Sir Sly singer Landon Jacobs is driving to a California recording studio, just before his band’s tour with K.Flay comes to The Van Buren on Sunday, January 14.
He’s hoping to get a jumpstart on new music. The alt-rock band’s previous effort, 2017’s Don’t Worry, Honey, took three years to record—but with good reason. Jacobs overcame a string of snarls in his life, from losing his mom to brain cancer, going through a divorce and suffering through a “spiritual crisis.” He spun it into the positive collection.
“Making the last record, I dove in and spoke about a lot of personal stuff,” Jacobs says. “We were talking about this in the studio yesterday. With this album, the narrative isn’t right in front of me. It’s not an obvious thing. There is abstract lyricism and lucid vignettes, not necessarily exact stories about circumstances. We’re hoping the next record doesn’t take as long.”
The situation with Don’t Worry, Honey was tough, but its first single, “High,” accumulated 13 million streams and hit No. 2 on SiriusXM’s Alt18 and remained on the charts for 19 weeks. He didn’t expect the success the album garnered. He was just doing what he felt he needed to do.
“If I didn’t write about what was going on in my life, I wasn’t going to be happy with writing at all,” Jacobs says. “It felt right to immortalize that time of my life in songs. I’m looking forward to not necessarily having to write from a place of grief on this next album.”
So far, says instrumentalist Hayden Coplen, the sessions have gone well.
“The other day in the studio we were talking about The Van Buren,” Coplen says. “It’s the buzz right now. We were also just watching Liam and Noel Gallagher videos, and all their different interviews. It’s pretty obvious that there couldn’t be two more different brothers in the whole world. It makes sense why they hate each other.”
Jacobs jokingly compares Sir Sly’s shows to Oasis gigs.
“At our shows, you’ll see a Liam/Noel-style fight between Hayden and I, then we’ll break up. Hayden will scream during the quiet parts of the songs.”
Seriously, Sir Sly’s shows have never been stronger, according to Coplen.
“By the time we’re in Phoenix, we will have been touring or eight months on this album cycle,” he says. “The songs have really congealed in a nice way. We’ve been playing them for a long time. They’re in tour shape.”
He’s looking forward to Sir Sly’s future.
“We’re always writing,” Coplen says. “It’s like a baby deer learning to walk. Certain days you feel like you’re growing into a new sound or these new influences. On days like yesterday, everything aligns and you filter your new influences. It’s almost like a prelude to the album. It’s an amazing feeling.”
K.Flay w/Sir Sly, The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, thevanburenphx.com, 8 p.m. Sunday, January 14, $22-$89.