It can be the most trying thing a band will ever do – record a sophomore album. Not so for LA-based Something For Rockets, who will release One Track Mind as a digital-only album through Original Signal Records on November 6.
“We didn’t feel like we were under a time crunch because, at the time, we didn’t have a label or anything, so we were kind of doing it on our own,” says singer/guitarist Rami Pearlman of the follow-up to his band’s 2005 debut.
With no label behind the band at the time of One Track Mind’s conception, there would be no stories about how the band was holed away in some remote part of the U.S. or U.K. trying to force creativity. The band simply wrote while it was on the road in support of the debut, returning to its adopted hometown only five songs shy of a full-length release. Recording the album, Pearlman says, took only 20 days, which he and bandmates Josh Eichenbaum (keyboards, laptop) and Barry Davis (drums) spent in a brand new North Hollywood studio built by Mark Hoppus (Blink-182, +44).
Hoppus’ influence proved to be essential to One Track Mind. The band initially made contact with the bassist-turned-producer through a former manager and were invited to be “guinea pigs” in Hoppus’ new studio, where the team recorded two songs. Half a year later, Something For Rockets returned to the studio while Hoppus was on tour. The band laid down tracks and emailed them to Hoppus, who returned the files with notes. The producer returned for the last two weeks to work side-by-side with the band in the studio.
Pearlman admits that he was a bit nervous at first about working with a producer, as the band had previously recorded on its own.
“I learned that it’s really great to have an outside opinion, and that’s what he was really good at, having a different set of ears,” says Pearlman.
“You work on stuff and you work on it for hours,” he continues. “You know that it took three hours to come up with the right guitar sound, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing.”
For Pearlman, the experience proved to be ear-opening.
“I realized that having a producer isn’t really a terrible thing after all,” he says.
Now with a second full collection of synth-heavy rock songs under the band’s belt, Something For Rockets will be going back to its indie rock club roots. The band recently eschewed playing CMJ, the annual New York City music convention with a reputation for breaking bands, to perform a few local dates before hitting West Coast roads with fellow LA band Low vs. Diamond. After that, Something For Rockets will head back east for a string of dates meant to “get people pumped up” over the new record.
Something For Rockets will be playing with Benevento/Russo Duo on Friday, October 26, at the Getty.