MUSHROOMHEAD drummer Steve "Skinny" Felton has confirmed to Rock Sins that the band is hard at work on the long-awaited follow-up to 2014's "The Righteous & the Butterfly" album for a tentative March 2020 release. "[It's] about 80% [done]," he said. "It's just a matter of finding the right person to mix it and keep us on track for our deadlines."
According to Felton, some of the recording sessions for MUSHROOMHEAD's next disc took place at London, England's famed Abbey Road studios prior to the band's recent concert in the city. "Basically, we got off the plane and got dropped off at Abbey Road, did a vocal session, then went and did our first show," Skinny said. "That's actually our second time at Abbey Road. We did a vocal session there a year and a half ago and some of that got kept for this new record. Actually, Jackie [LaPonza, vocals] is on four of the new songs and two of the four were recorded at Abbey. It's pretty cool just be there, just sitting in the rooms where 'Dark Side Of The Moon' was done, where they do all the orchestras, all the soundtrack recordings. It's crazy when you walk down the halls and see all the posters for 'Star Wars', 'Harry Potter', 'Indiana Jones'… So many you just don't even think of. It's pretty crazy, but awesome."
Asked how MUSHROOMHEAD writes for three vocalists, Felton said: "It's not really written for, 'Hey, this is for this guy, this is for that guy.' We'll see who's feeling what parts. Sometimes I'll take what someone's written as a chorus and move it into a verse and start playing around with things. The strongest parts rise to the top. I like to hear everyone's approach to the entire song almost individually or, 'Hey, what stands out to you in this song?' and then they all wanna sing over the same part. [Laughs] So it's kind of fun to take things and move them around and then people think, 'Oh, shit. I never thought about it that way.' Like I said, it's not written in stone when we start."
MUSHROOMHEAD recently inked a worldwide deal with Napalm Records.
The band's upcoming album will be the band's first since the March 2018 departures of longtime vocalist Jeff "Jeffrey Nothing" Hatrix and guitarist Tommy Church.
Felton told the Waterloo, Iowa radio station Rock 108 about the effect of MUSHROOMHEAD's latest lineup changes: "It's always cool to do new things with new people and not necessarily know what you're going to get. This will be MUSHROOMHEAD's eighth album, so I definitely don't want it to sound like everyone expects. I'm definitely looking forward to doing more experimenting. The unknown is really cool.
"As we write, we're creating stuff that we've never heard or felt before," he explained. "It's really, really awesome. In the long run, everything always ends up really dark. Everything's always creepy. Everything's always got some sort of sound design element to it that's not your traditional guitar lick or keyboard sound — there's something odd about it. The creepiness is never going to go away."
Photo credit: Abe Robinson