Bangles Talk Reunion, New Album

SonicNet Music News

Reunited ’80s foursome the Bangles are so excited about their first album in twelve years that they’ve written about 30 songs for it, the bandmembers said on Tuesday.

“It’s just too damn fun not to do it,” singer-guitarist Susanna Hoffs said during a press conference at the House Of Blues. “It sort of feels like this beginning again, when we were together in the garage, when we were doing it because we love music and we wanted to play, just for the sheer joy of it.”

The Bangles — Hoffs, drummer Debbi Peterson, guitarist Vicki Peterson and bassist Michael Steele — will begin recording the album next month with Black Crowes producer George Drakoulias, aiming for a spring release.

They’ll take a break from the studio in September for a short string of live shows, which will feature new and old material. The band hopes to stage a full tour next summer.

The bandmembers said the reunion is happening because
it’s simply the right time, not because of any ’80s nostalgia movement. “Something just happened all those years ago, when we first sang together… and we want to investigate that again,” Vicki Peterson said.

Though their ages range from 38 to 46, the bandmembers don’t look much different than they did in their heyday. They appeared to be at ease with each other, laughing and joking throughout the conference.

The Bangles first reunited last year to record the song “Get The Girl” for the “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” soundtrack. They also appeared onstage together for the first time since 1989 for a Beatles tribute last summer (see “Bangles Reunite For Beatles Gig, Offers Up ’Austin Powers’ Song” ).

From there, the bandmembers began writing more songs together, taking a wait-and-see approach to recording an album.

Working together again “really did exceed our expectations, because we went into
it in such a lighthearted way,” Hoffs said. “What came out of it was two albums’ worth of material. We have songs coming out of our ears.”

Titles of the news songs include “Stealing Rosemary,” “One Of Two,” “Single By Choice,” “The Good Son,” “Lost At Sea” and “I Will Take Care Of You.”

The Bangles, whose eight-year career yielded such hits as “Walk Like An Egyptian,” “Manic Monday,” and “Eternal Flame,” disbanded in 1989 after touring in support of their 1988 album, “Everything.”

The bandmembers said internal conflicts and the need to live their own lives were the reasons for the split. “It was just like being married to four people, and we all felt we needed to take a breath,” Hoffs said.

Since then, the members have all pursued other projects, with Hoffs launching a solo career and Vicki Peterson playing in the Continental Drifters, where she is still part of the lineup.

The Bangles said the chemistry was in place the first time they
all four regrouped in the studio together. But they each had to do some venting to clear the air. “We came back saying, ’You really pissed me off when…'” Peterson said. “We agreed we were going to say the scary things.”

The band also made an extensive list detailing the dos and don’ts of their second time around. Keeping control of their music and their lives were among the key points, she said.

The band has written most of the new material together, but they also opened the door to songs that were written during their time apart, including material that Hoffs worked on with outside collaborators.

Debbi Peterson said the band is able to create “even more of a Bangles sound” as a result of them all writing together, which they didn’t always do earlier.

“We are what we are, and the way we write, it’s just gonna sound like the Bangles,” she said after the press conference. “Just the way our voices blend, that’s what we’re going to sound like. We can’t
sound like anyone else, and we wouldn’t want to.”

The group, which has not yet signed a record deal for the LP, is looking into a variety of options for releasing the disc, including the possibility of offering it online.

Vicki Peterson said there’s a chance the Bangles’ second time around will turn out to be a multi-album run. “We’re going into it with that steam, like ’Wouldn’t it be great?’ But we’re taking it one step at a time. Yeah, it’s possible, but it’s also possible that no one will give a sh**.”

Bangles tour dates:

  • 9/13 – San Diego, CA @ 4th and B
  • 9/15 – Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues
  • 9/16 – Ventura, CA @ Ventura Theater
  • 9/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ House Of Blues
  • 9/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ House Of Blues
  • 9/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ House Of Blues
  • 9/26; Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues