Spoon made "They Want My Soul" -- which tied the career high of 2010's "Transference" by debuting at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 -- in two chunks, working separately with producers Joe Chiccarelli and Dave Fridmann. "We felt like we could manage it a little easier that way instead of waiting to have all of it together at once," Eno explains. And, he adds, the two experiences were markedly different.
"Britt and had worked with Joe on some Divine Fits stuff," Eno says. "He helped arrangement-wise and [with] some other things, but I guess the more we got into it with him we felt like there wasn't as much common ground as we would want. So we did the first chunk of songs with him, and then we went to New York to mix with Dave."
And that, of course, led to Fridmann taking a more active role in producing four of the album's tracks. "I was a little bit concerned because you look at (Flaming Lips') 'The Soft Bulletin or the first MGMT record or Sleater-Kinney, those are sort of big-sounding and Spoon has always been more about economy," Eno acknowledges. "So it was a little bit like, 'How is this gonna work?' But he's a very good producer and he wanted it to be the band's record and he knew how to get where the band wanted to go. He's very good at that, so it was a great experience."
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Spoon will be on the road in the U.S. through Oct. 12, including three shows during the Austin City Limits Music Festival. A short European run kicks off Nov. 1 in Amsterdam, with subsequent plans to tour more in the U.S. as well as Australia and Japan. Eno says there are "snippets of maybe two or three more" song ideas from the "They Want My Soul" sessions, but he won't predict how soon Spoon will likely start working on its next project.
"It's hard to say," he notes. "I'm sure Britt and Alex (Fischel, Spoon's new keyboardist) will do another Divine Fits record. If that happens we're probably not going to do another Spoon record for two years, but we'll see how it goes. We never have any songs when we go in, usually, but there are a few things I feel we would bring back to the table next time. There's some I would say are 50 percent there, so it's nice to have that in our pocket."