Album Preview: Plain White T's Shine Light on "The Wonders of the Younger"
Tue, 28 Sep 2010 07:45:26
Plain White T's Photos
Plain White T's Videos
Plain White T's have built their very own sonic carnival with The Wonders of the Younger [Hollywood Records].
Their forthcoming new album is a cornucopia of lush melodies, vibrant textures and hypnotic instrumentation. The Wonders of the Younger comes on like a dream. It's unique, undeniable and utterly unforgettable. First single, "Rhythm of Love," pulsates with poetic lyrics and infectious harmonies. Written and sung by T's guitar player Tim Lopez, it's the kind of lovelorn anthem that's as clever as it is catchy. It also shows another side of the T's with Lopez's impressive pipes powering through the refrain. However, "Rhythm of Love" is a small taste of the wonderment in store on the new album, which is nothing short of a triumph for Plain White T's.
Plain White T's guitarist Tim Lopez speaks to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview previewing The Wonders of the Younger and so much more…
Stay tuned for the second part soon and more from Plain White T's on ARTISTdirect.com!
Did you enter the studio with one complete vision for The Wonders of the Younger or was it built piece-by-piece while you were recording?
More than any other record we've ever done, there was an idea and a theme in mind. That came from Tom [Higgenson, Vocals]. He had the idea for the album title—The Wonders of the Younger—before there had been any songs written. He'd gone to a Las Vegas show and left in this state of wonderment. It was that Cirque De Soleil production, "O." It's the water show, and it's got a bunch of clown and pirate ship scenes. Tom compared it to that feeling you get when you're a kid—you don't understand things and everything's a little bit more fantastic. From that point on, he wrote with that theme in mind. It's about being nostalgic and missing your youth. There's a little bit of that tracing through everything. I wrote about ten songs for this record, and two of them ended up on there. I wasn't writing with any sort of theme in mind. I think Tom did a really good job of intermixing the themed songs into the tracklisting. As far as the record rolls out from song to song, we did focus on segueing between tracks. It's a smoother rollout from us than we've ever done before, as far as the theme running through the material.
The sentiment slides in there seamlessly though.
Tom always references movies like The Goonies. When you're a kid and you watch The Goonies, either you believed it or you believed you and your friends could have that same experience. A lot of those movies gave you that feeling. We wanted to create an album that made people have that sense.
What are the stories behind your songs "Rhythm of Love" and "Body Parts?"
Those songs must be particularly special to you.
Yeah, I'd written songs about my ex-wife on our last record, and Tom sang all of the verses on them. Every single time we played them, it felt a little bit false to me. This is too personal of a lyric to have someone else singing. I thought if it's coming from me, it's probably going to be a little bit more sincere. This time around, the songs were so personal that I think we were getting something a little extra out of me singing the tracks. We hadn't ever planned on putting out any of those songs as singles, but that one ended up having a little bit of magic to it as far as my two tracks go. "Rhythm" is really easy to get. One of our first performances was Jay Leno, and I was nervous as all hell but it helps you get used to it really quick [Laughs].
Talk about jumping into the fire…
I know! I was joking around about it with some of my buddies. Back home, we'll host these acoustic concerts at our house. We'll have a bunch of friends over, and everybody brings friends. There will be 50 people in our living room or backyard. A bunch of my buddies are songwriters so we'll plug in PA. People play covers or originals. You can try out new songs. That was pretty much the extent of my singing career though [Laughs]. I was jamming in my living room and then I hear, "Hey, you're going to play on Jay Leno!" It was an intense jump, but a cool one at that!
If you were to compare The Wonders of the Younger to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
We've got the anthem-y rock songs at the beginning and the super mellow love songs. It's a pretty undulating album. To try to stick with the theme, Tom keeps saying Back to the Future [Laughs]. What pops into your head?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory directed by Rob Reiner!
That's a good one! When you're a kid and you see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you're like, "I wish that could be me!"
Are you excited for The Wonders of the Younger?