We’ve been fans of New Jersey’s finest since even before their first album came out back in 1994, so let’s just say we’re used to sitting around waiting for them to take their sweet-ass time putting out new music. (Three albums in more than 14 years makes the Wrens about as prolific as Boston, which is kind of like being as tall as Tony Cox.) As reported in a Wrens Watch Special Report, January 9 marked a huge milestone for the guys: guitarists Charles Bissell and Greg Whelan, bassist Kevin Whelan and drummer Jerry MacDonald. They issued “Pulled Fences,” their first new (well, sort of new) song since 2003’s The Meadowlands. Perhaps motivated by finally releasing something, the band convened—not in a real studio, but in Kevin’s basement—three weeks ago to begin work on its new album. And not only that, the Wrens recorded an actual song (which you can download for free here). We checked in with Bissell to see what the band has accomplished since.
:: Wrens Watch, Feb. 9, 2009
MAGNET: Last week when we talked, you pretty much said you guys hadn’t done anything other than the one new song, aside from breaking the computer you use to record.
Bissell: If you want to look at it that way, then yes, I guess so.
I know you recently had a birthday, so I’ll cut you a little slack about the lack of recording. So any other news?
Hmmm. I heard this Coltrane song for the first time the other day. It was really good.
All his stuff is really good. That’s why he’s John Coltrane. Plus, the man made more than 100 albums, and he only lived to be 40, which is younger than you are now.
So what are you trying to say?
Nothing, other than some people are slow starters, I guess. Geez, come to think of it, you’ve already outlived John Lennon by a number of years.
Don’t really have one. I mean, Paul McCartney was already at Press To Play when he was about your age. And my friends and I thought he was a has-been then.
If you even so much as mention George Harrison’s Cloud Nine or Ringo Starr’s Old Wave, I’m hanging up.
How about Billy Preston’s You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down? I think he might have been older than you when he made that. No, I think he was actually younger
Later, asshole. [Hangs up]