Dead Weather Is More Than a Side Project, Says Bassist

Its members' other endeavors are beckoning, but the Dead Weather is not over -- at least as far as bassist "Little" Jack Lawrence is concerned.

"We all go back to our other projects after this tour, but there's no doubt in my mind we'll be doing more stuff," Lawrence tells Billboard.com. He, in fact, rejoins the Greenhornes for "Four Stars," the trio's first release in five years and first full-length album in eight.

Guitarist Dean Fertita leaves the Dead Weather tour "a few hours after" it finishes on Aug. 3 in Brooklyn to return to Queens of the Stone Age, while singer Alison Mosshart is recording a new album with the Kills. Jack White, meanwhile, is rumored to be jump-starting the White Stripes but is also busy with his Third Man label -- which will release the Greenhornes album on vinyl -- and studio.

Nevertheless, Lawrence predicts that by the end of the year, the band "will either be recording or doing some more shows. I don't think we can stop; even if someone was too busy, nothing seems like it's going to be getting in the way of this," he says. "Our other bands are still alive, obviously, but this one is right up there. It doesn't feel like a side project or anything to us. It feels like a real band. And I think it's just getting better the more we get to play."

The Dead Weather began working on new material immediately after the release of 2009's "Horehound," which gave the group a head start on this year's "Sea of Cowards." Lawrence says the group has "a couple things that we've been messing around with," but not nearly to the same degree. He's not concerned about the quartet coming up with the goods when it comes together, however.

"It just flows so naturally with us in the studio," he explains. "A lot of it has to do with us just knowing how to be in a band. The ego's gone and we all know how to work together and function. There's never been a time in the studio when anyone's argued or butted heads over something. We all sit in a room and write together. Everything is pretty smooth operating. We haven't planned on anything. It just all comes together. We don't sit around and discuss it or talk about the next move we need to make. All of it just happens, which is refreshing. It's the way you always want bands to work."

Lawrence says there's no talk yet of resurrecting the Raconteurs -- which he and White are also part of -- but he's excited to return to the Greenhornes, which has been on a five-year hiatus.

"Those guys are my brothers," he says of guitarist Craig Fox and drummer Patrick Keeler. "It's nice to come back to that first 'home' that you've had after all these years. We practiced last month at Patrick's place and it was...just really specially. I had a pretty big smile on my face the whole time we were playing."