Fountains Of Wayne/Ivy principal Adam Schlesinger and former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha have signed on to produce a new studio album from enduring soft rock act America. It will be the first from the group, best known for such massive ’70s hits as “Ventura Highway,” “Sister Golden Hair,” “Tin Man” and “A Horse With No Name,” since 1998’s “Human Nature.”
Despite having been absent from the pop charts since 1983’s No. 33 hit “The Border,” America remains a busy touring band. The group will begin a spring North American tour Friday (Jan. 20) in Stafford, Texas, and has dates on tap through late October.
Schlesinger and Iha have already recorded two songs with the group, one penned by Schlesinger and the other by America’s Gerry Beckley. “I think it’s going to be really cool,” Schlesinger tells Billboard.com. “I’m a big fan of the band. They have a lot of cool songs and they pretty much sound the same as they always did.”
Although specifics are still being determined, the idea is for Schlesinger and Iha to also contribute musically to the new album as needed. “We’re going to try to ask a bunch of friends to play on it,” Schlesinger says. “They’ve put out some records [in recent years], but we really want to do something that gets back to sounding like the classic stuff they did. There’s a whole bunch of people our age who love those songs even if they don’t necessarily know they’re by America.”
Schlesinger is hoping to record at least a portion of the album at Stratosphere Studios in New York, which he co-owns with Iha and Ivy’s Andy Chase. Billboard.com understands America is negotiations to release the as-yet-untitled set via the new Burgundy Records imprint through Sony, which recently made Chaka Khan and Aaron Neville its first signings.