Fire Theft Parts Ways With Rykodisc

Modern rock act the Fire Theft has parted ways with Rykodisc, which released the group's self-titled debut in 2003, Billboard.com has learned.

Modern rock act the Fire Theft has parted ways with Rykodisc, which released the group's self-titled debut in 2003, Billboard.com has learned. The group, which features three former members of influential indie rock outfit Sunny Day Real Estate, is in the midst of pre-production on new material while it begins fielding offers for a new label deal.

"Some songs, the arrangements are definitely finished," drummer William Goldsmith tells Billboard.com. "Probably about five, but the rest are skeletons. Nothing has been recorded yet. We've just been doing rough demoing."

Asked when the band may begin recording, Goldsmith admits, "It might be awhile. A couple of months, at least. Luckily, the studio is in my house. We don't have to pay for it. But we do want to record again with [longtime producer] Brad Wood, so, that we would have to pay for."

For the time being, Goldsmith is devoting the bulk of his time to a new instrumental project with 5ive Style/Heroic Doses leader Bill Dolan, who played on the Fire Theft's debut album and has toured with the group. Nine songs have been completed so far, with Dolan handling both guitar and bass duties.

"One song is super-duper fast and driving and crazy, but there are some songs that are a little bit more Slint/Zeppelin-ish," Goldsmith enthuses. "There's some groovy stuff and some more traditional rock'n'roll. We tried to find people to sing over Billy's riffs, but nobody can do them justice."

The set may be released on Sub Pop, possibly even under the name 5ive Style. Goldsmith and Dolan are also eyeing a run of shows early next year in the Pacific Northwest. "He's my favorite guitar player of all time," Goldsmith says of Dolan. "That's saying a lot, but he is. I can't believe I get to play with this guy. I feel the same way with [Fire Theft frontman] Jeremy [Enigk] and [bassist] Nate [Mendel], but I may take it for granted since I have been playing with Jeremy for 16 years. He challenges me to do things I wouldn't normally do."

As for Enigk, he is working on material for his sophomore Sub Pop solo album, which will be the long-awaited follow-up to 1996's symphonic-leaning "Return of the Frog Queen." Says Goldsmith, "the solo album is his priority right now. He's planning on doing it all acoustic, kind of subdued. Not with big strings, which costs a lot of money."

In a perfect world, Goldsmith is hoping he and his bandmates can organize a joint tour next year. "Jeremy was even talking about -- after his solo record, the Fire Theft record and my record with Billy -- doing a tour where he did a solo acoustic performance, then Billy and I played and then the Fire Theft played," he says. "It would be a nice self-contained sort of thing."