Live Goes Back To Basics For Epic Debut

As for the 12-track album, it's due out in late winter/early spring 2006, with an extensive tour to follow.

After releasing a greatest hits album last year and recently signing with Epic, veteran modern rock act Live has found new life as it enters the next chapter in its career.

"I would say the 'end of chapter' feeling was more like the 'Best of' and now this really feels like the new chapter, the new beginning, since we finished this album, 'Songs From Black Mountain,'" Live singer Ed Kowalczyk tells Billboard.com. "It's been finished for about two months. It's just amazing. It's just a great album and the excitement level of [Epic] and the band, everybody is just really pretty blown away by it."

Apparently the excitement has spread to live audiences as well, which Kowalczyk says have been gravitating to new tracks such as "The River" and "Mystery." The former is due out as the lead single in early 2006, while the singer says the latter track could eventually get the nod as the second single. As for the 12-track album, it's due out in late winter/early spring 2006, with an extensive tour to follow.

In the meantime, Kowalczyk says Live is touring intermittingly to "keep our chops, more than anything," and is featuring up to five new songs in its set.

"The album itself kind of took its lead from where we were with [2003's] 'Birds of Pray,' which was just a really basic, stripped [approach]," Kowalczyk says. "People say it sounds like 'Mental Jewelry,' our first album, because the guitars are a little cleaner and it's just really melodic, very rhythm-oriented. It just sounds great with lots of melody, lots of lush vocal arrangements. And so it's back to basics, but just really solid writing."

Roughly a decade ago, Live was poised to become one of the biggest rock bands in America thanks to its 1994 breakthrough, "Throwing Copper." Four subsequent releases never garnered that kind of commercial success, but Kowalczyk is optimistic about the group's future prospects.

"We're just in the process now of really reconnecting with the fans that we've kept and then making new ones at different radio formats," Kowalczyk says. "So, it's been a process [in] the last three or four years of re-finding our audience and also just deepening the music. But it feels great right now."