As previously reported, Sonic Youth are working on a new studio album, and now they’ve spoken about it to Billboard.com. They have also confirmed the rumour that guitarist Jim O’Rourke, who joined the band in 1999, is to take no part in the creation of the new long player.
Guitarist Lee Ranaldo explained O’Rourke’s absence, saying: “Jim is going through a lot of different stuff personally and about where he sees his
future. He’s really interested in pursuing stuff outside the musical arena, particularly film work. Not necessarily soundtrack work, but making films
and getting involved in that community. There was never any kind of binding agreement with us. We want what is best for him. That’s not to say either individually some of us won’t continue to work with him, or that in a group setting he won’t ever be involved again. But for the next phase though, we’re developing all this new material without him. He won’t be involved in the production.”
Ranaldo says that the group have nine songs ready for the album, which will probably be recorded at the start of next year. When asked what the new songs will sound like, he said: “It’s always hard to say at this point. It hasn’t taken on its own life yet. Some of it seems to be an extension of the last couple of records, but some hearkens forward into territory and also back to earlier, more dissonant and atonal stuff we’ve done. There’s
definitely some rocking songs and also some sound piece-y kind of things that are pretty interesting as well.”
Ranaldo also spoke about some international shows due this year, and a retrospective planned for the groups 25th Anniversary next year, launching in Vienna. “It will be centered around us and the visual artists we’ve worked with,” he said. “After Vienna, it will tour the world in four or six venues for the next two years. It will be an extensive show, probably with a performance series.” He also thinks there may be an expanded re-release of 1988’s ‘Daydream Nation’, following the successful expanded re-release of 1990’s “Goo”.
Finally, the band have recently been reunited with two of their guitars, stolen back in Jul of 1999 in California. The instruments were handed back
by two men who, Ranaldo says, were not involved with the original crime, but were connected with people who were. He says: “They look like they’ve been through World War III. They’ve been repainted several times and the pickups were practically hanging by the wires. They were in really messed up shape, but we’re happy to have them back, and they’ll come back to life in the care of our crew guys.”