Three time Grammy Award-winning band Los Lobos is targeting early 2010 for the release of its 18th album now that the group has found a new label home at Shout! Factory.
Multi-instrumentalist and producer Steve Berlin tells Billboard.com that with the deal now in place, the long-lived quintet will "start doing the backwards math" to determine a recording schedule and, therefore, when new material will need to be written.
"You're talking about guys who did their homework on Sunday nights," Berlin explains. "These guys don't do anything until there's a deadline. We're sort of marshalling our energy now, and once we figure out when we need to go in the studio, and once we get those dates fixed it will become incumbent upon us that work needs to be done and then the writing process will commence. It'll never happen any other way."
Shout! Factory is Los Lobos' fourth label home, after tenures at Slash, Warner Bros. and Hollywood Records, which dropped the group after 2006's "The Town and the City." Berlin says the group members were very active in listening to pitches from labels and felt Shout! Factory best fit their needs.
"We wanted a budget to make the next record, and we wanted ownership, which is not an easy sell to most labels," he explains. "To their credit, Shout! Factory stepped forward with...a very equitable deal, fair to both sides, that gave us ownership (of the album) after a relatively short time. It's not a standard...record deal. It met all the things we were looking for in a very gracious and professional way."
Berlin adds that Shout! Factory "reminded me a lot of what Slash was back in the day...a lot of young, committed, bright-eyed people who...love music."
He says Los Lobos did give some thought to going out on its own but ultimately decided it wasn't the best course for the band at this time.
"The financial commitment it takes to promote and distribute and...what you get for the amount of money you spend for us really didn't work," Berlin says. "I don't think our fans would accept a full digital delivery system yet. We still sell a good number of CDs at our shows. It seems like our band is still somewhat in-between the new paradigms, so we needed some way to do hard-product delivery into stores. The deal with Shout! addresses all those things for a very equitable percentage on both ends. Hopefully we'll all be able to kick back with some champagne at some point."
Los Lobos kicks off a summer tour on June 14 in Avila Beach, Calif., and also has sporadic dates booked during the last few months of the year.
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