Fresh off an international tour, the BLVD kicks off its American assault to promote their fifth studio album, recorded in Berkeley, Saturday night at the Independent in San Francisco. Drummer Dylan Mcintosh took a few minutes to talk about the band's new album and returning home to the states.
Dylan: It was our first international tour. We did two shows in Fiji that we started the tour off with. It was a trip for 150 people--kind of at this private resort. They brought out about 10 other DJs as well. We spent alot of time getting to know artists and people the on trip, and it enabled us to be close eough to Australia to be worth our while for a tour.
So playing in San Francisco at the Independent is kind of a homecoming for you?
Dylan: It's our first headlining show here since March of last year at the Great American Music Hall. We're set to release our new album in three months and we're giving away copies with presale tickets.
Can you tell me a little bit about the new album?
Dylan: It's called "Return to Center." It's 11 tracks, and we recorded the whole thing in Berkeley with Jeff Saltzman. He's produced the Killers, Fischerspooner, Offspring, and many other bands. We spent 30, 12-hour days in the studio with him before he sent the record off to his partner in LA (Mark Needham). It's a big step for us to have that kind of production quality. We're really excited to put it out.
Does it have a different sound from your last album ("Music for People")?
Dylan: "Return to Center" is in the same vein as "Music for People" but we switched up the styles a bit. It has a bit more of a hip-hop flavor to it. We have four instrumental tracks on the upcoming record and we only had one on the last one. This time around we wrote a bunch of songs specifically for the album and focused on the kind of vibe we wanted for the record. On the last one we were touring so much we wrote songs specifically for performances.
Have you started playing the new songs live yet?
Dylan: We'll play the whole record at the Independent, but we've been playing some of the songs live for six months or so.
After this little mini tour of the West Coast are you taking some time off?
Dylan: We have a full schedule up through May and we're working on summer festival bookings right now. We kind of took some time off last year to make this record, so we're going to try to push hard the rest of this year.