After thirteen months on the road plugging last year's Sea Change, Beck will head into the studio next week to begin recording his eighth album, expected next summer.
"It's pretty aggressive," he says of the new material. "I've been working on it for a while, but I ended up doing Sea Change first. I've been wanting to do a record with loud guitars for a long time."
Some of the material Beck plans to record dates back to 1999's Midnite Vultures, and he says the new songs are reminiscent of his very first recordings. "My early stuff was a lot more punked out and noisy," he says. "I didn't really let myself use big guitars for a lot of years. The early Nineties was so saturated by big guitars that I became really interested by what I could do if you took all the guitars out -- with the space that was left."
In contrast to the earnest Sea Change, the new songs find Beck returning to cut-and-paste wordplay. "It's a bit of everything lyrically," he says. "I like to use language that's colorful, that has images. I like my lyrics to have different things happening at the same time."
Beck will record the tracks at various locations, including the Los Angeles studio owned by longtime collaborators the Dust Brothers. Dan the Automator will make a production appearance, and Beck is also recruiting Timbaland. "We might do a song or two," Beck says. "We've been talking about working together for four years."