Rock trio Sleater-Kinney has signed with Sub Pop after releasing its past four albums for independent label Kill Rock Stars. The group will begin recording its debut for the Seattle-based label tomorrow (Nov. 4) with producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) in upstate New York, with an eye on a May release.
“We instigated it because we wanted to do something different,” vocalist/guitarist Corin Tucker tells Billboard.com. “We really like the team that’s at Sub Pop now. There are people there who are really enthusiastic and putting out really good music. We’ve done a lot of records with Kill Rock Stars and we really respect them. But we just thought it was time to re-energize our music career.”
“We waited until the time was right for us,” she continues. “In terms of where we are as a band, we really want to take it to the next level. We just feel like we have it in us. It was either the time for us to shut it down or take it to the next level, and we know we’ve got a lot of music still left in us.”
The band’s most recent studio effort, 2002’s “One Beat,” debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart and No. 2 on the Heatseekers tally. The set has sold 73,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“They were wondering why we hadn’t approached them and we kind of felt like goofballs,” says Sub Pop general manager Megan Jasper. “Had we known the situation, we would have spoken to them a lot earlier!”
Tucker says 11 songs are “pretty much done” for the new album. “Some of them are much longer than we’ve ever written before,” she offers. “There’s actually a space jam in between two of the songs.”
The band is hoping Fridmann will provide “an atmospheric touch that is going to match the songs we’ve written. The songs we’ve written are really heavy. We want them to have an organic feel that is simplistic and yet sophisticated at the same time.”
As previously reported, Sleater-Kinney will team with Wilco and the Flaming Lips for a New Year’s Eve concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden.