Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gears up for DVD, album

Wed Sep 9, 2009 1:25am EDT
 
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By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is revving back into gear with a live DVD this fall and a new album the alternative rock trio expects to release in the spring of 2010.

"Live" is due out November 10 on BRMC's own Abstract Dragon label, part of the band's new partnership with Vagrant Records. Directed by Tessa Angus, the set was filmed and recorded at concerts in Berlin, Dublin and Glasgow during 2007, while the group was touring to support its last album, "Baby 81." It also marks the end of drummer Nick Jago's tenure in the band (he was replaced shortly thereafter by Leah Shapiro, who's still with BRMC).

"People have been urging us to do something like this for a while," BRMC's Robert Levon Been told Billboard.com. "It came out a lot better than anyone thought it would. As soon as we saw (the footage) we started getting more invested in it. It went from the fast track to the slow track; we took our time editing it and getting the sound right. It became a labor of love rather than something to just put out."

BRMC guitarist Peter Hayes handled the audio mix for the package, which includes a second DVD of bonus footage -- including studio recording sessions, videos and off-stage acoustic performances for fans who couldn't get into shows -- along with a 14-track CD and a 48-page booklet. Been said the song list includes "a little bit off of each record," as well as a raucous, sing-along version of "Dirty Old Town" performed in Dublin.

BRMC is holed up at the Station House in Hollywood mixing its fifth studio album, with a projected March release date. The group recorded most of it in the Philadelphia studio where it recorded part of its 2005 "Howl" album.

"We just started writing endlessly, and it kind of took off like a bullet," Been said of the new material. "We were writing on the road, at sound checks and whatnot. It came out really kind of spooky easy. We tracked, like, 23 or 24 (songs); right now we're pulling our hair out trying to get down to 13 or 14. It's a high-class problem to have, though. I ain't complaining."

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

 
<p>Leah Shapiro of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club performs at the Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore, Maryland, August 10, 2008. REUTERS/Bill Auth</p>