At The Drive In have announced their first album in 17 years, as well as sharing a new track. Scroll below to hear the song and read an exclusive interview.
The US post-hardcore band, who split in 2001 before reforming for live shows in 2012, will release ‘in·ter a·li·a’ (Latin for “among other things”) on May 5 via Rise Records. The record follows on from 2000 classic ‘Relationship of Command’ and is their fourth studio LP to date.
It was produced by the band’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez alongside Rich Costey (Muse, Biffy Clyro, Frank Turner), and recorded at Hollywood’s Sound Factory, a legendary studio where Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have all recorded. Pre-order the album here.
New track ‘Incurably Innocent’ follows on from the previously released ‘Governed By Contagions’, which dropped in December and also features on the album.
‘Incurably Innocent’ has been described by singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala as “a song about sexual abuse and being able to finally speak out”. Listen below.
The album’s artwork and tracklist:
‘No Wolf Like The Present’
‘Tilting At The Univendor’
‘Governed By Contagions’
‘Pendulum In A Peasant Dress’
‘Call Broken Arrow’
Frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala and drummer Tony Hajjar recently spoke to NME‘s Greg Cochrane about the record.
The album was partially written in a rented studio in South Korea while the band were on tour. Bixler-Zavala explained: “We’d get up as early as we could and would go and do what I call ‘beating your head against the wall’. That was really hitting the ground running with figuring out how to learn to write with each other. We did that for a good chunk of time. In that monstrous heat, we would drive to that studio and go a little crazy. It wasn’t a very glamorous studio, it was bare bones. You just had to be forced to not fuck around, and not sit around and play video games like maybe some people do.”
Hajjar said of recording the album: “It was the most fun I’ve had in years. It was so great to be around people I care for and care for me. We had some awesome, tough moments. But at the end, they were still great. When it was done we went into the studio control room, the last day of recording, we all just hugged each other. I’m so proud of my brothers, proud that we’ve done this, proud that we still get to do this at any level.”
The band describe the LP as as much of a “piece of art” as ‘Relationship of Command’, with Hajjar saying it feels like “we’ve climbed a fucking mountain”, adding: “We’ve been through a lot all these years. Ups and downs.”
“We had to have our shit together as a family,” Bixler-Zavala said, explaining the long wait for the record. “Sometimes it’s hard to be criminally misunderstood and thought of as these people out there just to get the money. And even if we were out there just to get the fucking money, we have families, you know? You’re not eternally 20 years old living in council flats, putting up posters of your favourite bands with fuck all to do. Life is fucking life. People need to remember the human condition about being in a band. You just to be patient and let a human being be a human being.”
Explaining guitarist/keyboardist Jim Ward’s departure last year, Hajjar said: “We were super ready to do this and and he wasn’t.”
Bixler-Zavala went on to describe how the music climate has changed since their first run as a band: “At The Drive In came out in a period of time when Stereophonics and Limp Bizkit were huge. And there was this dark grey void – I’m not saying we filled it – but we were just a different colour at the time. I hope we don’t ever bow down to the single-based format. I hope we can at least be one of the last people fighting for LPs. It’s going to be hard to adapt to the way things are now, but it’s a great challenge.”
On continuing to make new music, Bixler-Zavala said: “Yes. Why not?” Hajjar added: “For sure. We’re having a great time. Right now, in life, I feel like it could only get better.”
At The Drive In will embark on a North American tour during March, May and June, before heading to the UK and Europe for festival appearances, including slots at Reading and Leeds.