April 08, 2013 9:00am PT by Sophie Schillaci
Plain White T's Preview New EP, Album: 'Girls Always Fuel Our Inspiration' (Video)
The Plain White T’s are back.
Nearly three years after their last studio effort, 2010’s Wonders of the Younger, and its hit single “Rhythm of Love,” the T's are giving fans a sneak preview of what to expect from their forthcoming full-length album.
“We wanted to get something out as soon as possible,” frontman Tom Higgenson tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re in the middle of making the album right now. Fans are always hitting us up, tweeting at us: ‘What are you guys doing? We need new music.’ So I think that’s kind of how the EP came about.”
The band’s latest four-track, digital only EP, Should’ve Gone to Bed, is due out Tuesday, April 9, via Hollywood Records and serves as a teaser of what’s to come. Says guitarist/vocalist Tim Lopez, “There’s a little taste of everything we do, and a little lead into the direction the album is headed.”
THR was lucky enough to be among the first to hear these new tracks, including the recently released single “Should’ve Gone to Bed,” penned by Higgenson. It's not a love song per se, but it's certainly inspired by a few regrettable late-night calls to a former flame. Meanwhile, “Giving Tree” oozes with the heartbreak of being left behind and “Haven’t Told Her Yet” brims with the promise of a new relationship (both tracks written by Lopez). It's fitting for a band whose biggest hits, “Hey There Delilah,” “1,2,3,4” and “Rhythm of Love” are each bursting at the seams with romance.
“I feel like girls always fuel our inspiration,” confesses Higgenson, while Lopez adds: “ I was thinking about that when we were headed [to this interview] -- what portion of the album is written for girls? It is probably at 90 percent.” The remaining 10 percent? “Helium,” also written by Higgenson, is spurred by the memories of a horrifying accident in 2001 in which the singer was thrown from his van and nearly killed, intensified by the emotions surrounding the birth of his now three-year-old son.
“So when the day comes/That I don’t wake up/I’ll float away full of love like helium/From heaven I won’t worry/’Cause I left behind one hell of a story,” he sings.
But don’t expect a carbon copy of the band’s previous efforts this time around. As Wonders of the Younger introduced a new, closer-to-acoustic sound for the T’s in 2010, their evolution continues with Should’ve Gone to Bed, which they say channels everything from the Beatles, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp to a little bit of Michael Jackson. “We always try to shake it up a little bit for our fans and for us. We never want to write the same album twice or the same song twice,” says Higgenson, who also jokes that he finds a dash of inspiration in Skrillex. “I think we’re trying to do some cool things that might be a little different than past albums.” (Don’t worry, loyal fans, there are no synth beats for miles on the EP.)
All four tracks will be included on the upcoming, as yet untitled full-length, which is being eyed for a late summer release.
Meanwhile, audiences will get to know Lopez a whole lot better when NBC’s Ready for Love premieres on Tuesday, April 9, on which he serves as one of three bachelors searching for his future wife. (For more on that, check in with THR’s Live Feed blog on Tuesday). The group can also be seen on NBC when they perform the EP's title track on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on April 23.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci