Photo by Ben Kaye
Alabama Shakes are nearing completion of their sophomore studio album. In an interview with David Von Bader of Miami News Times, drummer Steve Johnson revealed the band recently finished tracking the as-yet-untitled effort, which he described as “tonally and sonically” different from their 2012 smash debut, Boys & Girls.
“We just have a better grasp on what we’re doing in the studio now,” he explained. “And as far as the songs go, I think a lot of people want to expect a Boys & Girls, Vol. II almost, more digging into Southern soul or something like that, and the songs that are coming out now, they’re different. I feel like we’ve progressed in growing as songwriters, and while they’re different in that respect, it’s still not unbelievable that it’s the same band. It still sounds like Alabama Shakes, just experimenting with other sounds.” When asked to expound on that, Johnson laughingly responded, “Umm … Space odyssey! Futuristic, uh, laser beams!”
He also digressed on how their recording process was different this time around. “Well, we were working with a producer this time, and some of the songs we didn’t have completely finished. Before, we would kind of have a good idea of what the song was going to be like whenever we were done with it. In this case, it wasn’t like that with all the songs. Some of them we would kind of jumble around for hours.”
Head to the News Times’ website to read more of the interview, where Johnson talks about the lack of pressure to follow up their Grammy-nominated debut and compares the band’s sonic progression to My Morning Jacket.