Widespread Panic to Celebrate 25th Anniversary in 2011
Widespread Panic is planning to keep "a pretty high profile" in 2011, as the Georgia jam band marks its 25th anniversary.
"I plan to do a lot of celebrating," Dave Schools -- who will also be releasing an album by his other band, Stockholm Syndrome, next year -- tells Billboard.com. "Twenty-five years is kind of a milestone to keep a band together through all the things we've been through. We've never had a chance to sit back and go, 'God, there's a lot of gigs under the belt.' So it'll be a good time to go, 'OK guys, we've made it a lot farther than anyone could have imagined'...and take a good, hard look at how we can take this further, how we can continue to evolve as a group of people, not only musically but spiritually and hopefully in a positive way."
With "Dirty Side Down" only seven months old, Schools says he doesn't anticipate a new Widespread Panic album in the new year, but he's sure the group will be touring. And he says there's "some pretty serious backing for a major documentary over the course of next year," which the group began filming over Halloween weekend in New Orleans and which will include both newly shot and archival footage.
When the celebration isn't keeping him busy, however, Schools plans to focus on Stockholm Syndrome, which he launched in 2004 with Jerry Joseph of Portland's Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons and resumed this year to make a second album, "Apollo" with Schools producing and Widespread Panic cohort John Keane engineering. The album comes out Feb. 15, and quintet will be part of Jam Cruise 9 in January and start a West Coast tour on Feb. 18-19 in San Francisco. More dates will be added to the itinerary soon, Schools says.
"We'll be touring as much as we can throughout the year," he promises. "We want to really roll out the carpet and let the word out that there's a new record. We can take this music out and let people hear that it's more than just a hobby side project. It definitely evolved quickly into something that's beyond that. It's living, breathing. It's a band."