Soul Asylum, Wilco, Jayhawks, Big Star Members Ready New Golden Smog Album

The project known as Golden Smog has just finished recording 25 songs for use on the band's next album, which should pop up later this year or early next year.

Big Star drummer Jody Stephens told MTV News Online that he joined the band (Soul Asylum's Dan Murphy, the Jayhawks' Gary Louris and Marc Perlman, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Run Westy Run's Kraig Johnson) in the studio for a six-day recording blitz that put the finishing touches on 25 tracks that the band started during a similar 10-day session more than a year ago. He said that with the exception of a few overdubs, the material is ready for the next as-yet untitled Golden Smog album, which does not yet have a release date.

"Some of the songs are Small Faces-meets-Gram Parsons. Some are Lennon-esque. There are trippy things like the third Big Star record," Stephens said of the material recorded so far. "The things that shine for me are the songs. These are great songs."

The sessions mark Stephens'

first studio time with the band, but he has drummed with Golden Smog in concert.

Stephens said that since everyone in the band has another prime gig, there's a refreshing lack of pressure on the group that comes across when they play together. "Because this is a part-time project, the key element is having a good time."

But will the band be taking that good time on the road to test the new material? "We may get together, as long as it doesn't conflict with anyone's schedule," Stephens said.