The live album LIVE DRUGS will be the first volume consisting of 40 hard drives of the band’s recorded live shows and arranged to flow as a 70-minute concert. LIVE DRUGS will be released under Granduciel’s Super High Quality Records on Friday, November 20, available for pre-order on the The War on Drugs official website.
Work on the album was given up after starting in 2018, but was revived this past March due to a Dropbox folder found by Adam Granduciel. The final selections were mixed by Jonathan Low at Aaron Dessner’s Long Pond Studio. Granduciel’s purpose on this album was to show how songs tend to evolve after been performed live for years.
“As a band leader, I always want to know where a song can go. Even though we’ve recorded it, mastered it, put it out, and been touring on it, doesn’t mean that we just have to do it the same way forever,” said Granduciel.
LIVE DRUGS will include songs from The War On Drugs’s previous albums, such as an early live version of “Strangest Thing,” from their 2017 album A Deeper Understanding, which Granduciel fell in love with while going through the recordings with mental notes of memorable shows. Also, a crowd of 20,000 people are heard singing along to the guitar on the last five minutes of the song “Under the Pressure”, from the 2014 album Lost In A Dream.
“It feels like it’s kind of a reset, to be able to put something out that’s a really good interpretation of the way we interpret our music live.”
Live Drugs Tracklist
(All songs recorded live):
1. An Ocean Between The Waves
3. Strangest Thing
4. Red Eyes
5. Thinking Of A Place
6. Buenos Aires Beach
7. Accidentally Like a Martyr (cover)
8. Eyes to the Wind
9. Under the Pressure
10. In Reverse
On the same day The War On Drugs released of their cover of Warren Zevon’s “Accidentally Like A Martyr (Live),” the band announced on their Instagram their upcoming podcast: The Super High Quality Podcast starting the first out of four weekly episodes on Monday, November 23, three days after the debut of LIVE DRUGS.
Both the live album and the commentary podcast will also reflect the relationship between Granduciel and his long-time friend and the album’s co-producer Dominic East, who is also a guitar tech and stage manager. The band will talk on the podcast from “free show catering, to the way the band communicates on stage, and about life off the road in 2020.”
Granduciel said, “there’s something cathartic about having all of it printed on a record. Even though this recording is from a year of tours, this is really how these six guys evolved as a band from 2014 to 2019.”
Four years after the success of their album A Deeper Understanding (winning the Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2017), The War On Drugs describe LIVE DRUGS as a taste of what they have been working on in the past seven months for their next studio album and teased a single that will be included on such project called “Ocean of Darkness”—playing it live in an exclusive quarantined performance for The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.
By Paulette Villa