If Built To Spill fans attending the band's upcoming tour dates wonder why more new songs aren't being played, group leader Doug Martsch tells Billboard.com the reason comes down to the sweeter things

If Built To Spill fans attending the band's upcoming tour dates wonder why more new songs aren't being played, group leader Doug Martsch tells Billboard.com the reason comes down to the sweeter things in life taking precedence.

"At the time I booked the tour, I thought that we would be closer to making a record [and that] it would be good to tighten us up and get us ready to record," says Martsch. "But it turns out our drummer [Scott
Plouf] has been going to baking school for a year and a half, and he has school all summer, so he hasn't gotten enough practicing in. So, it looks like we'll be playing old songs, and a couple of new ones. We probably won't get back into the studio until next spring now."

It's been two years since the Boise, Idaho-based rock veterans released the Warner Bros. album "Ancient Melodies of the Future." Since then, Martsch toured in support of his solo debut, "Now You Know," although the outing was heavy on Built To Spill tracks and covers, and short on solo songs.

"I ended up doing almost nothing off of the solo record because it was all slide stuff and I had broken my slide guitar," Martsch confesses. "I had a hard time playing slide on this new [guitar] and didn't really have my chops up for that."

Martsch says the presence of an additional guitarist James Roth will greatly affect the band's next disc, which he hopes to have out about a year from now. As far as any new direction, Martsch isn't sure where Built To Spill is headed but he is confident the band won't be under-rehearsing new material -- his only complaint regarding "Ancient Melodies of the Future" -- before entering the studio.

For now, the group is concentrating on its 30-plus-show tour, which begins Sept. 15 in Minneapolis and follows a May West Coast swing. Martsch says he still marvels at the enthusiasm of Built To Spill's fanbase. "I'm constantly surprised that anyone ever bothers to go see us play," he says. "I think we're good but I don't know. I hardly ever go out to see music myself. So, it is amazing to me that people show up to our shows."