Ex-Beta Band Members Become ‘Aliens’
Ex-Beta Band members John Maclean and Robin Jones will release their first album as the Aliens, “Astronomy for Dogs,” June 19 via Astralwerks.
Maclean and Jones teamed up with their longtime friend, songwriter Gordon Anderson, for the project. Anderson had a brief stint with the Beta Band during the group’s early years, but has since recorded under the moniker Lone Pigeon.
“When the Beta Band finished in 2004, John and I got to talking, and we knew we wanted to work with Gordon,” Jones tells Billboard.com. “I’ve always been aware that he has this amazing cache of songs. He missed out on the Beta Band, so it’s like a second chance, for him.”
Of the sessions, Jones says “there were thousands of hours” put into this album. “We basically started during World Cup last year, and finally mastered it in October. There was a lot of dead time,” he says. The set is a noticeable departure in style from the Beta Band, as Jones characterizes the songs as “quite pure. All of the arrangements were much more upbeat; there’s not a lot of darkness.”
The Aliens will tour the U.K. in June, with tentative plans for a U.S. tour this September. “It’s just fun, especially playing live,” says Jones. “And I think they’ll respond well in the States to this.”