Secret Machines Find Focus On New Album
Rock trio the Secret Machines is eyeing a mid-to-late March release for its second Reprise album, "Ten Silver Drops."Rock trio the Secret Machines is eyeing a mid-to-late March release for its second Reprise album, "Ten Silver Drops." Primarily recorded at Allaire Studios in upstate New York, the eight-track set will be led by the single "Alone, Jealous and Stoned," which will be commercially released in the United Kingdom in late January.
"We started writing the record last January in preparation for the touring we did last year," vocalist/bassist Brandon Curtis tells Billboard.com. "Basically, all the material, with the exception of maybe two or three songs, was really finished and completed structurally and lyrically on tour. The feedback from performing in front of an audience was really instructive in how the songs were put together. I'm not sure I'd say I'd do it every time, but it was an interesting thing to do."
Curtis is particularly excited by "I Want To Know if It's Still Possible," which features a guest appearance from the Band's Garth Hudson. "At first he sat down on the Hammond [organ]. He was playing really beautifully, but I don't think anybody was thinking it was really working," Curtis says. "We took a break and he came back and picked up the accordion. We wound up running it through a remodulator and a low-pass filter and really kind of freaking it out."
"Ten Silver Drops" is the follow-up to 2004's "Now Here Is Nowhere," which has sold more than 84,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Curtis admits that while the new songs run to similar lengths as the often-epic material on "Nowhere," they "are all more focused and a little sharper. It's funny -- it just seems like we can't write a song shorter than five minutes. Maybe we're just long-winded and we can't get to the point," he says with a laugh.
The artist adds that several new songs, including "A Thousand Seconds" and "All at Once It's Not Important," will be a challenge to replicate live, considering their overdub-heavy studio versions. "That's something we're dealing with: how do you do all of it? Maybe we won't or maybe we'll re-write it," he says. "We haven't had a real strong rehearsal session yet where we can start re-examining the new material we haven't played."
For now, the only show on Secret Machines' schedule is a Dec. 1 benefit at New York's Webster Hall with TV On The Radio and Annie, with proceeds earmarked for the non-profit Mercy Corps. Curtis says the band will return to regular live duty in North America at the beginning of March, followed by a five-week tour of Europe and additional North American shows starting in late April or early May.