On Sunday, Scissor Sisters will give America its first official taste of their sophomore album (due this fall) when they take the stage at the sprawling, much-anticipated Coachella Valley Music Festival in Indio, California.
New songs expected in their set include "I Don't Feel Like Dancing," which features Elton John's ivories on the studio version, and "I Can't Decide," which singer Ana Matronic describes as "a hot little banjo ditty."
The band will also introduce "Paul McCartney," an ode to the doe-eyed Beatle, penned by co-frontman Jake Shears. "He had a dream and wrote the song when he woke up," Matronic says. "It was a really amazing dream about Paul McCartney, so it's definitely a homage. But it doesn't sound anything like any Paul McCartney song that I've ever heard. It's pure hands-in-the-air, ridiculous disco fun."
With the group self-producing the album's ten tracks, they've forced themselves to try out new ideas by bringing in a slew of guests. In additon to John, most recently they've worked with famed David Bowie axeman Carlos Alomar, also Scissor Sisters guitarist Del Marquis' teacher. "He's one of the most amazing guitarists," says Matronic. "He's such a pleasure to work with and has such amazing experience that we learned a lot from him."
Matronic's also been expanding her craft with piano lessons -- from Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase's girlfriend, incidentally. The diva's new skills have helped the outfit flesh out their disco and psychedelic pop sounds of the second record.
"There's been a lot of experimentation," says Matronic. "I think there's still a little bit more exploration we want to do before we're ready to say, 'OK, cool, it's done.' But it's so close."
Thrilled to be heading back to the stage with the new material, the Sisters are lining up a host of summer appearances in addition to Coachella. "So many of the new songs are just really fun to play live," says Matronic. "And we're also much better musicians than we were even six months ago because we've been working hard. So hopefully everybody will have as good a time as we are."