When the time came for Animal Collective to start recording its most recent album, "Centipede Hz," the eclectic, experimental foursome from Baltimore chose to do so at Sonic Ranch in West Texas.
Located approximately 40 minutes outside of El Paso along the Rio Grande, Sonic Ranch is a sprawling complex, complete with five studios on 1,700 acres. The ranch is located next to Peacock farm, minus the peacocks.
"It gave it more of this barren atmosphere," said Animal Collective's David Portner, who goes by the stage name Avey Tare. "It was a pretty surreal place for us."
"Centipede Hz" dropped in early September, and Animal Collective is currently touring in support of the new album. The band performs at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Tuesday.
|Where: Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia|
|When: Doors 6:30 p.m. Tuesday|
|Info: With Micachu and the Shapes; $30 to $45; 877-435-9849; merriweathermusic.com|
Originally from Baltimore, the members have since dispersed to live in other locales. But to write "Centipede Hz" -- pronounced "Hertz" -- they regrouped in Charm City.
"I think, I don't know about physically being in Baltimore, but definitely all being in the same place together, being able to write a record, it becomes a way more visceral experience in terms of writing a record," Portner said from Albuquerque, N.M. "I think it's captured on the record."
Josh Dibb, aka Deakin, also performed on "Centipede Hz." Dibb, one of Animal Collective's founding members, did not perform on the band's last effort, "Merriweather Post Pavilion."
"In terms of the sound, he brings a lot more sound," Portner said. "When the four of us play, we have the opportunity to make a record that we can pull off a little bit more live. When the four of us play together, there's so much sound created that some of our sets need to be reigned in sometimes. We like that dynamic. It makes it something completely different than playing when it's just three of us or two of us."
Tuesday marks the second time Animal Collective will play Merriweather, for which the group titled its previous record. It's a bit of a homecoming, and the guys have memories of attending shows at the venue while growing up. Now they are the ones onstage.
"It felt really good to play there," Portner said. "It's a super nice place to play a show. It's probably one of the biggest shows that we've played as one of our own shows. Just the size of it was really overwhelming."