1. How was the approach to writing and recording this album any different from your past experiences?
NICK: As 311 continues we become more and more collaborative. This time around had real spirt of anything goes and the expansive 15 song set shows an increased eclectic-ness that our fans will love.
SA: Every recording process varies widely from one to the other. I think we use our time together more wisely now. Four of us have kids so that definitely plays a greater role in the equation. The big difference with this record would be the contribution of longtime engineer/once prior producer/front of house sound-man Scotch Ralston.
TIM: Although some guitars were recorded at the Hive, the majority of tracking was done at The Holy Grailien.
P-NUT: We collaborated more on this album than on any other.
2. How does the new album stand apart musically from your previous releases?
NICK: There is a wider range to these songs than before. Songs like Friday Afternoon, Made in the Shade, and Tranquility get into decidedly new territory.
TIM: This album was recorded exclusively on vapor.
P-NUT: The music is dark in places where before we’d shy away from it.
3. What can listeners expect to hear?
NICK: Higher highs and chiller chill-out moments than ever before.
TIM: Aural Highdration
P-NUT: Listeners can expect to groove and learn.
4. What will listeners be surprised to hear?
NICK: Our first foray into acid rock!!
TIM: Full frontal
P-NUT: Listeners will be surprised that they love all fifteen songs.
5. How was working with producer Scotch Ralston?
NICK: Scotch is quite a pleasure to make music with. He’s delightfully quirky. He lives in an RV which he often parked in our studio parking lot living and breathing 311 music all the time. He contributed more than any producer we’ve ever worked with.
CHAD: Working with Scotch again on this record has been a great experience. Scotch understands the history of 311 better than anyone we could use. His perspective and work ethic were stellar. His engineering really captured the essence of the band’s tones. Truly a great experience from beginning to end.
SA: Scotch really helped in giving the record a focus from the outset and greatly expedited the process along. I don’t think logistically we could have produced these 15 songs in this amount of time with anyone else.
TIM: Stereolithic nexus synchronizer and scrutinizer, Captain Scotch was, as always, an invaluable asset navigating the vog. I especially enjoyed his mid-term progress report newsletter.
P-NUT: Scotch coaxed ideas and melodies from us that make this our best album in ten years, easy.
6. Any interesting stories behind the making of the album? Or about any of the songs / lyrics?
NICK: Well, we have a place near my house we called Serenity Spot. It’s out in the middle of a dry creek bed with beautiful sheer cliffs on either side. Scotch and I were there pacing around brainstorming lyrics and he decided to climb up one of the cliffs. I had my back turned to him and I heard rocks falling. I turned around to see him sliding down the mountain on his feet like he was skiing. He made a perfect landing in the creek bed totally unscathed. We were laughing about it for hours!
SA: This record really heralds a shift in the 311 dynamic if you will. None of us live in close proximity to the Hive anymore. I built a home studio in the past few years. I call my studio Holy Grailien and I’d say Tim recorded the bulk of his guitars here. Chad tracked his drums at his home studio. Nick rented out a small studio close to his home where we recorded most of our vocals. Tim and Scotch were in such a zone here at my studio that it just helped to have that vocal spot at Nick’s to speed things along.I think Nut was the only one who really utilized the Hive for recording. He recorded all his bass there & we wrote, rehearsed & mixed there.
P-NUT: Every song has a good story. I’m just happy to have had an influence on the lyrics and philosophical direction more so than ever before.
7. Do you have any favorite songs or favorite moments on the album?
NICK: Tranquility evokes so much emotion from me. That one is very special.
P-NUT: Five of Everything is a standout, very fun to play. Great message.
8. Anything else that you want to share about the album?
NICK: We are so excited for the fans to hear it and so grateful to be going strong 11 albums in!
SA: I know our fans are going to relish this record. Fifteen songs deep and it is just an incredible sounding album from top to bottom. Scotch and Chad did an incredible job with the mix. Musically it’s a bit of everything we are known for, and that includes unexpected twists and turns. It’s another great 311 record that we are proud to have in our discography. Period.
A huge Thank You to all of our fans for giving us the ability to do what we do. No other fanbase comes close to ours, nor could I imagine life without you. Thank you so much. The journey continues..
P-NUT: I love this band, we still surprise me.