Live's new album Songs From Black Mountain hits stores April 11th with a supporting tour stated to begin on February 19th in Hartford, CT.
After making music together for more than half of their lives, touring their way around the world and selling more than 20 million records, the four members of Live – singer, Ed Kowalczyk; guitarist, Chad Taylor; bassist, Patrick Dahlheimer and drummer, Chad Gracey – say Songs from Black Mountain marks a new beginning for the band. Listen below to hear for yourself.
The band came together with producer Jim Wirt (Incubus, Hoobastank) at a studio in Santa Barbara in May 2005 for what became a whirlwind session. In just three weeks, Kowalczyk says, the multi-platinum band recorded all 12 of the album's songs in a frenetic burst of creativity that surprised everyone. "We haven't recorded that quickly since Throwing Copper," he says. "We were like the Chicago Bulls when they won six championships. When we got in the studio, we all slipped into the zone. We were working hard, but we were completely at ease, open to each other and in the flow. Everyone was awestruck by not only how fast we were recording, but also by how good it sounded."
The album's title, Songs from Black Mountain, is connected, Kowalczyk says, to the song "Mystery." Mine eyes have seen the glory of a love that does transcend/Mine eyes have seen the worst inside of man
"Black Mountain is a place near my house in California where the oak trees are so thick that it's dark there all the time. It has this mystical aura that reminds me of what it feels like to write a song. You're traveling down a path without knowing where you're going, but guided by something unknowable the pushes you along. There's no linear meaning to this song. It's about using melody to bring people to a place that is beautiful and open to individual interpretation."
Kowalczyk says some of his favorite songs possess a mysterious quality that take the listener to a point allowing them to personalize the song by filling in the blanks. "U2's 'Where the Streets Have No Name' is the perfect example," he says. "You know the band had a spiritual background, but they approach it so artfully on this song. They didn't beat you over the head with a point of view because it would have limited the song."
It's nothing like the country vibe we were anticipating.