While they’re having plenty of fun on this year’s Honda Civic Tour — including pulling a few benign pranks on their tourmates — the members of (+44) are starting to get a second album clearly in their sights.
Singer/bassist Mark Hoppus, who formed the group with drummer and fellow Blink-182 alumnus Travis Barker, tells Billboard.com “we’ll definitely be back in the studio, probably by the end of the year. We have some ideas. We have a couple of very rough demos that we’ve been working on. I know that everybody has a lot of little parts of songs, and once we get into the studio we’ll be putting it all together.”
Hoppus says that while guitarists Shane Gallagher and Craig Fairbaugh both contributed to (+44)’s debut, “When Your Heart Stops Beating,” he expects both to be more involved on the group’s next effort.
“I have no idea what the next album’s gonna sound like, and I’m really excited about not knowing,” Hoppus says. “I think that’s the exciting thing about being in (+44); a song that starts out on keyboards could end up on acoustic guitar, or a song that starts off as an electronic drum beat ends up as a big rock song. We never know where any song is gonna take us, and we’re open to any ideas.”
Fans will get a chance to hear a new (+44) recording when the group’s version of “I Am One” appears on an upcoming Smashing Pumpkins tribute album that will be distributed via MySpace and in July issues of Spin magazine. It also features contributions by Deftones, Panic! At The Disco, the Bravery, Ben Kweller, the Academy Is… and 30 Seconds to Mars.
“We did a pretty much straight-up cover of the song,” Hoppus says of the “Gish” track. “We tried to stay as faithful as possible. There’s a lot of shredding guitars on it; that was fun. The hardest part was not singing like Billy Corgan, ’cause his voice is such an integral part of that song. I caught myself emulating his voice and I thought, ‘Wait, I’m not trying to be Billy Corgan. I’m just trying to sing the lyrics,’ y’know?”
(+44) will be on the Honda Civic Tour until July 2. The group is also planning to tour Europe and South America before returning to the studio.