What takes us so long between albums? It’s a fair question.
One of us got married. one of us has had two kids since the last album. one of us has panic attacks.
One of us took classical guitar lessons. One of us restored a piano from 1888. One of us had a serious illness in the family (and a recovery). one of us attempted, but did not complete, the P90X program.
One of us was obsessed with this new album having 17 shorter songs. One was obsessed with the album sounding like a dream.
Two of us can’t get to sleep most nights. Two of us wake up early in the morning and can’t get back to sleep. No joke, it’s a challenge schedule-wise.
We had a weekend shut-in sleepover at one of our houses, in which we wrote music and watched movies and threw around ideas. It was productive and come to think of it, we should probably do that more often.
We made at least 50 demos, and that’s probably a conservative estimate. And ended up with six songs.
At one point during these four years we got pretty frustrated and took a hiatus from music. We called it a sabbatical. It lasted a couple months.
All four of us kept wondering if this was the album we should make. Is it different enough, is it similar enough.
Is this the music we wanted to make when one of us put up the flier in the record shop, and three of us answered it?
That was over eleven years ago now. The flier said “wanted: sad triumphant rock band.”
We met up at a pizza place, talked about movies mostly. Then we met up the next day and played music.
Then we made four albums and did a lot of touring. A fifth album seemed like the logical next step.
When 2010 showed up, with the sabbatical safely behind us, we looked around at all the demos, all the instruments, and tried to see some sort of sense, or theme, or anything in it all. And slowly, we found it was already there. One part became two parts, a new guitar line made one part come alive, an added tambourine made another sing. Things started to fit together in ways we couldn’t have planned. One song was finished, and less than a week or two later another song was finished. the rest followed over the next six months.
All of the songs came from the demos that we had worked on in the previous three years, demos that we had gone away from, and then come back to, and then expanded.
In september of 2010, we drove out to a studio called sonic ranch, 20 miles east of el paso. We spent almost two weeks out there with our friend john congleton, who recorded the album. It is a pretty great place, with five studios and a pet raccoon on a huge pecan ranch. When that was finished, we went back home to austin and mixed the album at a studio called public hi-fi. And finally we mastered the album in new york city with greg calbi. We are pretty ecstatic with how it turned out.
The album is called “take care, take care, take care.” And even though that title sounds like a sign-off from us, it is far from it.