We’ve been fans of New Jersey’s finest since even before their first album came out back in 1994, so let’s just say we’re used to sitting around waiting for them to take their sweet-ass time putting out new music. (Three albums in more than 14 years makes the Wrens about as prolific as Boston, which is kind of like being as tall as Kenny Baker.) As reported in a Wrens Watch Special Report, January 9 marked a huge milestone for the guys: guitarists Charles Bissell and Greg Whelan, bassist Kevin Whelan and drummer Jerry MacDonald. They issued “Pulled Fences,” their first new (well, sort of new) song since 2003’s The Meadowlands. Perhaps motivated by finally releasing something, the band convened—not in a real studio, but in Kevin’s basement—last week to begin work on its new album. We checked in with Bissell to see how things are going.
:: Wrens Watch, Jan. 26, 2009
MAGNET: We’ve said mean things to each other in this space, but people must realize we’re friends. Wrens Watch exists because we love you guys as a band, but also as friends. We were so happy for you when you got married and had a kid. And—hint, hint—we’re sure you’ll eventually let us meet the family, right?
Bissell: What? Oh, uh, yeah sure. I’ll totally let you know about that. Now’s not really good. The band has been so busy recording and stuff. And, you know, I don’t really involve them with Wrens stuff or meeting music writers or anything.
Well, we couldn’t do it now anyway. The wife broke her foot and can’t really leave the house. She is desperate for new music. She actually said a new Wrens album would make her feel better.
Well, I’m here to heal. Bring your wife closer as I croon songs of love.
Hold on, I’ll tell her that … She said that she would rather have Kevin croon to her, because at least he has more than two new songs written. And that she doubts you guys recorded anything last week, if you got together at all.
Tell her we did convene in the basement last Monday and recorded a song. Not only that, I just finished a quick mix of it. Phew. That was exhausting. Wonder what I’ll do next year. [Laughs]
You see? That’s your problem right there. Not only do you guys take forever to do anything, you joke about it. Totally unprofessional.
I forgot I’m talking to Mr. Professional. Thank god you’re a pro. Both of MAGNET’s subscribers are counting on you. And here’s a little something special for both of them: a downloadable mp3 of the song we recorded Monday.