Though The Gold Medal comes out just two months after the 2004 summer games, the Bay Area quartet hasn't caught Olympic fever. The title was instead inspired by the band's own notions of ultimate achievement.
"It encompasses the whole vibe of the record," guitarist Allison Robertson (Donna R.) says. "To us, it's going for what we think is the gold. On each song we just went with what sounded best instead of going, 'Oh, the Donnas would never do that.'"
The pressure of recording for a major label (Atlantic) has also subsided. "On our last record we were trying to prove we were a rock band and that no one had us put together," Brett Anderson (Donna A.) says. "We were free to explore a lot of different emotions on this one. I really feel like since we stuck to our guns on our last album, it gave us a lot of freedom this time around."
Alongside guitar-driven, hook-heavy tracks like "Fall Behind Me" and "Revolver" are softer fare like "Is That It?" and "Don't Break Me Down." "I'm excited to play them, just to have a different kind of connection with the audience," Anderson says. "I don't get my hopes up too much, but I feel like they'll be into it."