Southern rock act the Drive-By Truckers are spending much of their fall putting the finishing touches on their as-yet-untitled sixth studio album, due next spring on New West Records.

Southern rock act the Drive-By Truckers are spending much of their fall putting the finishing touches on their as-yet-untitled sixth studio album, due next spring on New West Records. According to group member Patterson Hood, the songs will be fresh to even the band's die-hard fan base.

"Most everything on it is real new," he tells Billboard.com. "Lord knows I've got a backlog of songs, but when we went into the studio I pretty much ignored it. Everything else we've written since we started recording."

That's a new technique for the Truckers, whose catalog stretches back almost two decades -- Hood and Trucker co-founder Mike Cooley will celebrate their 20th anniversary making music together next August.

"We're at that point where we've cut enough songs, but I'm not quite sure where the final edit's gonna go," he says. "It could go three pretty radically different directions -- to me there's one that's probably a little more obvious, so most likely that's what'll happen. But things can always change when you have this many crazy, temperamental people in a room," he adds with a chuckle.

Hood is also keeping busy on the solo side as well. Asked if his second solo album, "Murdering Oscar and Other Love Songs" would see the light of day soon, he replied with a laugh, "Goddammit, it needs to!"

Hood will wait until after the next Truckers record to mix and master "Oscar," the follow-up to his dark 2004 release "Killers and Stars." "Oscar" will feature Hood's father, longtime Muscle Shoals session man David Hood, as well as Truckers Cooley, Jason Isbell and Shonna Tucker. Rough mixes of the tracks "Pollyanna" and "Grandaddy" are available at PattersonHood.com.

"I couldn't be prouder of it," Hood says of the album. "I think chronologically, it was the next record for me, it's was what needed to follow up 'The Dirty South.' But for right now, it's on hold."

The solo set, as well as some of Hood's new Truckers material, have been influenced his new status as a father. His first daughter was born eight months ago; "Oscar," he says, was written and recorded "while I was pretty much waiting for her to be born, because the studio's five minutes from my house."

In addition, Hood says the song "World of Hurt," inspired by his daughter, will be the Truckers' disc's last track. Of the tune, he says, "It's about figuring out a way to turn the demons that can threaten to destroy you when you're an angry young man into something that you live with and maybe even do well with, and I think certainly that's been the case with me."

Hood will play solo Oct. 25 in New York, then rejoin the Truckers for fall shows beginning Oct. 27 in Auburn, Ala. Solo albums from Cooley and Isbell are also in the pipeline.

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