Wang Chung Album Premiere: 'Tazer Up' First Listen
After 23 years without a new album, Wang Chung is making up for lost time. The duo of Jack Hues and Nick Feldman will release "Tazer Up," their first set of all-new material since 1989's "The Warmer Side of Cool," digitally on Dec. 11, but you can hear it here first exclusively on Billboard.com in the player below.
Wang Chung also plan to follow up with another batch of fresh songs in the spring. "We just have a lot of material," Hues tells Billboard, "so the plan is to do another album in March, April of stuff that isn't on this album. ('Tazer Up') is really sort of focusing on the more singer-songwriter aspect of what we do, all pretty conventional songs -- with a couple of exceptions. I think the second album is a bit more sort of dance-oriented. It might have a few more remixes on it and is potentially a bit more commercial in current terms."
As for the long wait, Hues -- who rejoined forces with Feldman in 2007, after a seven-year hiatus -- explains it as "just negotiating the development of the new music business, in a way. We're still, I think, sort of old-fashioned boys; we wanted to do a physical release and a digital release simultaneously. But we've come to terms with the fact digital is the way to go, and the physical may come later. We just wanted to get this material out that's been lurking around for a few years."
Hues says some of the music on "Tazer Up," does date back a way -- he and Feldman wrote the final track, "Stargazing," during the late 90s -- but most dates between 2004-2008, including songs such as "Rent Free" and "Abducted By the 80's" that appeared on EPs the duo has released since reuniting. Named for its cover image, "Tazer Up" is an eclectic set -- "I think we've always done that," Hues explains -- but it starts on familiar turf, with a remix of the duo's 1984 hit "Dance Hall Days" remixed by the British duo Psychemagik.
"Nick found a remix they had posted online, and it turned out they live in the same city I do in the U.K., Canterbury," Hues recalls. "I met up with them, and their original remix wasn't strictly legal, if you like. So we re-recorded 'Dance Hall Days,' which I think is pretty hard to tell the difference from the original, and they basically reconstructed it. We just felt that given the Wang Chung world is a fairly small one, it will help put everything into context before we haul into the new material." Hues says that it's "quite possible" the group will use a remix of another older song on "Tazer Up's" follow-up when it's released next year. "There's holes for more stuff to come in," he notes, "but if we had to put it out tomorrow, we certainly could."
Hues says he and Feldman plan to hit the road to support both albums in 2013. "We would really hope to do some more touring in the summer, if not before," he predicts. "I guess the logical way to do it is for us to be in the States next summer and just cover as much ground as we can, see as many friends as we can."