Bryan Wakeland just called. First thing he asked: "You remember me?" Well, uh, yeah, sure -- drummer for Tripping Daisy and Polyphonic Spree, right? Right. Been a long time since we last spoke, I guess.
Anyway, Wakeland was calling with some news of his very own: He's got a solo album just out -- his first -- and it's available for purchase at this very moment. CD Baby's carrying the download-only release, called Honey Fire; you can try each cut before you buy. iTunes has the 10-track album as well. For now, the thing's unavailable in a ...whatchacallem ... record store, though Wakeland hopes to have a hard copy in shoppes soonish.
Honey Fire is Wakeland's first solo recording, following a 1998 demo that was fairly low-key; "this is more rocked-up," says Wakeland, and the samples bear him out. He recorded it at his house over an eight-month period beginning in February 2006, while the Spree was finishing its just-released The Fragile Army. Wakeland sings on every cut and plays nearly every instrument, save bass. Paul Williams (Sorta, Polyphonic Spree, Radiant, Reverend Horton Heat) produced.
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"It's been a long time coming," Wakeland says. "This collection of songs I've been writing for five years. When I'd get one finished I like I'd demo it, and next thing you know I had 13. We recorded 12, and I picked 10 out of those. And it was the perfect time to do it, as Polyphonic Spree's getting crazy busy now. I'd have no time to do it." Indeed: The band just got back from playing Lollapalooza in Chicago over the weekend, and in about 10 hours, Wakeland and the Spree are on a plane to Japan. He called while doing laundry. --Robert Wilonsky