FORGET CLICK TRACKS—Weinland recorded their new album Los Processaur with a marching bass drum beating out the time. "If you listen to the record, you'll hear that almost all the songs have four-on-the-floor kick drum," says Weinland frontman Adam Shearer, who held the mallet in many cases.
The band was having a bit of a drummer crisis when it came time to record the album. Their longtime drummer, Ian Lyles, was away on the road doing lights for acts like Broken Social Scene and Joan Baez. So the band thumped out each song's time on a bass drum during tracking, adding guest drummers in later as needed. Surprisingly, the result is that Los Processaur comes closest to meeting the live Weinland experience—a rollicking, whiskey-dipped carousal—than their previous, somber recordings. "That's the biggest success of this whole record," says Shearer, "is that this record actually sounds like we do live, where none of them ever have."
It's clear from the get-go that this is the most fun Weinland has ever sounded on tape. Opening track "Bones Cracking In" is a joyful, foot-stomping full-band version of a song first recorded by Shearer's other group, the Alialujah Choir. (It's worth mentioning that his Alialujah bandmates feature heavily on Los Processaur; Alia Farah sings on nearly every track, and Adam Selzer co-produced in addition to many instrumental contributions.) Elsewhere, the band puts their pop foot forward, as on the hopeful, stately title track, the needle-red "Holy Rose," and the feelin'-groovy breeze of "Another Dollar Rainy Day." And songs like "Saints and Sinners" and "Yessie Yames" are some of Shearer's finest efforts as a songwriter to date—richly rewarding tunes that sound mature but never weary.
Los Processaur's seemingly misdirectional title is actually a simple distillation of the album's themes. "I was trying to come up with a name for the record, which I abhor," says Shearer, who wanted a title similar to Weinland's 2008 album La Lamentor, which he says, in retrospect, is his favorite album title. "It's a fake word in faux French that means 'the hater,' and literally no one asked us what it meant. We just got away with calling our record La Lamentor as a weird Portland folk band. So I was trying to think of something to call this record, and I was really kind of engulfed in the process of being in a band and all the stuff that happens—some of it's great and some of it's totally horrible. You're just constantly taking your hope out of one basket and putting it into another.
"I was really stuck on the idea that there's this huge process that we're going through," Shearer continues. "This is the first album I've made in my 30s, and what does that mean and where am I at? I'm a father now, and I'm a homeowner, and all these things are happening that are totally different, but I'm still trying to do rock 'n' roll at the level where it's exciting, where you don't know what's going to happen next. All the songs are about the process of trying to do this—what it means to be getting older in an industry where you're not supposed to get older. And [Los Processaur] is a reference to that dinosaur of a process. This process is so big that it can only be a dinosaur, and someday it will be extinct. The process will be over."