Wrens Watch, Feb. 2, 2009

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 Danny Woodburn.) 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—two weeks ago to begin work on its new album. And not only that, the Wrens recorded an actual song (which you can download for free here), causing the fine folks at Pitchgum and Stereofork to make it headline news. So we were pretty optimistic that the band was well on its way to finishing up its LP when we checked in with Bissell.

:: Wrens Watch, Feb. 2, 2009
MAGNET: First off, a belated happy birthday. So when are you shooting to be done with the new album?
Bissell: Shooting to be done? [Laughing] We’re still at the shooting-to-get-started point. We barely have anything working in the studio—our computer died, among a million other things—and we’ve only done the one song.
Nice. Not to sound like a broken record—you do remember what a record is, right?—but maybe you shouldn’t be doing all this stuff yourselves. Maybe you can find a professional who actually knows how to use a computer, etc.
We know how to use a computer. We spent most of the week fixing a glitch on our website that was telling people we couldn’t ship our new T-shirts to U.S. addresses.
Don’t you think you could have spent that time on something more important, like, you know, recording music?
Like I said, the computer we record on broke. The computer I use for browsing the web is fine, thank god, so I could read all the stuff written about our new song. We do need to get a new computer for recording, though. I wonder if anyone has a Power Mac G5 they wanna give us.
Ha ha. What’s next? You’re going post a news item on your site asking fans for a new computer?
[Long pause] Hmmm. That’s actually not a bad idea.
I was kidding. You can’t do that.
Why? I mean, it’s our street corner of the Internet. Why can’t we panhandle on it? Uh, I gotta go. I need to update our website.

One reply on “Wrens Watch, Feb. 2, 2009”

Stories Magnet is covering today. Let’s see: Superdrag, the Wrens, Guided by Voices, New Order, don’t forget Nick Cave on the cover of the print issue (also featuring Tom Waits, Pavement, Elliott Smith, etc.) . . . hmm, what do these bands have in common? Give up? I don’t know either, because it’s 2009 and I don’t care about them enough any more to read recently-published articles on them. I’m almost 30 years old, came of age in the 1990s, and even I think this is a little excessive for a once-great magazine. Magnet, please, hire some writers who are under 25, before you go out of business.

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