Stuart Mathis, Jack Irons, Jakob Dylan, Greg Richling, Rami Jaffee


Regrouped, refreshed and ready to prove that time off does a band good  

Taking a break isn’t the same thing as breaking up, and the Wallflowers’ frontman Jakob Dylan reveals the band needed the former but never considered the latter. In the years since the group’s last album, 2005’s Rebel, Sweetheart, Dylan released a pair of solo albums in 2008 and 2010, and his bandmates pursued other projects. In 2011 the Wallflowers regrouped, and early this year they spent a month in Nashville recording their new release, Glad All Over, their most collaborative album yet. “It’s been a long time since we’ve felt this purposeful and this confident,” says Dylan.


Was the hiatus longer than expected?

We never had any set time on it. We all thought we’d get back together when it felt right. Everybody wanted a break. We all needed to spread out—but we were always in touch and supported each other. If you want to do this for a long time, those breaks are necessary.


What were the benefits of time off?

Chances to work with other people you wouldn’t get to within the confines of a group. There’s another benefit: being able to gain perspective and appreciate having a band. As you continue, it gets harder and harder to keep a group together—and putting a new band together seems really daunting at this point. With a little distance, you really appreciate having something in common with the guys you work with.


Did those outside collaborations affect the band dynamic?

It’s almost the opposite. I learned the chemistry the band has is unique, and it was important to leave that intact. You can play with fantastic musicians all day long, but at the end of the day you’re always going to be lacking a full vision that a group has to offer. It takes those guys and the chemistry they have to make something unique.


How was the process different this time?

Up until this record I’ve written the majority of the band’s songs. This album was different in that we had a commitment to work out new songs together. That gave everybody the chance to get in there and make music, and then I’d attach lyrics where I could find spots for them.


Were you comfortable working that way?

It was great. It’s just another way to do it. Especially coming right off the last two records, which were not really collaborative at all. Those were really isolated—just me writing those songs. I was ready to let everybody else get in there and help out.


You explore different sounds like “Reboot the Mission.” 

That was inspired by some of the deeper cuts the Clash had done on records like Sandinista!. It’s been a love of ours since we were kids. That song had these great grooves that didn’t have a lot to do with the structure of the song. It was just that bassline, and the song kind of dictated itself after that.


Did the band have a particular direction in mind with this record?

We had our eye on playing live, which is something I’ve never invested too much in. While I think the last two records stand well as records, they didn’t exactly offer a lot of variety in what I was able to do in the shows. We wanted to make a record that we would also want to go out and play live.

–Eric R. Danton

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