Prefuse Plans Tour, Tickles Ivories

Prefuse 73 leader Scott Herren is preparing to spend the spring and summer on the road in support of his upcoming album, "Surrounded by Silence." Herren tells Billboard.com the trek, which will featur

Prefuse 73 leader Scott Herren is preparing to spend the spring and summer on the road in support of his upcoming album, "Surrounded by Silence," due March 22 via Warp. Herren tells Billboard.com the trek, which will feature labelmate Beans and rock act Battles, will begin in late March in Japan and then move into Europe. North American dates are expected to get underway in May.

As for who will actually be on stage with Herren on a given night, the artist admits, "it's reformulating itself on its own. Different people are coming in and out. What the final configuration will be, I'm not really sure yet. Everybody I tour with is usually in another band."

Another challenge will be reproducing the highly collaborative tracks from "Surrounded by Silence," which features such guests as El-P and the Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah on the single "Hideyaface" and fellow Wu members Masta Killa and GZA on "Just the Thought."

"We'll probably do a really, really loud instrumental version of those, I guess," Herren speculates. "We'll take the instrumentals as far as they can go for the tracks that don't have people on top. But how will we do the beats without people on top, and make it transcend and be recognizable? I hope it's not like, 'where the f*** are all these people?' Sorry, I can't bring 20-some people on tour!"

Herren is also sitting on the debut album from his Piano Overlord project, which he expects will be released sometime this summer by Chocolate Industries. As the name implies, the album is an instrumental affair dominated by Herren on piano and features drumming by Tortoise/The Sea & Cake mastermind John McEntire.

"It's about the subject of island immigrants and laws imposed by the United States upon them," Herren says. "It reflects the plight of somebody that was from a worse-off state and comes here to the United States to find just as much bullsh*t to deal with, not to mention having it launched upon you by the Bush administration."

Far from the dreaded rock opera, Herren says the project is "the first time I've ever really, really, really painted a picture where it's like, leaving a certain place, going across the water, finding things here and going through stages. The pianos sound like all different kinds of instruments."

Here is the track list for "Surrounded by Silence":

"I've Said All I Need To Say About Them (Intro)"
"Hideyaface" featuring Ghostface and El-P
"Bad Memory Interlude One"
"TV Versus Detchibe" featuring Tyondai Braxton
"Expressing Views Is Obviously Illegal"
"Pastel Assassins" featuring Claudio and Alejandra Deheza
"Pagina Dos" featuring the Books
"Silencio Interlude"
"Now You're Leaving" featuring Camu
"Gratis" (Pedro vs. Prefuse)
"We Go Our Own Way" featuring Kazu (Blonde Redhead)
"Mantra Two" featuring Tyondai Braxton
"Sabbatical With Options" featuring Aesop Rock
"It's Crowded" featuring Claudio Deheza
"Just the Thought" featuring Masta Killa and GZA
"La Correccion Exchange" featuring DJ Nobody
"Hideyaface Reprise (Shaolin Finale)" (Reminder + Prefuse Notate Small Ensemble Version)
"Morale Crusher" featuring Beans
"Minutes Away Without You"
"Rain Edit Interlude"
"And I'm Gone" featuring Prefuse vs. Piano Overlord vs. Broadcast vs. Cafe Tacuba