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Built To Spill Plotting New Album, Fall Tour

Built To Spill has finished recording basic tracks for its next Warner Bros. studio album, due in spring 2009 via Warner Bros. The group is also embarking on fall tours of North America and Europe, during which it will perform its 1997 album “Perfect From Now On” in its entirety.

As for the new album, the songs will be a mix between newly penned material and retooled tracks considered but ultimately dropped from Built To Spill’s prior album, 2006’s “You in Reverse.” Guitarist Doug Martsch said the sessions have been more collaborative than ever, owing to the fact that the band is recording to Pro Tools rather than analog tape.

“You have endless tracks, so [all three Built To Spill guitarists] can be in a room together and do five takes,” he says, adding, “Then, hopefully somebody can go through it and find out what’s good.”

Martsch expects songs like “Nowhere Lullabye,” “Done” and “Good Old Boredom,” which Built To Spill has already tested out live, to make the cut, while the newer “Planting Seeds” is “a real conventional kind of pop/rock song. It reminds me of a Tom Petty song or something, but it probably doesn’t sound anything like that.”

Another tune that doesn’t yet have lyrics is “kind of like a Treepeople song; a fast, post-punk thing. We’ve recorded 15 songs but not everything will make it onto the record.” Built To Spill has completed a couple of overdubbing sessions for the project, but Martsch says the band is planning on returning to the studio until the end of June.

Meanwhile, work has begun on preparing for the tour, which will find Built To Spill joined by “Perfect From Now On” cellist John McMahon to more accurately recreate that material. Although dates are still coming together, Martsch says the band will play a handful of West Coast shows in September, followed by an East Coast run of 10 to 12 gigs and a previously announced appearance at the My Bloody Valentine-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Monticello, N.Y. A month-and-a-half-long run in Europe will follow.

Martsch promises the band will play an encore of songs from throughout its back catalog after the in-sequence “Perfect” performances, but he’s still trying to figure out which ones will work best. “I started to listen to ‘Perfect’ and made it halfway through, and I realized it’s real slow,” he says. “We’ll need some rockers to even out the tempos.”