Expectations were high for the Royal Bangs’ last CD, 2009's awesome Let It Beep, but the new deal they’ve just reached with Glassnote Records probably means that the forthcoming follow-up will be released to significantly more attention. The band finalized a contract with Glassnote, home to Grammy-winning French electro-pop duo Phoenix, last week, after several months of negotiations.
“We’ve been talking with them as well as other labels, and feel they’re the best choice for us,” says Bangs drummer Chris Rusk.
Glassnote was founded in 2007 by long-time music industry bigwig Daniel Glass, who has worked at Chrysalis, Universal, EMI, and several smaller labels for more than 30 years. His new label also represents Mumford & Sons, who are performing at the Valarium in November, Secondhand Serenade, and the Temper Trap.
“He knows the ins and outs of the music business, which I think is good for a label,” Rusk says. “We’re artists, that’s our job—it’s good to have a label that’s good about business.”
The Bangs were picked up by Audio Eagle, a small Ohio label run by Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, just after the release of their 2006 disc We Breed Champions.
Rusk and company aren’t wasting time after striking the new deal: The trio has just started recording the follow-up to Let It Beep at Scott Minor’s studio in North Knoxville. Rusk says he is “almost 100-percent sure” that Dave Fridmann, whose credits as a producer include the Flaming Lips, Sparklehorse, Sleater-Kinney, and MGMT, will mix and master the new album. He also says the band’s new pared-down lineup—they’ve been a trio again since the spring, after a couple of years as a five-piece band—has streamlined the songwriting.
“All the songs on the next record were written as a three-piece,” he says. “A couple started off with the five-person lineup, but those songs have changed. This one is definitely three-person-centric. It’ll make for a more cohesive album, and we’ll be able to pay a lot more attention to detail.”