Wallflowers return with tour, new album

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Entertainment,Robert Fulton

It was not a planned hiatus, only a break that got out of control.

The Wallflowers return with their first full-length album of original material in seven years when "Glad All Over" drops Oct. 9.

"We just took a break," said Jakob Dylan, the Wallflowers' lead singer, songwriter and guitarist. "We'd just been doing the same thing for so long. We needed a break. We all stayed in touch, we all worked together. I don't think we ever anticipated seven years. I still don't know how that happened. I knew it was a couple of years, but on paper it says seven, so I'm a little surprised."

The Wallflowers perform Wednesday at the Black Cat.

Onstage
Wallflowers with Mason Reed
Where: Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW
When: Doors 8 p.m. Wednesday
Info: $25; 202-667-4527; blackcatdc.com

Dylan said the band wanted to keep things simple with "Glad All Over."

"Musically, this record really started with the band getting together," he said. "I wouldn't say getting back to basics, but in some ways we did with the songwriting and really tried to unlearn a lot of things that we picked up and trying to get back to basics and keep it really simply. I really want it to feel good from the ground up and not get too hung up on the process of the actual songwriting and how complicated songs could get."

The album's first single, "Reboot the Mission," features guitar and vocals from Mick Jones of the Clash.

"It's a tip of the hat to some of the work he had done," Dylan said.

After enjoying mega-success with the 1996 album "Bringing Down the Horse," which spawned the hits "6th Avenue Heartache" and "One Headlight," the Wallflowers continued to record and release music up to 2005's "Rebel, Sweetheart." Then the guys went out and got busy with other projects.

"I always felt that the band was together; I just didn't think we were doing anything," Dylan said when asked about getting the Wallflowers back together. "Time slips away. You want to get off the merry-go-round, you just don't imagine how hard it is to get back on at some point."

In the last few years, Dylan released a pair of solo albums and toured in support of them. He said he stands behind the music, but the albums presented a heaviness that was difficult to replicate every night.

"Those were records I wanted to make, but I didn't love the experience of touring them as much," Dylan said. "It's more somber than I felt. It took a lot out of me to do those records night after night."

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Robert Fulton

Examiner Correspondent
The Washington Examiner