Author Topic: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November  (Read 209 times)

Offline Bart Cornand

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This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« on: August 02, 2019, 05:00:40 am »
OK, folks, the cat is out of the bag: The new album will be a Latin Christmas album.
I interviewed Steve on July 25 for Knack Magazine (Belgium), a few days before the band flew to Europe. This is how it went – unedited.


Steve Berlin: “Latin Christmas album out in November 2019”


You’ve been touring relentlessly, but we haven’t heard any new material since Gates of Gold (2015). Any news?
Steve Berlin: We just finished one yesterday, believe it or not. It’s a Christmas record, of all things. (chuckles) It came out really good. We haven’t really had a record label since Live at the Fillmore. But now Rhino approached us, and said, “What do you guys think about doing a Latin Christmas record?” We said, “Sure.” They said, “Well, if you could finish it by the end of July, we can put it out this year.” Mind you, they came to us at the end of May, so for us it was… insanity. Two months of very intense work, but we pulled it off. It’ll be out early November. 

Fantastic. Any guests?
Berlin: Conrad’s son Jason is playing drums on one song. And on percussion we had Marcos Reyes from War and a guy that Cesar found, Alfredo Ortiz. David played a lot too – everybody pitched in.

Rumor has it you were scheduled to record an album in Nashville, about six months ago.
Berlin: Yes. That blew up. We were all lined up to do an album with Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys’ frontman, BC). David and I went down there to check what Dan had in mind and what his vibe was like. We can’t work with just anybody, it has to feel right. There are certain… rules, I guess. We never define them, but we know when it’s right and when it’s wrong. So Dave and I went down there and hung around for almost a week. It was interesting, but I think that at the end of the day what Dan really wanted was a David Hidalgo solo record. (laughs) He didn’t want anybody else involved, or not as involved as we would want to be.
The funny part is, we were still willing to do it, and believe it or not we were actually on the plane to Nashville when he pulled the plug.

Did the band have new songs ready to be recorded, or would it be a matter of writing in the studio?
Berlin: Dan has a rotating crew of writers – very Nashvillean, where people come in for three hours, smoke pot, shoot the shit, and write a song. Very formulaic, old-school Nashville. That’s what David and I went down there to do: We hung out, smoked pot, shot the shit, wrote songs. (laughs) We actually came up with twelve of them, I guess, in four days. But it wasn’t really us. It was us plugging into Dan’s thing. Some of the songs were OK. I wouldn’t call any of them great. Some were really not great at all. And I think this is where the train went off the rails. When Dave and I left, we thought, “OK, this is a good start.” But Los Lobos songs are written by Dave and Louie or Cesar and Louie. It’s not like we never collaborate this way, but at least we get to see the process and we get to meet some interesting people. Our perception of the whole thing was “OK, we take two, three, maybe four of these songs, and turn them into Lobos songs. But Dan was like, “These are the songs that we’re gonna do.” We were like, “Dude, there’s no fucking way we’re doing seven of these songs. We wouldn’t touch them with a 20-foot pole.” That’s where we lost the thread.

Good riddance, then?
Berlin: Well, it could have turned into something interesting, but it was never going to turn into anything healthy.

You guys are all in your sixties now. Is this the final European tour?
Berlin: No way. We’re already planning the next European tour, in May of next year. And it won’t be a week, like now. We’re talking about three or four weeks. Let’s do it right, for a change.

You’ve been quite busy as a producer. What have you been working on lately?
Berlin: Recently, I have produced Fastball, Greyhounds, and Taylor Scott – a young guitar player, really good.

Hip-hop has become the dominant style in the last decade. Is there still room for roots music?
Berlin: You know, there is always something happening, there’s always something that seems to predominate – until eventually it stops and something else happens. (laughs) These days, we’ve made our little niche, and we really don’t care about all the other shit that is going on. We’ve been so far outside of the mainstream for so long, it doesn’t matter. Not to us, anyway.

You’ve been very outspoken on social media about Donald Trump.
Berlin: How can I not?

Maybe it’s time for Los Lobos, as a symbol of the Mexican-American community, to take a stand, and write a political album. After all the band started out with Sí se puede, a charity album for the United Farm Workers of America.
Berlin: The way it is in our country right now, you have to pick a side. I think you’ll definitely see more activism with us. It’s life or death. For the whole fucking planet. If we don’t get this fucker out of here it’s game over.

© Knack Magazine, Brussels/Bart Cornand

 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 03:41:19 am by Bart Cornand »

Offline kosh1313

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2019, 06:56:55 am »
Mucho gras, BC. Good stuff, man. Hope you get to pick a few with guys when they get to the lowlands.
Je m'en vais chercher un grand peut-etre!

Offline njwolf

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 08:58:48 am »
Thanks for sharing the good news. Wonder if there will be any original songs by the band on the album. It will be nice to have something to complement the LL Christmas EP I have: Rudolph The Manic Reindeer/This Time of the Year/The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).
 

Offline Bart Cornand

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 09:09:59 am »
One original, written by Louie.

Offline hellpups

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2019, 10:25:01 am »
One original, written by Louie.

I'm sure it will be a cheerful heart warmer  ::) ;)
Hellpups

With one shoe on
And one shoe lost
Stands a wounded man
Who just laughs it off

       -Angels With Dirty Faces

Offline notimewarp

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2019, 11:16:43 am »
Good job indeed... Steve's always a good interview...
She said "Why don't you come over to my place? There's nobody home". So I went over to her place... There was nobody home...

Offline mcamp

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2019, 02:58:19 pm »
I guess I'll be hearing some of those songs come December at the City Winery in Boston;)

Offline njwolf

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2019, 03:25:10 pm »
Wonder if Feliz Navidad made the cut.

Offline Jim

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2019, 07:01:32 pm »
Perhaps they'll play some it at the Fillmore this year. That is, if there's a Fillmore show this year.

Offline CesarJA

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2019, 07:18:55 pm »
TY, Bart NOT from Springfield. Too cool! A great stocking stuffer and something to play while the tamales warm up and the hot Mexican Chocolate gets made. Very excited!

FUCK TRUMP!!! The election can't come soon enuf for us along the Tejaztlan frontera and the rest of Babylon.

Con Amor y Paz Como Siempre,
CesarJA

Offline El Cuello Rojo

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2019, 12:12:05 am »
Interesting comments about Dan Auerbach. I thought the Dr. John record he produced was (just) okay, but didn't sound anything like a Dr. John record. It was like, did you even bother to listen to any Dr. John records to learn what he sounds like? Seems like he wants to do what he wants to do (maybe the only thing he's able to do), regardless of what the artist wants. Maybe a little Paul Simon. An imitation Black Keys David Hidalgo solo Los Lobos record of country songs sounds awful. Glad it went all Death Star.

Offline mcamp

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2019, 12:37:10 pm »
Personally, I think whatever Dan A is involved in is going to sound like something like a Dan record.
It has a distinctive sound for better or worse....as mentioned, Dr. John's Locked Down has that Black Keys sound.

Offline JesseTheLawyer

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Re: This is not a drill: NEW ALBUM in November
« Reply #12 on: Today at 08:04:08 am »
OK, folks, the cat is out of the bag: The new album will be a Latin Christmas album.
I interviewed Steve on July 25 for Knack Magazine (Belgium), a few days before the band flew to Europe. This is how it went – unedited.

Bart, great read. Yes, Steve is always a good interviewee, but without a great interviewer that isn't worth much.  Excellent work!

..."develop in to something interesting, but not healthy" -- Laughed out loud, classic Berlin

I am very excited to hear the Chanukah song on the album.  :hmmm:
Thank You, Music Lovers