“Such Hot Blood” is due this spring on Island, led by first single “Timeless.” The anthemic song ( premiering below) was written in the aftermath of a rough year for the band’s frontman, Mikel Jollett, who lost four family members, including his grandmother, during a time he called “awful and horrific.”
“I was actually there, I was the first person who found her in the room,” he said. “The song is kind of a lament of that, just how overwhelming these things can be.”
The lyrics went through 11 drafts before Jollett felt he got the song’s message right: the search for a soulmate and the power of love to triumph over the fear of death.
“I remember thinking, ‘Don’t write like you’re an indie rock artist or an art-rock band, don’t write like you’re trying to write an Airborne song, don’t try to be you — just write what’s in your heart,’” he said. “It’s cheesy and it’s very Hallmark-y and I want to be like Kurt Cobain and say my whole life’s twisted and darker than that, but my deepest wish really is that.”
For the album, the follow-up to 2011′s “All at Once” — which bowed at No. 5 on the Rock Albums chart and reached No. 17 on the Billboard 200 — the band got out of town and recorded in Nashville with Jacquire King. The Grammy-winning producer had impressed Jollett with his work with the Kings of Leon and on Modest Mouse’s 2004 release “Good News for People Who Love Bad News,” which he’d engineered.
“I wrote a song on the record called ‘What’s In a Name,’ it was just a really big rock ‘n’ roll song,” Jollett said. “As soon as I wrote that, I knew I wanted Jacquire to produce the record.”
And after a quiet stint back in L.A. in advance of the album release, the tour veterans are looking forward to getting back on the road — and playing to loyal fans like one the band encountered in Chicago at a recent one-off show.
“I look out into the audience and he holds up his arm and there’s a massive Airborne tattoo just covering his entire arm, from shoulder to wrist,” Jollett said. “The whole front row at Airborne shows these days is all people with Airborne tattoos… Our fans are awesome. It’s not that hard to stay motivated.”
See the Airborne Toxic Event’s tour dates below:
Jan. 15-16: New York, NY (Webster Hall)
Jan. 23: Los Angeles, CA (Mayan Theater)
March 30: San Diego, CA (House of Blues)
April 1: Tempe, AZ (The Marquee)
April 3: Boulder, CO (Fox Theater)
April 4: Denver, CO (Ogden Theater)
April 5: Salt Lake City, UT (The Depot)
April 7: Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)
April 8: Seattle, WA (Showbox at the Market)
April 9: Vancouver, B.C. (Vogue Theatre)
April 11: San Francisco, CA (Warfield Theater)