Sebadoh Might've Taken 14 Years to Release New Material, But They're Glad They Waited

Categories: Bands We Like

Courtesy Riot Act Media
The Sebadoh reunion tour has soldiered on at a snail's pace for nearly a decade, so, fittingly, the band churned out fresh material nearly 14 years after their last release. "The next step is to play new songs to keep it interesting for us," lead singer Lou Barlow says humbly. "And it's a nice gesture for people who care about the band."

Getting back into his Sebadoh headspace is no challenge for Barlow. It takes 30 minutes, tops, he says, despite the long spurts of time he goes without playing with his band mates. Sebadoh have toured sans new material since 2004, staying "semi-active," as Barlow calls it, by playing a few shows yearly for devoted fans.

Joining Barlow (moonlighting bassist for Dinosaur Jr.) are Jason Loewenstein and drummer Bob D'Amico, a recent addition. (The latter two do double duty as backing band for Brooklyn sibling duo the Fiery Furnaces.) Sebadoh went on hiatus in 2001 as its members concentrated on various side projects. For instance, Barlow was half of "Natural One" duo the Folk Implosion, which saw chart success thanks to the soundtrack for the 1995 film Kids and remained together until 2004. A founding member of Dinosaur Jr., Barlow was kicked out in 1989 (see 1991's "The Freed Pig" on Sebadoh III), but he rejoined J. Mascis in 2005 when the band reunited.

The last batch of Sebadoh music was 1999's The Sebadoh, much to the dismay of the influential indie rock band's fervent fans. But all that changed last year when Sebadoh quietly released Secret EP on their Bandcamp. Inching toward the release of a full-length from the same sessions, Defend Yourself, out on Joyful Noise Sept. 17, Sebadoh stop by the Constellation Room in Santa Ana on Sunday.

For Defend Yourself, there was no label support, no big-reunion-album pressure from A&R guys, just a casual vibe between three old friends with the know-how to write and record beautiful music together at Barlow's LA home. Fans can expect the classic Sebadoh sound, the ongoing conversation between Barlow and band referencing everything from early hardcore punk to Captain Beefheart and the Cocteau Twins--even a little country.

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