Sometimes a good album is just not enough. Fred Mascherino found that out the hard way in 2007 with "Bend to Break" (Equal Vision), which became his first solo album as The Color Fred when he left Taking Back Sunday. "There were a lot of complications," Mascherino says. "There was some backlash from the old fans. We weren't quite ready." So instead of landing loads of radio hits with "If I Surrender" and "Hate to See You Go," Mascherino did some touring with The Color Fred and then went to work on its follow-up, which should be out this fall. "More people are just finding out about it now," he says, calling before a tour stop in Portland, Ore. "We're going to try to have it happen all at once on the next record." To prepare for the next album, Mascherino will be playing acoustically on his current tour and will release an acoustic EP, "The Intervention," featuring new songs and new versions of some "Bend to Break" songs. "I really think of myself as a songwriter first, not just a singer or a guitarist," he says. "This was just a way to do some of the nice little acoustic things that I had been working on." That's not to say the upcoming Color Fred album will be strictly a quiet one. "I feel like a lot of my music is being compared, as to whether it's as good as TBS or not," Mascherino says. "I think the new stuff sounds more band-oriented, and I feel more confident about not letting those fans down. It's a little bit heavier, a little faster. And I've been working with this drummer Carter Wilson from Birmingham, Alabama, and he's really helping me bring the rock back big time." And if this next album doesn't hit? "I just want it to be a solid record," Mascherino says. "I'm not worried about it. I'll just keep writing more." The Color Fred opens for Chiodos' Craig Owens at HighLine Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St., Manhattan, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $12 through TicketWeb, 866-468-7619, ticket web.com. "The Intervention" EP will be available at independent record stores on April 18.
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