After a few years off and a move to Berlin, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks are planning for a huge 2014 with their new album, Wig Out at Jagbags. "When you do an album, you go down a rabbit hole of you don't know where you're going," Malkmus tells Rolling Stone. "We got a little more of a 1966, tighten-it-up [thing]. It's coming out in January, so it'll be, like, 12 months of domination. Sorry for the other bands."
The 12-song record was recorded in a church in the Belgian Ardennes, where they worked with their longtime soundman Remko Schouten for production. "We have great communication with him so there was no awkwardness, ever," says Jicks bassist Joanna Bolme. "And the location was incredibly beautiful; there were Shetland ponies grazing across the street."
Today, they share "Lariat," the first track off Jagbags and a tight, three-minute song that finds the group at their jangly best. "I had a melody and a line that was very anthemic — stuff like, 'We grew up listening to the music from the best decade ever,'" Malkmus says. "Anyone can say that. Who knows what decade that is? That's for you to say, for you to know."
At one point, though, Malkmus does get specific in his timeframe. "Some of the imagery is taking from a time of 1988-1991," he says. "It's an era of silence, that people don't really talk about. There was maybe Galaxie 500, maybe trails of Jesus and Mary Chain. It's not a time that's been said, 'This was an amazing time.'"
Wig Out at Jagbags is out January 7th on Matador. Stream "Lariat" below: