Todd Weinstock started his new band, Men, Women and Children, after alternative metal men Glassjaw ground to a halt.
“We never even discussed what was going to happen,” says Weinstock of the demise of Glassjaw — guitarists Weinstock and Justin Beck, singer Daryl Palumbo, bassist Manuel Carrero and drummer Larry Gorman. “It was, like, ‘Finally, we’re off tour — who cares what’s going on?’ And the Web site didn’t get updated, and then months and months and months started going by. And then Daryl started recording for [electronica/rock outfit] Head Automatica. Beck has a merch company, and he just sunk into that and disappeared. It just kept snowballing, and all of a sudden everybody woke up and it was two years later. Everything had fallen apart.”
Glassjaw are playing a handful of dates with the Used this August, minus Weinstock. “I don’t even know what’s going on,” he says. “But there are no hard feelings. Everybody’s friends, everything’s cool — it’s just kind of weird. It never really ended. It just kind of fizzled out.”
During Glassjaw’s lengthy hiatus, Weinstock was increasingly drawn to his side project — with his pals TJ Penzone on vocals, Rick Penzone on bass, keyboardist/programmer Nick Conceller and drummer David Sullivan Kaplan. Coming from a New York hardcore band, Weinstock and crew began making music inspired by Talking Heads, Eighties electro, Led Zeppelin and even disco.
“In six months, after we’d started writing songs, I was like, ‘I love this, this is so much fun.’ Music wasn’t a chore anymore,” says Weinstock. “This was a fresh, new thing, all about doing whatever we wanted. Everyone talks about music being therapeutic, but every band just sings about their problems. That was the main idea when the band started: Think of every band that takes themselves so seriously, and let’s just make music that people can have fun to.”
Dubbing themselves Men, Women and Children, the band entered the studio to record their first full-length, laying down the majority of the tracks with Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley) and Josh Abraham (Velvet Revolver).
The band’s most vivid memories come from sessions with Mogis. “We were locked in a studio in Nebraska in the middle of winter, and it was negative-twenty degrees outside,” says Weinstock. “There was a strip club next door called the Foxy Lady that had the vilest, most heinous girls. We played pool there all the time, and everybody knew us.”
Men, Women and Children’s as-yet-untitled debut hits stores this fall.