Two decades after "Deluxe," the breakthrough album by New Orleans alt-rock trio Better Than Ezra, founding members Kevin Griffin and Tom Drummond and drummer Michael Jerome (who joined in 2009) are ready to release "All Together Now," a new collection of songs. But before then, they'll tour around and test-drive the new material to see how it holds up alongside classic BTE songs such as "Good" and "In The Blood." Better Than Ezra performs at Ridgefield Playhouse on Thursday, July 24.
Drummond answered a few of CTNow's questions about "All Together Now" via email.
CTNow: The new album, "All Together Now," comes out in September. How'd you settle on that name for the album, and how do you think it represents where the band is right now?
Tom Drummond: The name stems from having everything in place for the delivery of this Better Than Ezra album. Like setting up a string of dominoes to fall in the correct order and time. The right group of songs, the right producer, the right performances, so it's like here we go…All Together Now.
CTNow: The single, "Crazy Lucky," has the soon-to-be-immortal lines "there are six-and-three-quarter billion people in this world / and 51% of them are girls / you roll your eyes like I'm full of it / but I Googled that shit." Maybe it's early, but has there been any response from anyone at Google? (And did you actually Google that shit?)
TD: It's funny how certain lines from songs resonate with people. This has certainly been one of them so far. I think I read somewhere that Google actually has disdain for people using Google as a verb? I dunno, I know I certainly do as I'm sure most people do. Just go with it right? Ha.
CTNow: It's been roughly 20 years since the release of "Deluxe," your breakthrough album. Do you ever go back and listen to those tracks, and if so, what do you hear?
TD: Every once in a while it pops up on the ole shuffle in iTunes. It's kinda crazy to hear it because it was recorded on basically what is considered pro-sumer gear. In some ways it's hard to listen to because I know how things can and should sound, but on the other there is a certain romanticism about it because it did so well for us. We still play a lot of the songs from the album in our live show.
CTNow: On the road, what's been the response from fans to the newer songs in your set? Do they seem to fit in well with BTE standards?
TD: The new songs have been very well received so far. In fact, I'd say they've met with the best reactions of any new group of songs we've unveiled in quite some time. People are already singing the choruses by the end of the song the first time they hear it, that's pretty cool!
CTNow: Assuming there's time, what do you like to do when you roll into a new town? Do you get to hit any record stores or restaurants or see any local sights?
TD: Record store? What's that? Ha! We've had the benefit of roaming all the major cities for quite a while now, so we can get around just about anywhere we go. We definitely try the to find the coolest restaurants while on tour. You don't really sleep much, and we are always on the go, so we will seek out the best food we can find with our time schedule.
CTNow: Beatles or Stones? You have to choose.
TD: That's a tough one… Ugh. I guess I know how to play more Beatles songs.
BETTER THAN EZRA plays on Thursday, July 24, at Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $60. Information: ridgefieldplayhouse.org.