New Jersey punks Man Overboard have announced that their next LP for Rise Records/Lost Tape Collective is complete. The band spent January and early February tracking the record with producer Steve Klein (of New Found Glory) and engineer Will Yip (Circa Survive, Title Fight) in Conshohocken, PA at Studio4. Album art, album title, tracklisting and release date are to follow in the coming weeks.
They released a documentary in conjunction with PropertyofZack that details the recording process (http://propertyofzack.com/post/43661489388/poz-exclusive-man-overboard-making-of-lp3-documentary). But we at Ghettoblaster wanted to hear about the album from a member of the band. We spoke with Man Overboard’s Wayne Wildrick as the band prepared for a tour with The Story So Far, Citizen, Tonight Alive and The American Scene. This is what he told us…
When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?
I feel like ideas started to come last spring. The writing process never really ends for us. Zac and Nik are always writing about things that are going on at the time. It’s just a matter of, “Okay, it’s time to record. What feelings do we want to let go of, and what feelings do we want to sing and play about over the next couple years?” After Warped, we took August off and started demoing day in and day out at Niks studio in Williamstown, New Jersey. We took probably two to three months for everything to come together.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
To be honest, this was the smoothest album we have ever recorded. And even in the past, if a song is giving us grief we usually ditch it. In my opinion, the best songs are the ones that just happen. Sure we are critical on the mixing and tracking of the songs, but the vibe was on for this record. I feel like we all knew what we wanted, so if there were any bumps in the road, we didn’t feel them.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
All the songs just sound bigger. Bob Rock told Metallica that he loved their band, but they haven’t captured what they do live. That’s what we wanted to capture with this record. Working with Will Yip and getting the opportunity to track on a Neve Console helped bring out our playing. Everyone always told us we sound so much heavier live, and Will made that happen for us. Will is a boss.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Ian Grushka from New Found Glory plays bass on a song that I’m not even sure what we are calling yet. All summer long on Warped Tour we would talk about him coming up to hang and lay down some bass, and I’m stoked it got to happen. Geoff Rickly from Thursday also sings on a track. We met him this past summer on Warped, and he is the most down to earth guy – such a class act. I would see him every morning getting coffee at catering, and I thought it was so cool how he always remembered my name. It’s the little things that count! Thursday is a HUGE influence on our band especially being from New Jersey, so it was an honor and privilege to share this record with him.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Steve Klein from New Found Glory produced the record. Will Yip added additional production. Steve takes our band to the next level. We spend so much time demoing the songs that we get buried and can’t hear them any other way. It’s always nice to have another set of ears come in and help you smooth out transitions, clean up some rhythms, and help keep the momentum going. Will also helped bring a lot of these songs to the next level. He is an amazing drummer and also has a great ear for harmonies. I would always be like, “Hey, Will. If you hear something weird here, let me know.” And if he didn’t, I wouldn’t even think twice. We are very fortunate to have such talent working and believing in our band.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
Over the last year we went through a drummer change, toured Europe twice, went to Russia and the Ukraine for 10 days, toured around the US a few times, and played Warped Tour for our first time. All of this entailed traveling, meeting new people, seeing the craziest corners of the world – going from a city like Paris to the most impoverished areas of Russia. It was the most grueling year for us in terms of touring and putting strains on life back home. That tension is in these songs, but at the same time they show growth for where our band might be heading. I also think we are finding out more and more what we need as individuals, as well. I wouldn’t say that this is the whole concept behind the record, but when I listen to these songs, the past year just runs through my mind. I hear all those influences coming out.
Have you begun playing these songs live, and if so, which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
We haven’t even released any songs yet. That should be happening in the next couple weeks. We are planning on maybe playing a new song on the Suppy Nation tour, but as a show-goer, nothing bums me out more than having to hear new songs before the album even comes out. We are gonna play some older songs one last time before we start making changes to the setlist.
(Catch Man Overboard at one of these dates:
March 8 – Dallas, TX – Trees
March 9 – Houston, TX- Fitzgerald’s
March 10 – San Antonio, TX – Backstage Live
March 12 – Mesa, AZ – The Nile
March 14 – San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO Brew
March 15 – San Diego, CA – Epicentre
March 16 – Pomona, CA – The Glasshouse
March 17 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Metro
March 19 – Portland, OR – Branx
March 20 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
March 22 – Salt Lake City, UT – Club Sound
March 23 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
March 24 – Lawrence, KS – Granada Theatre
March 26 – St. Louis, MO – Firebird
March 27 – Nashville, TN – The End
March 28 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
March 29 – Tampa, FL – The Orpheum
March 30 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Talent Farm
April 1 – Jacksonville, FL – Brewster’s Roc Bar
April 2 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern
April 3 – Virginia Beach, VA – Shakas
April 4 – Baltimore, MD – Otto Bar
April 5 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
April 6 – Patchogue, NY – 89 North (Mixtape Festival)
April 7 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
April 8 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair
April 9 – Montreal, QC – La Sala Rosa
April 10 – Toronto, ON – Annex Wreckroom
April 11 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
April 12 – Chicago, IL – Reggies Rock Club
April 13 – Toledo, OH – Headliner’s (Jamboree Festival))