New Day dawning for Watchmen

PAUL CANTIN

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

By PAUL CANTIN --

When The Watchmen recorded their third album, Brand New Day, guitarist Joey Serlin says they took the rule book and hurled it out the studio doors.

More so than on any of their previous trips into the studio, Brand New Day captures the group winging it -- letting the heat of the moment dictate where the record would go.

"The first time in the studio, we were scared s--tless," jokes Serlin from Toronto, as the band winds up a tour that brings them to Barrymore's tonight and tomorrow night.

"The second time (in the studio), we had a game plan and went by that guideline. This time, we went in probably less prepared than we ever have been before," says Serlin.

"We had tons of material. But what songs are we going to do? It was a real open experience. Some final arrangements took place in the studio. People were suggesting spur-of-the-moment instrumentation. But it seemed real natural."

As a result, Brand New Day is the first time a Watchmen record was not designed specifically to be played live -- something Serlin has noticed as they've toured the country.

"Some of the songs we're finding can't work live. At least the way we're doing them. Maybe they could work. But there's a good chunk of the record that works really well live. People are starting to sing the words. Everything is kicking in. It sits nicely and natural."

Always one of the country's hardest-touring bands, writing sessions for Brand New Day were squeezed into a brief rest period, and the intensity can also be heard in the songs.

"The bulk of the songs were written when we got the word what date we were going into the studio and we had THIS MUCH time," he says.

"We got to our rehearsal space in Winnipeg and locked ourselves up, and luckily it all happened. It exploded for us. It could have gone the other way. But I guess it was because we had not had the opportunity to outpour these musical ideas. And when the time came, they just poured out.

"It makes it much more of a diverse record, as far as we're concerned. And I think if we had devised a game plan ahead of time, we would not have had that result.

"I respect the balls we had to do the things we did. Where we'll go from there, we'll see."


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