While they spend the summer opening dates of the No Doubt and Paramore tour, the reggae-influenced BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH are also preparing to record the follow-up to 2007’s Street Gospels. Although the band have seen lineup changes this year (drummer Pat Pengelly left in January) and they just released the digital EP, Where Have The Songs Played Gone To?, the band are putting together more material for their fourth full-length. Vocalist JAY MALINOWSKI recently gave LUCY ALBERS insight into his band’s plans for the new album, including which era of rock ‘n’ roll they’re pulling inspiration from.
Where are you in the process of putting together the new album?
Right now we’re just meeting up in the back of the bus and writing while we’re on tour. We’re just getting our thoughts out, letting everything else go and just writing. We’ll probably take a few weeks off back home in Toronto in September for pre-production, and we’ll begin to record in January.
Do you know who you’ll record with?
We’re just really focusing on the songs right now. We’ve done the past few records with Darryl Jenifer [of Bad Brains]. Honestly, it just feels natural to work with him. It didn’t even cross my mind to work with anyone else. He’s just such a good friend to us and a good mentor to the band. But I think we’ve gone through so many changes within the band that we’re really just focusing on the songs and working on that before we figure out [who will produce].
How do you think the new material will compare to your previous three albums?
It seems like it’s going to be more soulful stuff. We’ve been listening to a lot of ’60s rock. We’re not going to make an Aggrolites record or anything like that, but I think it’s going to be a little more classic- sounding. We’re definitely not becoming a ska band or anything. Obviously, as a writer, I’m better than I was [when we released Root Fire in] 2001. I think we all just get closer and closer to what we want to say and where we think we’re going. Bedouin have always been idea-driven with concepts, and we really push ourselves. I’m really excited for this new record because I think we’re getting a lot closer to what we really want to say. I think we’ve really just gotten to be better musicians and better at expressing ourselves. I don’t know if you can say Street Gospels was somber, but I think this new record is going to be a lot more upbeat. Gospels had a lot of songs dealing with death, and I think the next one will be more of a new beginning for us. I guess you could say it’s a little more happy.
To what sort of ’60s rock are you specifically listening?
The Bees, definitely. I love the Bees. I think they’re called A Band Of Bees in the U.S., actually. And I always listen to Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. I used to listen to a lot of punk music, and I’ve been getting back into that. So maybe we’ll have a little punk in the new stuff, too.
Will the departure of drummer Pat Pengelly affect this record?
I think it has to. Pat definitely had his own style of playing, and of course [our sound] will change [without him,] but we’ve really embraced the change and we’ve been playing with the new ideas and the new style. When Pat left, you know, we were just such a unit that we didn’t feel like permanently replacing him. We’ve been playing with Marco [Raposo] on tour and he’s amazing. It’s been a really good vibe.
Bedouin are nearly impossible to categorize. If you could walk into a record store and place this album in a section, where would it go?
Maybe in progressive jazz. Well, you know, I’ve seen our stuff in so many different sections, and honestly the only one that really makes sense to me is pop. I don’t think of pop as a bad word. I know it won’t fit in the punk section and it won’t fit in the reggae section and I’m pretty sure it’s not hip-hop.
What kind of reaction do you hope to elicit from fans with this album?
When we started playing music, all we wanted to do was play the stuff we were listening to that wasn’t getting a lot of respect. At the time there were a lot of ska bands, and we wanted to go somewhere else with it. I think that, at a show where we’re playing the new material, we just want people to forget about themselves, and forget about staring at their shoes and trying to be cool, and just dance. alt