For the members of My Morning Jacket, 2011 was about going back to their roots.
Three years after releasing "Evil Urges," an album whose forays into electro-funk divided much of the band's fan base, the group returned to its hometown of Louisville, Ky., to record "Circuital," a return to the folk-rock sound for which My Morning Jacket is known.
amNY spoke with bassist Tom Blankenship, one of the band's two original members.
Do you see "Circuital" as a return to form? For us, it was a return to a recording environment we were most comfortable in. We intentionally tried something different on "Evil Urges" by going to a "real" studio. This was us returning to a makeshift studio, which was the kind of vibe we had on our previous albums. We also didn't spend much time demo-ing; the goal was to capture fresh takes when everything was new and exciting.
Were you surprised by the reaction to "Evil Urges"? I understand it. But then again, when I look back over our career, it's not like we've ever just done one thing. We've been a different band from song to song and album to album.
How did playing all of your albums in full last year at Terminal 5 influence "Circuital"? We played 99 songs in five days, including a lot we'd never played live. We had to rely on each other so much to learn all those songs, it gave us a new level of trust.
Wasn't the band supposed to be in "The Muppets"? What happened? We actually were involved in a different Muppets project, but it fell through. The Electric Mayhem Band was going to do an album with us as the band behind the band. Then there'd be a subsequent tour with a hologram version of the Muppets and us playing behind them. Hopefully, someone at Disney has been listening to us talk about it in interviews and will want to resurrect it.
If you go: My Morning Jacket is performing Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden, 4 Penn Plz., 212-465-6073, $35-$55.50.