Photo by Donna Steele
It’s been three years in the making, but the new record from alt-country rock group Long Arms will finally see the light of day.
“Constant Comment,” the follow-up to 2010’s “Long Arms to Hold You,” has been a slow process according to lead singer James Menefee.
“All I wanted to do was get these songs out there,” he says. “People kept asking when we were making a new record.”
However, things kept hindering the process. The band’s lineup changed in the middle of recording when members Prabir Mehta and Treesa Gold left to focus on Goldrush and new members were coming in, which put recording on hold. While that was going on, Menefee reunited his pop punk group Fun Size after 15 years and recorded and released that group’s album “Since We Last Spoke” in 2013, which took time away from Long Arms.
Once a new lineup was finalized, the band could work on getting the record out. With this new album, Menefee says it’s more about the band itself.
“The last record was more ‘these are my songs and people are coming in to help.’ This time around, I wanted everyone in the band to play and have an input on the record,” he says. “Half of the record has strong influences from Prabir and Treesa and half of it is how the band is now, so it’s a true Long Arms record in both respects.”
Menefee says while the songwriting process was different this time around, he welcomed the chance to collaborate with his bandmates.
“I would bring a demo to practice and everyone would tear it apart and that’s the best part of it,” he says. “Everyone throws in their ideas. You have all these musically inclined people, you’re going to get a different outcome than what you expect. I’ve been in enough bands now and through different lineup changes to know it’s never the same. Different people make different things happen.”
“When you take three years to make a record, it changes as you make it. What you listen to changes…the influences of band members changes…what you like changes… That all influences the recording process.”
While Menefee loves every track on “Constant Comment,” he admits that one of his favorites is a song called “The Motorcycle Boy Reigns,” taken from the 1983 Francis Ford Coppola film “Rumblefish.”
“It kinda reminds me of the Wallflowers and I really like the Wallflowers,” he says laughing. “And I just laugh cause it reminds me of that.”
Menefee says he’s tired of holding back on playing new material at shows and is ready to present these new songs to the world.
“We’ve been playing out now so much without anything new, so I’m looking forward to seeing the fans hear the new stuff. I want [the album] to document the past three years we’ve been working on it. I want it to exist like a time capsule.”