Widespread Panic Explains Taking Experimental "Medicine"

Widespread Panic's new record, "'Til the Medicine Takes," will bow in on next week's "Billboard" Pop Album Charts at a respectable number 68, easily outdistancing new efforts from the likes of Tal Bachman, Macy Gray, and the Verve Pipe.

For its seventh album, the band decided to stray from the "Southern jam band" trappings that have made it a preeminent touring act, instead incorporating the kind of studio craft and graft one might expect to hear on a Radiohead record.

Aside from the synth loops featured on several tracks, the Panic enlisted the aid of Big Ass Truck's Colin Butler to add a touch of turntable scratching on another song, "Dyin' Man." Others making guest appearances on the record include the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, gospel singer Dottie People, and former Swimming Pool Q's vocalist Anne Richmond Boston.

In a recent interview with MTV News, Widespread Panic talked about the experimental tone of "'Til the Medicine Takes," much of which the band credits to

the continued influence of producer John Keane, who has worked on five of the Panic's seven albums.

"We sort of got a fax from [John Keane] around Christmas time," explained bassist Dave Schools, "and it said, 'Hey boys, merry Christmas. Here are some ideas. What can we do to make this experience different for you, as a recording experience, and that's gonna result in a different listening experience?'"

"And we felt really good about being experimental with synth loops,"
Schools said, "little segues between songs, and guest players because of the double live album, 'Light Fuse Get Away,' having jams and being full-bore representational of the live show." [RealVideo]

"We just had to trust ourselves not to be jerks with the added textures,"

added singer-guitarist John Bell, "and to use them in an artistic fashion. Something that's very complimentary to the process and not just lean on stuff for its shock value." [RealVideo]

On August 7 and 8, Widespread Panic will wrap up its current U.S. tour with a two-night stand at the Harmony Festival in Aspen, Colorado.