The Dave Matthews Band is getting ready to begin work on the follow-up to this year's multi-platinum Everyday. The quintet will enter a San Francisco studio on January 20th, eyeing a mid-2002 release for what will be its fifth full-length album of studio material. As with Everyday, the Virginians will hop coasts for tracking, but unlike that record -- a collaboration with perennial hitmaker Glen Ballard -- they're looking to go it alone.
"I'm not sure if we'll work with him again," Matthews said of Ballard. "I think we might just do it ourselves this time."
The band has in fact already re-enlisted the services of longtime engineer Stephen Harris. Harris is often the right-hand man of producer Steve Lillywhite, who worked with the DMB on its first three albums as well as the fabled "Summer So Far/Lillywhite Sessions," a collection of never officially released (but oft-downloaded) tracks recorded with Lillywhite in 2000 but scrapped in favor of Everyday. Despite Harris' being onboard for these upcoming DMB sessions, Lillywhite will not be involved.
During an October 14th solo set at the Groundwork Festival in Seattle, Matthews debuted one new song, apparently titled, "Where Are You Going," a tip of a big iceberg. "I think we've got a surplus now," Matthews says. "Something like twenty-five new ones."
What exactly Matthews means by "new" remains to be seen. In a recent interview given to Boston radio station WBCN, DMB bassist Stefan Lessard said that "The Summer So Far" material will be re-recorded for the forthcoming record. "We took [those songs] on the road, and we felt really good after playing them," he said. "We're planning to go back into the studio and we're gonna do it ourselves. It's gonna be those songs and some new ones. I don't know if all those songs are gonna be on there. We haven't really talked the details on it."
Discussing "The Summer So Far" in an interview this past summer, Bruce Flohr, Senior Vice President of A&R at DMB's label, RCA Records, said, "At some point, the band has every intention to put those songs out in some form or another. Down the line, the band will finish the record in the way it was intended to be finished. The songs will come out, and people will still want them."
Although no official release date has been set for the new Dave Matthews Band album, the band has already begun plotting a spring 2002 tour. Having spent the summer of 2001 on the enorma-dome circuit, the group hopes to downsize into more intimate concert surroundings next year.