Three years have passed since alternative rock band The Graduate released “Anhedonia.” Now, the band is on a record label (Razor & Tie) and is touring across the country.
Alternative rock band The Graduate has graduated to the next level of its career.
Three years have passed since the band released “Anhedonia.” Now, The Graduate is on a record label (Razor & Tie) and is touring across the country.
“Don’t Die Digging” (available for listening on Set List Springfield) is the lead track on The Graduate’s new album, “Only Every Time,” recorded in Baltimore with producer Brian McTernan. The 11-song album was released Tuesday.
Just don’t expect a rote reproduction of the new album during the tour.
“We aren’t the type of band that just stands around playing our songs, as if just playing it straight from the CD,” guitarist Max Sauer said. “We like to open up our songs live, and bring in new elements — extra percussion, musical breakdowns. We tend to have a lot of energy and passion when we play.”
Sauer checked in from the current tour to discuss The Graduate’s new music, life on the road and the ’80s band that he might try to meet at the next office holiday party.
Q: Tell us about the new album, “Only Every Time.” What might be familiar to fans? Are there any sounds or styles that might be new to people?
A: Our new album maintains similar tones to our older material, while at the same time branching out to many new elements. Since we had so much time to write this record, we were able to try out a lot of new ideas and open up our songs.
Q: Each of the songs on “Only Every Time” is credited to everyone in the band, plus producer Brian McTernan. How does The Graduate’s collaborative songwriting process work?
A: When we write songs, usually one of us comes up with an idea, then we bring it to the rest of us. All five of us then work on the idea and try out different things. We usually make a rough draft of a song (at least) and then bring the idea to Brian. Brian tends to be the outside voice of our band, who helps us see things in a different light. Often, when we’re writing, we overthink things and spend a lot of time dwelling on parts of songs. Brian helps guide us into the direction that song needs to go.
Q: How did The Graduate and Brian find each other?
A: We first came in contact with Brian when we were preparing to write our first record, “Anhedonia.” We talked to a lot of producers and felt that we had made the best connection with Brian. Once we worked with him, we instantly knew that he was the perfect fit for us. He completely understands our band and what we’re trying to do with our music. In a way, he’s almost a sixth member of our band.
Q: Being on the Razor and Tie label means you’re in the same family of recording artists as Simply Red (“Holding Back the Years”), Brian McKnight (“Back at One”) and Twisted Sister (“We’re Not Gonna Take It”). If you had to pick just one of those established artists to meet, who would it be?
A: I personally would love to meet Twisted Sister. I mean, it’s Twisted Sister. Who wouldn’t want to meet them?
Q: OK, now we want the real inside information: Of all the bands you’ve toured with, which one was the most fun?
A: Every tour we’ve been on has been a lot of fun. I would say one of the funnest tours that we’ve been on is when we toured Europe. It was amazing in itself to have the opportunity to tour internationally, let alone play in front of crowds that actually knew who we were (in places that we had never been).
Another tour that brings a lot of great memories is when we toured with Jack’s Mannequin. I had grown up listening to Andrew McMahon’s music, and it was incredible to get the chance to tour with him.
Brien Murphy can be reached at 217-788-1515.