Soul Asylum are back in the spotlight with a new album and (we think) a new drummer. The band will be releasing "Candy From A Stranger" on May 12, and although he doesn't appear on the album, Charlie Quintana, one of the busiest drummers in the business, with credits that include Cracker, Izzy Stradlin's Ju Ju Hounds, Bob Dylan, the Cruzados and most recently Joan Osborne, is apparently manning the kit.
Sources close to Quintana say he joined the group after a tryout earlier this month in the band's hometown of Minneapolis that included a last minute live appearance at a local club. Quintana told friends that he was as surprised as anyone when singer/guitarist Dave Pirner announced to the audience during their set that he was their new drummer. Quintana added that the chemistry with the band is working well, and that he expects to continue as a fulltime member.
Still, a spokesperson for Columbia Records says that Quintana has joined the band only temporarily at this stage and will play with them on one-off shows during March. He's not confirmed as the permanent replacement for the amicably departed Sterling Campbell.
The new album was recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami late last year with producer Chris Kimsey (Rolling Stones, Gipsy Kings, Killing Joke) at the console. The record contains ten songs penned by Pirner (one co-penned with Campbell) and one written by lead guitarist Dan Murphy.
The band's previous release was 1995's "Let Your Dim Light Shine." Their last notable show together was entertaining flood victims at a high school prom in Grand Forks, North Dakota, last summer.
The members have been involved in a slew of side projects, however. Pirner wrote the score for the movie Chasing Amy, and played drums and trumpet (using the name "Reno") in the O'Jeez with Jessy Greene (ex-Geraldine Fibbers) and Kraig Johnson (Run Westy Run).
Murphy recorded an album with Golden Smog (see "Soul Asylum, Wilco, Jayhawks, Big Star Members Ready New Golden Smog Album") and toured with the Jayhawks. Bassist Karl Mueller did a stint with Babes In Toyland's Lori Barbero as house DJ at the 400 Club in Minneapolis.