American punk icons X haven’t released an album of new material since “Hey Zeus!” in 1993. But that might change soon.
“Exene (Cervenka) and I actually wrote a couple songs,” singer-bassist John Doe, who also works with the X singer (his ex-wife) in the Knitters, tells Billboard.com. “There are two or three songs we’re going to do sooner or later. We might get another X record at some point.”
But Doe quickly adds that in today’s download-happy musical climate, “What’s the point? People don’t really release records in a traditional sense, so if we do it we’ll probably just put it on the web site and people can download it. Maybe we’ll get (the songs) into a TV show or something.”
Doe says one of the songs, “Somewhere Gone,” features a lyric Cervenka wrote for her next solo album. The duo also wrote “It Just Dawned on Me,” for “Country Club,” Doe’s new covers-heavy country collaboration with the Sadies. “We wrote that just before we recorded (‘Country Club’),” Doe recalls. “I think the Knitters will probably record that someday. We’ve been doing a version (Cervenka) sings lead on, which is really good.”
Doe — who’s currently on the road with the Sadies — says he doubts any of the new songs will make it into X’s concerts when the group tours starting May 26 in Boston (after a May 17 stop at All Tomorrow’s Parties in England), but the group’s repertoire will be expanding this time out. X is using its web site to let fans vote for what they’d like to hear, and Doe says he’ll examine the poll results and formulate a set list from their choices.
“We’ve probably played about 35 songs in the set for the last four or five years,” he explains, “and I thought we should just sort of open it up. We chose another 10 songs and then put them all on a list so people could vote on what songs they’d like to hear us play. There’s some surprises, like ‘The Have Nots;’ that’s, like in the top five for every show so far.”
Doe says he’s also considering a second volume of “Country Club,” getting to some songs he and the Sadies considered. “We tried ‘Act Naturally’ and ‘The Race is On,’ and I couldn’t deliver,” Doe says. “But there’s a lot of other stuff we talked about and that I think we could do a good job with. I think we all had a good enough time, so I hope we can do it again.”