Jason Isbell Says His New Album Has Less of a ‘Body Count’ Than 2013’s ‘Southeastern’
Jason Isbell and his 400 Unit band have hunkered down in Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios to record a follow-up to the singer-songwriter’s critically acclaimed and award-winning 2013 full-length, Southesatern. While Isbell wrote Southeastern fresh out of rehab, he says with his upcoming album -- which is for the moment titled Something More Than Free -- is more of a celebration with less of a "body count.”
“I’m a happier person than I was three years back,” Isbell told Rolling Stone. “I was in a very selfish place back then, which is where you have to be to make any kind of big, personal change. It was nice that Southeastern took off the way it did because it made a lot of things in my life a lot easier, but this one’s not nearly as depressing. It’s a bit more celebratory. There’s not as heavy a body count.”
“It’s less of a tell-all, rip-your-heart-out-and-put-it-on-the-table record,” guitarist Sadler Vaden confirmed. “There’s a lot of sonic real estate being taken up, but we’ve been playing together so much, so we can listen to each other and do what’s best for the songs.”
“The music Jason has been pulling out of the air is amazing, and at this point, that’s kind of what we expect,” Vaden continued. “We don’t expect anything less than awesome.”
The former Drive-by Truckers frontman also revealed a couple of songs he and the 400 Unit have been working on in the studio, including “Children of Children,” “24 Frames” and “To a Band I Loved,” the latter of which is an ode to the recently disbanded Texas alt-country outfit Centro-Matic.
The newly sober Isbell says recording post-rehab has still proven to be just as fruitful in terms of inspiration, saying, “The floodgates are fortunately open for us right now, so we’re respecting that -- and making the most of it.”