Time and time again, the members of Chicago post-punk trio Shellac have repeatedly stated that the band operates outside of their individual day jobs and other interests and, as such, they don’t feel any particular external pressure to release new albums. Still, it’s been six years since the band's last LP, Excellent Italian Greyhound, and guitarist/vocalist Steve Albini is now saying that its as-yet-untitled follow-up is almost complete.
In the interview below, recorded by A.V. Club contributor Vish Khanna in a room known as “Alcatraz” at the Electrical Audio recording facility in Chicago, Albini says that 10 songs are finished and either eight or nine will make Shellac's new, fifth full-length. It will consist of songs the band has been working on over the past seven years, including live staples like “Dude Incredible,” which Albini says is about “the social organization and dynamics of monkeys”—or, more specifically, “trying to get a group of people to go do something is the hinge of the song.” Albini adds, “Like, if you’ve ever tried to go out to dinner with a bunch of people and you don’t know where you want to go. [There’s a] communication network that’s required to get everything across and gradually mount[ing] momentum to do something. And then along the way, things can happen. Before you know it, somebody’s in the hospital.”
Albini says that Shellac has yet to agree on album artwork (which they usually do special things with) or even a title, but the plan is to release the finished LP at some point on the mostly dormant Touch And Go Records, the group's primary label since forming in 1992.