Manchester Orchestra Gets 'Everything' On Second Album

Manchester Orchestra Gets 'Everything' On Second Album
Having one of its new songs -- "I Can Feel a Hot One," from its just-out sophomore album "Mean Everything to Nothing" -- played on "Gossip Girl" was a momentous occasion for the members of Manchester Orchestra, as well as a way to drum up a little heat for the album seven months before its release.

"The thing is, we watch everything. We watch so much television it's ridiculous," keyboardist Christopher Freeman reports to "I was completely caught up in 'Gossip Girl' when it came out. So to have our song played in the most epic breakup scene to date was awesome. We were all jumping up and down."

What else ranks on the Manchester Orchestra TV list? "We watch a lot of comedy stuff -- '30 Rock' and 'The Office,' " Freeman says. "We're all huge fans of 'Lost.' 'True Blood's' a great show. I was into 'Battlestar Gallactica' for along time. We all watch 'Gilmore Girls,' too; one entire tour we watched the entire catalog of 'Gilmore Girls' DVDs in, like a few weeks."

If the Atlanta quintet was stoked by having a "Gossip Girls" song, Freeman says the group is even more pleased that it "got exactly what we wanted" on "Mean Everything to Nothing," which debuted on this week's Billboard 200 at No. 37. "We wanted to make the loud parts louder and the quiet parts quieter and just have a balls-out, hard-hitting record," he explains. "We wanted it to be us, still, but try to show some sort of progression, which I think we did."

The main twist on the album is that the 11 songs (there's also a hidden bonus track) are lumped into two groups that flow into each other. Freeman credits frontman Andy Hull with the idea, and says it wasn't hard to figure out which song to assign to which cluster.

"One part is very loud and abrasive, and the last half is much more fluid and liquidy," Freeman notes. "Andy had about 30 to 35 songs he had demoed, just on acoustic guitar, and we chose what we thought were best and just worked with them as a band. Once we'd demoed all the songs again that way, the order of the songs on the record made sense. It was very natural."