Fountains of Wayne has come a long way since its 2003 pop hit “Stacy’s Mom.” For many of us, the band may seem like a one-hit wonder that rocked our middle school dances, but after catching up with band member Chris Collingwood this past week, it is apparent these guys have not gone on hiatus, but instead have been on tour with bands like Matchbox 20 and The Smashing Pumpkins.
Excited for the band’s show in Madison and in humble gratitude for his success thus far, Collingwood expressed his enthusiasm to get to know the crowd in Madison and go back to a venue the band has previously visited with a changed approach and new material. “ You can’t really aspire to get the same type of intimacy from a small venue of your own followers when you play for 60,000 fans at a shared headliner. Madison is a great town for music, so I’m thankful to be here.”
Fountains of Wayne’s show will be held at the High Noon Saloon Sunday night. The band is about to round out the first month of its summer tour here in the United States after coming back from a short stint of shows in Japan.
“Wherever we are, we just go to work. We play sporadically, but it’s pretty easy to get your head down and do it. The hardest part is being on a van, or an airplane or sitting around. When it actually comes time to playing, all the stuff we have to do isn’t a big deal,” Collingwood said, modestly adding his secret to staying on top of the tour machine.
“(Band mates) Jody [Porter] and Brian [Young] are the rock and roll element of the band, while Adam and I are the more serious of the bunch. With those guys, every day is a reckless adventure, and we are never sure what’s going to happen. They keep it all unpredictable, and that’s the great thing.”
For a band that has been together on-and-off for almost two decades, its members have always been able to find their way back together. When asked how he has changed since the group’s last record, 2007’s Traffic and Weather, Collingwood explained the band’s evolution as well as his own.
Collingworth said proudly, “The band had a different trajectory when we were younger. We didn’t take things too seriously, but proceeding onward from 1996, we began to develop deeper instrumentation. Dealing with tour exhaustion and alcoholism, I wasn’t able to contribute to [Traffic and Weather] like I would have wanted to. So, I got my shit together after. If anything is different from now and then, it is that I’m much more involved and I’m back to contributing half the material.”
With that deeper instrumentation and inner metamorphosis, the band’s third album (following releases in 2003 and 2007), Sky Full of Holes, will drop August 2 through North Carolina-based indie label Yep Roc Records. Recorded in New York City, Sky Full of Holes promises phenomenal lyrics and powerful vocals.
Unable to come up with a favorite track, Collingwood nonetheless expressed admiration for the song that holds the lyric to the new album’s name. “I think the one [track] that stood out while we were making the album is ‘Cemetery Guns.’ It’s a big departure from what we have done in the past, and anything different is good. I was once asked by a foreign journalist if our band ever felt the need to address more serious issues, and this never occurred to me because we’ve always been so light-hearted in terms of music. But after taking a step back, I thought why shouldn’t we write something that I think so deeply about.”
And thus, the track was written and cut. At first not based on any real experience, Collingwood said “Cemetery Guns” soon gained personal relevance. “About a year after the record was recorded, I went to my first military funeral. It was for my uncle, and right before my eyes, the song became part of my real life.”
Fountains of Wayne will appear at 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, at The High Noon Saloon with opener Nicole Atkins. Tickets are available for $20 at www.high-noon.com.