Good things come to those who wait — or at least that’s what Steve Molitz and Particle hope as the group prepares for the release of its sophomore studio album, Accelerator, whose track “All Night” premieres exclusively below.
Due out Sept. 21, Accelerator hardly won any land speed competitions. The set, featuring Molitz’s latest lineup of the electro-flavored jam band, follows its predecessor, Launchpad, by a whopping 14 years. “We had to make sure we had Guns N’ Roses beat,” keyboardist Molitz tells Billboard with a laugh.
“The main thing that happened was the band members kind of got involved in different things in life outside of Particle,” explains Molitz, who toured and worked with Phil Lesh & Friends, the Doors’ Robby Krieger, Eric Burdon, the Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson and more during the interim, as well as scoring video games such as NBA Playgrounds, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn and World War Z. “Particle was still touring, but we weren’t recording. You can’t force these things; They happen when they happen.” The current Particle lineup — guitarist Mike Daum, bassist Clay Parnell and drummer Kito Bovenschulte — helped prod the band back into the studio in Woodstock. N.Y., and Saber Interactive’s facility in Maplewood, N.J., but Molitz says there was no single epiphanous moment that led to Accelerator.
“It was just time,” he says. “Sometimes you can just feel that you need to put your attention and creative focus towards something. This Particle music was calling to me — and it was time to listen.”
“All Night” hails from a Hammond B3 organ groove Molitz came up with a couple of years ago — tentatively titling the track “Organ Chords” — and let it “evolve over time, sort of messing around with different ideas.” That included a Vocoder part, something new in the Particle universe, though Molitz found himself scrambling when it came time to finish the track in the studio.
“We played (‘All Night’) on tour and I was doing different lyrics each night, making mental notes on lyrics I liked the best,” Molitz recalls. “When it came time to lay the vocals down I didn’t have the lyrics chosen or written until I walked into the room to record them — so that was exciting. I walked in like, ‘Uh-oh… This ought to be interesting’ and started improvising lyrics on the spot. But I work best under pressure like that, the idea of now or never. I like leaving a certain element of chance.
“We’re definitely the kind of band that likes a certain element of surprise both for the audience and ourselves — when you see us play, you can see that.”
Particle fans will indeed be seeing that as the group hits the road to support the nine track Accelerator starting Oct. 4 in Burlington, Vt. Even better news, however, is that it won’t be another 14 years before the next Particle studio outing — which Molitz says the group has already started working on, with some songs that didn’t make it onto Accelerator as well as brand new material.
“We had such a good time in the studio and we were so inspired making Accelerator that we just kept going and we’re working on another new album right now,” Molitz says. “With this new life comes a vibrancy and intensity. We’re really fired up right now as a band. We can’t wait to play the new material and we can’t wait for people to hear the other album. These go in waves, and right now there’s a big one coming in and we’re just going to ride it.”