Interview: Russell Lissack of Bloc Party

June 30, 2006 11:16 AM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Long before its debut album, "Silent Alarm," was named NME Album of the Year for 2005, Bloc Party was surrounded by buzz from critics and fans alike.

The band--vocalist/guitarist Kele Okereke, bassist Gordon Moakes, guitarist Russell Lissack and drummer Matt Tong--is trying to avoid the hype as it works on its proper sophomore effort.

"I was thinking about it today," Lissack said. "It's hard to avoid the pressure when you read things about you. We try not to think about it too much. Especially over here [in the UK], the press is hot and cold. They'll turn on you for no reason. We just want to get back to how things were and get back to playing music. It's unavoidable."

The English band has embarked on a North American tour in support of "Silent Alarm" and the remix album "Transgressive Singles Vol. 1." In between dates, the group is working on a follow-up album, for which all the backing tracks have been recorded.

LiveDaily: Do you feel a lot more pressure working on your second album?

Russell Lissack: Um, I don't know. We're trying not to let it bother us. The first record was a lot more successful [than we expected it to be]. There is a lot of pressure to do the same again. We just want to make the music we want to make. We'll try not to get crushed by the pressure.

Are you looking forward to your US tour?

Yeah, yeah I can't wait. It's going to be a very good time.

It must be a big change going from playing large clubs in the UK and small clubs in the US.

We were playing smaller clubs last time. This tour, we're going to be playing bigger clubs. I'm not sure how big the places are. I hope the one in New York is going to be quite big.

Why did you decide to go with a remix album? Was it to tide fans over to the next album?

I think it was more done by people we really like. It seemed like a good opportunity because a lot of them weren't enormous here. They were good remixes. We had nothing to do with them. It seemed like a nice way to put them all together.

So these were remixes that had already been done and you decided to put them on an album all together?

Yeah, yeah. A couple had been released as B-sides over here in England. I think most of them, nobody's really heard before. I guess DJs had heard the stuff. But most of them had been unreleased. It was quite a nice idea.

Have you started your next album?

Yeah, yeah, we've been quite busy. We've been recording. On the last tour we didn't have much time. We popped into the studio in between festivals and recorded four new songs. We've been writing a lot. We're touring now until the end of the year so we probably won't [complete it soon].

How does the sound of the new material compare to the previous release?

It sounds a bit more polished, I guess. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. I don't know if that's a good word. It definitely sounds like songs from previous things. We're writing so many songs, so I don't know where we're going. I think they're going to be bigger than they were before.

So it's a natural progression?

I think so, yeah. We wouldn't want to repeat ourselves. That's the way things are going.

What is the songwriting process with the band?

Kele writes all the lyrics. Sometimes Gordon contributes here and there. We do all the music between us. We just had a rehearsal today. We went back to the studio where we used to practice before we were signed and stuff. That was quite nice.

That must have been neat to go back to the old studio.

It was kind of nice. Doing our little thing again. Ignoring all the craziness.

This is a track-by-track remix of the band's debut. Highlights include remixes by Ladytron, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Mogwai, M83, and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs). The first 15,000 of the US edition will contain a bonus CD with three b-sides of non-album tracks, acoustic versions of the album track "Plans", and the b-side "Storm And Stress".

Interview: Shannon Larkin of Godsmack

Interview: Shannon Larkin of Godsmack
June 23, 2006 09:50 AM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Massachusetts-based rockers Godsmack like to throw their fans for a loop. The tribal track "Voodoo" pushed the envelope on the band's aggressive, self-titled debut. On subsequent albums, the group delivered further surprises on songs like the Middle Eastern-inspired "Spiral" and the haunting "Serenity."

On its latest album, "IV," Godsmack shocks fans with singer Sully Erna's harmonica playing on the song "Shinedown."

"We threw in the harmonica solo because he would sit around the studio and jam on his harmonica," Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin said. "I think it might have been Andy Johns' idea. He's a really, really famous engineer who did Zeppelin albums and engineered 'Stairway to Heaven.' He's 'Grandpa Andy.' He had stories out the a--. I think he's the one who said, 'You should put the harp in the song.' We're a hard rock band. You usually don't hear a harp solo."

This summer, Godsmack--which also includes guitarist Tony Rombola and bassist Robbie Merrill -- is teaming up with Rob Zombie and Shinedown for an amphitheater tour. Shinedown will play for about 45 minutes, while Zombie's set will last approximately an hour. Godsmack will perform for 90 minutes, Larkin said.

The group is currently touring Canada, with a couple of shows in Alaska to follow.

How's the Canadian tour going so far?

It's going amazing. Canada's cool. I can't believe how rad it is. We got to Quebec City, and you could just feel the energy in the air. It's been amazing. They're receptive to the Godsmack up here.

You've put together quite the tour with Rob Zombie.

And Shinedown. They're the opener. I love that singer. They're a great band. It rounds out the tour well. They're more Southern rock, kind of.

How did the tour come together?

The band's done Ozzfest and Zombie's been on it. He's a really cool, normal, nice guy, believe it or not. Our management came to us and said, "Here's who has a new recording coming out and here's who would possibly tour with the band." We'd get three or four names and they'd say, "Which one do you want?" Out of those names, we said we'd like to have Rob Zombie. His management goes, "Would you like to go out with Zombie?"

"IV" is the first album for which Sully is credited as the sole producer.

I must add, he really produced all the records.

I noticed he was listed on the records, but he was always listed with another producer like Mudrock.

Producing a record is mainly making sure everything is perfect--from the songs to the studio that you're recording in, to the microphone used on the drums, to using the right engineer. Sully's always been the guy. When you're first starting out, the label won't let you produce your own record, basically. They'll assign someone to you. You have to have a name. For instance, Dave Bottrill, we picked him because of some of the great work he did with Peter Gabriel to Tool. When you have a guy like Sully in the band that is a producer, it becomes what happened on this record. Sully didn't say I'm producing the new record. Tony and Robbie said produce the new record. Basically, we're paying someone $100,000 to $150,000 to come in and produce. If you can do it yourself and save that money, why not do it yourself? In the end, it's wasted money when you have a producer n the band.

Was it difficult for him to be objective?

No, he doesn't have a problem saying, "No [laughs], I don't like this." The band is definitely his vision. He's the leader. We all respect that. It's like a football team: you have to have a boss, or else everything would be chaos and nothing would ever get done. That's for sure. He's our fearless leader, and we're very happy to be his merry jesters in the circus we call a rock band. It's been pretty drama free. We're individuals. We came to the table with a lot of music that, of course, we wanted on the new record. He went through and picked out four songs that we had written, which was three more than had made any other Godsmack record. We were pretty stoked about that. This time, with all the leftover music we had, Tony, Robbie and I came into this clique [and] we started writing really great stuff. At the end of the day, we decided to start a side project. I got my buddy Whit Crane from Ugly Kid Joe, he sings, and the guitarist is Lee Richards, Godsmack's original guitar player. It's Me, Tony, Robbie, Lee and Whit. It's called Another Animal. We signed to Universal, and it comes out in September. What's cool about it, it's a side project. Of course Godsmack "IV" is our priority. We're going to tour the world, and do everything we have to do. Hopefully go out and throw some shows out with Another Animal.

You used to be in Ugly Kid Joe correct?

I was in Ugly Kid Joe for five years. It was a drunken five years. It was awesome. Those guys were so fun. That band was just about having fun all the time. Killer tours with Van Halen. My crazy life.

How do you feel your new album fits in with the catalog?

I think it's best one. I think it's the most rounded record the band has ever done. I think it has elements of the first album, with, like, "The Enemy" and "No Rest for the Wicked," but it gets dark. The second record was the darkest record, but then there's still "Serenity" on the third record, and "Hollow" on the new one--[it] let's the record breathe for a minute. If you're a fan of the band Godsmack, you'll probably dig the new record.

I have to admit: I was thrown by the harmonica.

It's cool if it throws you a little. That's what we try and do. We don't want to keep making the same record over and over again. We're not young men, by any stretch, anymore. We get bored playing the same s---. It's nice to spread our wings. Our fan base is so open-minded. Slayer couldn't put out an acoustic album.

Six albums into its career, Godsmack finds itself faced with the challenge of moving forward without betraying its roots. Although the veteran act manages to offer up a handful of convincing tunes on this hour-long affair, IV fails to hang together as a cohesive and convincing album. The opening "Living In Sin" and its follow-up "Speak" rock with conviction although neither breaks new ground; "The Enemy"––a reasonably good approximation of a latter-day Metallica tune––proves persuasive while "Shine Down" and "No Rest For The Wicked" are radio-ready distractions. As good as those and a number of the other songs are IV never locks into any particular groove and ultimately amounts to little more than a batch of songs placed end-to-end on a disc that's roughly 20 minutes too long. By the record's final moments––the passionate but decidedly dated angst-filled dirge "Mama," the meandering "One Rainy Day"––the listener grows weary of treading down an all-too-familiar path with a band that still has a promising future if only it could let go of its unyielding grip on its own past.

Interview: Eron Bucciarelli of Hawthorne Heights

Interview: Eron Bucciarelli of Hawthorne Heights
June 14, 2006 12:33 PM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Hawthorne Heights is not one of those bands that assumes it has a god-given right to receive airplay on major metropolitan radio stations. Without blinking an eye, the group shows appreciation for the spins.

So when a radio station in Windsor, Ontario, asked the band to perform at its June 18 Birthday Bash in neighboring Detroit, and another outlet in Frisco, Texas, suggested the band play its Edgefest on the same day, the group obliged both. It could have been a logistical nightmare, but Hawthorne Heights worked it out.

"We've never played two shows in two different states that required a flight," drummer Eron Bucciarelli said. "Both stations have been really supportive of us. It wasn't too big of a problem to coordinate it. We don't shy away from working hard and doing anything it takes."

Hawthorne Heights--which also includes guitarist Casey Calvert, guitarist Micah Carli, bassist Matt Ridenour and vocalist/guitarist JT Woodruff--is promoting its album "If Only You Were Lonely," a collection of emo-driven songs that includes the breakthrough hit "Saying Sorry." Released Feb. 28, the set was produced by David Bendeth.

LiveDaily: There are two different versions of the artwork for "If Only You Were Lonely." Tell me about the difference in the two.

Eron Bucciarelli: One version represents the guy's side of the storyline, the other version represents the girl's side. Basically, the story is: this guy moves off when he's younger, and the two of them are struggling to keep this relationship together while being apart from each other. The different problems they go through with their family. If you match the two versions up next to each other, the pages kind of sync up.

Why did you decide to do that?

We thought it would be something neat for die-hard fans. You don't have to have both. It was an idea that one of the graphic designers [at the record label] came up with. We said, "Yeah, yeah. That's kind of cool." Initially, there was supposed to be all kinds of different inks that only show up [under] black light and stuff like that--like monsters under the bed and all kinds of crazy stuff. Somewhere along the process, they probably thought it costs too much to produce. Both those ideas got nixed, but the general ideas stayed the same.

You really broke through during the arena tour with Fall Out Boy. Have you noticed a difference in your fan base?

We have a lot of new fans, obviously. Fall Out Boy has sold two million records. Their fan base is quite a bit larger than ours. There have been a lot of people adding us on MySpace saying, "Hey, I just found out about you guys on this tour. I really like your music. I just picked up your CD yesterday."

What is the songwriting process like with Hawthorne Heights?

We pretty much have a democratic process. Everybody brings in ideas. The initial ideas might start with Matt or Casey. We'll play around with it. It's a really, really rough idea. Sometimes just a chorus, sometimes just a verse or a pre-chorus. We'll all work on the part, and we'll just build it into an actual song structure. Once we have a song structure in place, we might add in different melodies. Then we'll say, "All right Casey, what are you going to play?" "Micah, what are you going to play?" We have three different guitar players. We try to have them all doing different things. We start building and overlapping melodies onto the song. Once the whole song structure is in place, then JT writes the lyrics.

How was it to work with David Bendeth?

He has such a huge knowledge of songwriting, and it was nice to bounce ideas off of him. He's not your typical emo producer. He has a lot of ideas that helped us expand our sound, so we're not just your typical emo band or have your emo sound. He worked with a whole huge array of bands, from metal bands, like Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying, to pop groups, like Vertical Horizon and Breaking Benjamin. There's this huge rainbow of artists that he's worked with. He brought a lot of different ideas, things that we wouldn't necessarily think of. Half of the time we were like, "Nah, I don't think so." The other half of the time the ideas were really good.

What were some of the things you disliked?

Some parts sounded too "nu metal" for us, like, "Try this rhythm in this part of the song." We would say, "That doesn't work out for us."

So you felt free to state your case?

We went into it, "This is how we work," and he said, "This is how I work. I'm going to throw out all these ideas I come out with and if you guys don't like them, feel free to nix them. We don't have to do every single thing I suggest." It was nice. It kind of helped that we were already established a little bit. We've already done this with what we know, so we are confident with what we can do on our own. It worked out for the best.

This summer, you're primarily concentrating on radio dates and smaller markets, correct?

Yes, we have a bunch of radio stations this summer. There's a bunch of secondary markets that we're hitting up. We're going to be doing two weeks in Canada with Story of the Year, Anberlin and Halifax. We're also going to head over to Australia and Japan for a week, and Germany, Holland and the UK for another week. We're doing this really cool show sponsored by Boost Mobile. We're playing in these really small clubs. Some of them, I think, only hold 100 to 200 people. The only way you can get into them is if you sign up and do a bunch of community service. We're going to use our popularity for the good of everyone else, which is fun. There's four or five of them. They're up on the website right now. We're going on a headlining tour in the fall. We'll hit all the major markets. This summer's all kind of spotty. We're flying in and out all over the place.

Who are you touring with in the fall?

We can't reveal that yet.

HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS is taking over the world, one broken heart at a time. Since the 2004 release of their Victory Records powerhouse debut album, The Silence In Black And White, HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS spent every single week of 2005 in the Top 200. They have headlined sold out tours in the US and UK, headlined Warped Tour 2005, appeared in every major music publication, are in heavy rotation on MTV and Fuse, and have toured with the likes of SUM 41 and FALL OUT BOY.

Interview: Robby Takac of Goo Goo Dolls

Interview: Robby Takac of Goo Goo Dolls
June 08, 2006 12:03 PM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

For the Buffalo, NY-bred Goo Goo Dolls, the 2002 album "Gutterflower" almost spelled the end. But once core members John Rzeznik and Robby Takac got a taste of life outside of the band, they came rushing back to record this year's "Let Love In."

In the interim, singer/guitarist Rzeznik's work included penning songs for Ryan Cabrera's debut, "Take It All Away," while singer/bassist Takac focused on his label, Good Charamel Records.

Takac said that the group took some "bad advice," which led to the temporary split.

"I think when people started jumping in and throwing in opinions that weren't necessarily best for the outfit, the outfit started to break down a little bit," Takac said. "I think the ['Gutterflower'] shows were great. I think the tour was amazing. I think there was an undercurrent of 'Ah, we're probably done doing this. This is our last record.'"

"That is what I think we felt, for one reason or another. For this record, we can't wait to get back in the studio again to start the next one. There's a lot different vibe for this band than we've had in the last six or seven years," he added.

Takac, who said the Goo Goo Dolls are at their tightest, talked to LiveDaily about the tumultuous times, the new album, as well as his band's forthcoming tour with Counting Crows.

LiveDaily: Why do you say the Goo Goo Dolls have never sounded better?

Robby Takac: We've been a three-piece band for a long time. Then we started playing with some other people. The first couple people we got were our friends; guys we knew. We went on a whole tour. By the end, we weren't all as good of friends as we were. [Laughs] We learned a little bit about having people play with your band. Maybe they weren't the right players. I'm not saying they weren't good players. They just maybe weren't the right ones. For the next one [tour], we had auditions. We hired two guys and they [became] really good friends of ours. I think we learned from that, too. Now, I think we knew pretty much what we wanted out of guys this time. I'm talking about as guys, too, not just musicians. These guys came on the scene, and it seemed to be what the doctor ordered for our band. We buckled down and rehearsed like we never have before. Now we've put ourselves in every piss-poor situation possible for the past five weeks. Going around the United States playing boats, Chinese restaurants, music stores, board rooms and record stores, and everything but real gigs. In general it's been just crazy little gigs all over the place. We are so ready right now to go out on a tour. We are so ready to start playing. It's a very explosive time for us right now. We're really excited.

Who are the new guys in the band?

[Guitarist] Brad Fernquist. He's played with, God, everybody from Michelle Branch and New Radicals to Fastball. He's turned into one of those lifetime utility guys. [Multi-instrumentalist] Korel Turnador, he came here to L.A. from Pennsylvania to play with Hanson, of all people. He's one of those weird, sort of semi-spiritual sort of dudes. He can pick up just about anything and make music with it. It's really nice to have him around the scene. He can play the guitar, percussion, drums. It's really turned into a real powerful package. [The core band is rounded out by drummer Mike Malinin, who has been an official member since 1998.]

How did the tour with the Counting Crows come about?

There was some thought about tours we could go out on during the summer. We knew we were going to have a record out, so we talked about doing some co-headline shows with some bands to make sure there was some flesh in the seats. We never know how we're going to do. It's so weird. Our last record sold a quarter of what the record before that sold, but our crowds were much bigger. That could be due to the download craze of the moment when the record came out. This record, we were setting up this tour even before this record even came out. When the Counting Crows situation came up ... they're one of those groups that they go out and people are expecting the crowds. To be part of that is kind of exciting for us. Essentially it is a co-headlining situation, time wise. We decided we weren't going to switch time slots around. That's a little too hairy. We use a lot of wacky [effects]. We're probably going to take the second spot the entire tour, except for a few markets, Buffalo being one of them of course. It's going to be a great tour, man. It's going to be outside the whole summer.

So you're playing before the Counting Crows?

Yeah, we're the second of three bands. There's going to be a side stage at about a little less than half the dates, as well. It'll be great, man.

VH1 mentioned there has been a frenzy about the girl, model Danielle Fillmore, on your album new cover.

A lot of people thought it was Natalie Portman. That's what a lot of people said when the album first came out. This girl doesn't look like that picture when you see her because she's young. She's a beautiful, beautiful girl. Really nice.

What was it like to work with Glen Ballard? Had you worked with him before?

We had never worked with Glen. We hadn't really even met him until it was time to go in and record. It was funny. We did our last few albums with Rob Cavallo. That's eight years of understanding the process of record-making with Rob. It was time we interjected some new blood into the situation. After all this time, we just needed some surprises along the way. Glen's way of record-making is very much like, "Toss it at the wall and see if it sticks." We've never done much of that before. He brought in a whole new circle of people to influence us. It was just a whole different vibe you get in the studio. Before we walked in the studio with Glen, these songs were far along, and if we walked in and Glen was just a blubbering idiot, we still would have made a great record. [laughs] But we walked in, and he only made it better. He's an incredibly talented guy, incredibly spontaneous, musical. He made you feel like every moment that you spend working with him is a very important moment. That's really a freeing feeling.

Did you write songs with him?

No. We spent six months first in Los Angeles sort of kicking around, but doing more talking about what kind of band we wanted to be and the things that we did and didn't want to see happen in the third decade of existence of this band. Even though we collected a lot of ideas, John always speaks of that time as an unproductive time. I don't think that that was it. I think it was more we couldn't make up our minds about anything in Los Angeles. I think we felt we were dealt a lot of bad advice on our last project. We weren't soliciting opinions from anybody. Which means we weren't talking to anybody about anything we were doing. We were just sitting here [in Los Angeles], and it just didn't feel right. Then we went to Buffalo and spent six months in Buffalo in the freezing cold, and worked on these songs 10, 12 hours a day every single day. It was a pretty intense time, man. We brought in a guy we were contemplating using as a producer. He turned out to be a good friend. He actually co-wrote a song on the record with John. We learned that maybe he wasn't the appropriate person at the time to do the record. Once again, we covered a lot of ground while we were in there. By the time we walked into Glen's place, which was his house at the time, we had sessions that were essentially musically together. There were not any sounds we would have kept, but with the vibe of Buffalo and all those things; those vibes were brought right into his house.

You sound like you're really happy with the album.

I really like it. It's funny. When you first finish something you've been working so hard on, you unleash it on the public and a lot of people have opinions about it. I guess I try to make myself as numb to the good comments as the bad ones. You never want to hear your kid's ugly. You hear that every once in awhile and you feel like driving up to their house and saying, "Don't you know you made me upset?"

What bad advice did you receive on "Gutterflower?

There are a lot of people who didn't understand what we did, or the history of what we had done over the years. There was a delicate situation there. It's not easy to keep a band together. It's not easy to maintain some sort of [camaraderie] in this situation

What brought the band back together?

I don't know. The time we spent in Los Angeles. Kind of hanging out, talking every day about what we saw and the way we saw things happening around us and the people around us. It gave us the perspective that, "Hey man, as a team, we're pretty good at this." John went out and did a couple records. I went out and did a couple records for other bands. When we got back to L.A. and said, "Our day jobs aren't so bad. We make money doing this. All right." Sometimes it's hard to see the forest through the trees. There's so much going on it's hard to focus in on what's going on in your camp, because the advice is coming from all over the place.

Interview: Nathan Connolly of Snow Patrol

Interview: Nathan Connolly of Snow Patrol
June 01, 2006 02:44 PM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Although Ireland's Snow Patrol fared well in the United States with its 2004 breakthrough album, "Final Straw," the band thinks its new release, "Eyes Open," is a powerful step forward.

"The whole thing with this record is it sounds bigger and bolder in places, and the quiet moments are just as delicate as they should be," said guitarist Nathan Connolly via telephone from Germany. "But I think the main difference with this record was confidence, really. That was kind of a key word this time.

"We were a little more confident to try things--more confident as musicians and in ourselves. The time we spent on tour and playing together, and [hanging out] as people, it makes such a difference," he added.

Connolly is joined in Snow Patrol by singer Gary Lightbody, drummer Jonny Quinn, multi-instrumentalist/bassist Paul Wilson and keyboardist Tom Simpson.

LiveDaily: Are you looking forward to your US tour?

Nathan Connolly: Yeah, we did two weeks there [in the winter]. There weren't that many gigs. They were small sort of buzz gigs. This time around it's bigger, and we love touring the States and can't wait to get back. Including the very first time we arrived, this is our fifth proper tour.

You said you were more confident during the "Eyes Open" recording process. What were you able to try that perhaps you were not as secure in trying before?

From my point, as the guitarist, I learned to just to run with things. It's hard to explain. To not be afraid of actually playing the damn thing. To stick with it and let yourself go. It was just a confidence that was not necessarily cocky by any means. I think a lot of that came from [producer Garret Lee]. He's an amazing person to work with. This time we'd known him for a few years. He'd never let you leave that [studio] without following your potential. He instilled us with confidence, and we worked very close together--all of us--individually and as a band. We look up to him.

You also worked with Garret on "Final Straw," correct? It sounds like you formed quite a bond with him.

Garret is such a crucial part of our family, you know. He's a band confidante. He's someone we know and respect. He's kind of another member. We all work well together. He's learned a hell of a lot [since "Final Straw"], as have we. It's nice to kind of be able to have that relationship with someone. It makes it easier. They're there for the right reasons. I imagine we'll make the next record with Garret. We want to, and that's what I think will happen.

It's hard to believe that it's been almost 10 years since Snow Patrol was formed.

The first record was out in 1998, but it was around 1994 in university that Gary and Mark formed the band, which was an indie band at the time. I've only been in the band for four years. I joined a year before "Final Straw." I joined in the middle of that album being written. It was great for me to come in and get to do stuff. Amazing things have happened, and it's great to be a part of it.

You have some amazing guest artists on this record including Ken Stringfellow of The Posies and Martha Wainwright. How did you meet Martha Wainwright?

I wish there was an amazing rock 'n' roll story. [Laughs] We were listening to her record pretty much the whole time between "Final Straw" and this album. And we're big fans. Garret had the idea of, "Why don't you get her to sing on a song?" We were like, "Yeah, why not?" But Gary was really content with everything we recorded or made. So he wrote that song ["Set the Fire to the Third Bar"] specifically with her in mind to sing. We just phoned her up. We didn't know if she knew who we were or if she liked us. But we phoned up and she said, "Yes," and we said, "Jesus Christ," to be honest. [Laughs] She did her vocal take on the very last day. She's just an incredible, incredible artist and an amazing voice. It's an honor to have her on the record. It's amazing it worked out. She's done a few shows with us, six or seven shows. The two voices work amazingly well together. They shouldn't, but they do.

Is she going to do more shows with you?

Hopefully, yeah. The thing is, we won't do that song without her being there. The thing is, as well, she has her own career to think about. She just can't go out on tour with us, although we'd have her, whether or not she'd want to hang out with five f---ing idiots. [Laughs] I'm sure she will. We'll try to do as many as you can.

Snow Patrol are frequently compared to Coldplay in the press, which seems strange as they write far better songs and do not appear to be quite so self-hating, nor as rich. Their delightfully dour little pop songs do touch on the melancholic side of things, but the lyrics are wonderfully slice-of-life descriptions. Singer/lyricist Gary Lightbody gives a shout-out to Sufjan Stevens when on the punchy "Open Your Eyes" he sings, "The anger swells in my guts." Perhaps a better comparison would be American indie-rock act Sebadoh? Regardless, this band continues to surprise. If you went to see this mixed Scottish/Irish group on tour after hearing their wistful, breakout third album Final Straw, you might have been a bit confused by the rock juggernaut confronting you. Eyes Open is their most straightforwardly rock record yet, and thanks in large part to producer Garret Lee, it's their best. If there was ever perfect music to get lost to while driving around confused about a relationship, this is it.