "Milk Man." "As you can tell, I'm really excited about that," Dieterich says with a laugh. "That's a definite first for us."