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© Â Chris Schwegler/Retna Ltd./Corbis
But even though you have a good relationship with Kevin, he still pushes you.
“He does. I mean, he has to. His job is to keep me slightly out of my comfort zone at all points so that the music is vital. All artists basically want to default to lazy.”
I’m curious – if the album is pretty much done, why wait till September to release it?
“I think between the European side and the US side, we needed time to set it up properly. You don’t want it to be like a fire drill. That’s the way it’s been for the last four or five albums. They’re asking for artwork when we’re in the studio recording it, and we’re like, ‘Hey, we don’t even have a title!’ After 18 albums in 12 years, I don’t believe in my heart of hearts that we’re desperate for a CD to come out. This was a conscious effort – let’s take our time, set it up properly, make sure the album’s right, listen to it when it’s all mixed; if we need to go in and fix something, we can. Like I said, I still don’t even have a title.”
You could always do a Roman numeral like Chicago used to do.
“We’re running out of Roman numerals! We gotta put an ‘M’ in front of it.”
Any new guitars in your collection? You always seem to be adding a cool new piece.
“I’ve got a lot comin’ in, a lotta boxes. On the new side, I’ve got the Bona-bird II, which is a Pelham Blue Bona-bird. Essentially, it’s a Les Paul with two pickups – the first one had one pickup – and a reverse Firebird neck. And it’s got my name on the fretboard too, so it’s like the coolest-thing I’ve ever seen. The thing’s killer.”
Are you ever going to Bona-bird out commercially?
“You know, they’ve been chompin’ at the bit to, but I don’t know… I like the idea of having something that nobody else has, ‘cause then I’d have to think of something else. Then you wind up with a three-pickup Les Paul Junior.”