Visqueen Want To Get A Riot Goin' On
Seattle Visqueen's 2003 debut album, King Me (Blue Disguise),
was a 28-minute sprint of high-octane, hook-heavy pop-punk that placed the band
at the head of its genre. Produced by Foo Fighters knobsman Barrett Jones, the
album never missed a step, maintaining a steady "One!Two!Three!Four!" early Ramones
pace, bubbling over with spicy-sweet boy-girl love and Cheap Trick chainsaw riffs.
After a year of intense touring in support of King Me, Visqueen singer Rachel Flotard, drummer Ben Hook and bassist Kim Warnick (formerly of the Fastbacks) returned to the studio for four days in March, laying down tracks for their currently untitled sophomore release.
Handling production is Seattle staple Phil Eck, whose hefty roster includes such disparate acts as Modest Mouse and The Shins. While Flotard is well aware of Eck's indie-rock cred, she says they chose Eck specifically because the bands he works with are so far removed from Visqueen's style.
"Phil has microscopes for ears," Flotard said during a recent interview. "We spent a lot of time picking [the songs] apart, making it as solid and tight as possible."
While King Me was recorded live in the studio, for the new album Eck chose to record each band member separately. And though he has toyed with the band's sound, Flotard says fans should not expect synthesizers or any sort of experimentation. She stands by their strength as a trio and maintains an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude.
She also stands behind the relatively brief running time of King Me, promising that the new record won't exceed 35 minutes, out of respect for their fans' attention span. As for what the songs are will be about, well… "I guess they're about the hilarity of missing the party boat and riding alongside in the dinghy," offered Flotard, whose dry sense of humor came through during the interview.
The tentative track listing is as follows: "Friends in Love, "Buttercup," "Crush
on Radio, "A Viewing," "Look Alive," "Houston," "Manhattan," "Beauty Deluxe" and "Blue."
Visqueen will return to the studio for another four days in May for final mixing and are aiming at a "back to school" release date of September 21st, with more heavy touring to follow. "We want to tour the shit out of it, to tour in Europe," she said. "Until we get a superhuge group of followers large enough to riot. Because, every tour we do, people remember us and we remember them."
Visqueen are not sure yet who will release the new album. "We're going to shop
this record around," Flotard said, noting that they may release it on Blue Disguise. "But
we're not really on a rocket to get signed."
The band will hit the road later this month for a brief West Coast tour. Brian J. Barr [Thursday, Apri1, 2004]
Visqueen Tour Dates:
April 13; Eugene, OR; John Henry's
April 16; Los Angeles, CA; Spaceland
April 17; Glendale, CA; The Scene
April 18; Long Beach, CA; Alex's Bar
April 19; San Diego, CA; The Casbah
April 21; Tucson, AZ; Club Congress
April 23; San Francisco, CA; Thee Parkside
April 24; Sacramento, CA; The Distillery