Indy: We hear that for Ganging Up on the Sun, you did a first recording session (with producer Joe Pisapia) and thought the album was done, only to write more songs and do a second recording session. What changed the plans?
RM: We recorded 15 songs, we turned it in (to Reprise Records) and we all kind of took a deep breath and looked around at each other and thought, you know, do we feel like we have anything else in us? Basically, it boiled down to the fact that we were feeling really good about our writing. We also just didn't feel like we were done writing.
Indy: Ganging Up on the Sun takes you toward more of a plugged-in sound, after first making your name as an acoustic-based act. How has this been accepted by fans?
RM: With every record, I feel like we lose some people who want us to sound more like our band circa '93, and then we gain twice as many more. So we're excited about this sort of more mature and sophisticated direction. We never feel like we have people in our back pockets. We always feel like we have something to prove.
Indy: How has the expanded instrumentation affected the writing process?
RM: It was like this whole world opened up for us, from the writing perspective. Finally, we didn't have to rely on strumming on the acoustic guitars for energy. We could get energy from a big distorted guitar or from a piano line or a horn section, or from a great grooving drum beat.
At Denver's Ogden Theater, Dec. 14.