Chicago band The Academy Is … shakes up its sound once again

Glenn Gamboa
Newsday (MCT)

The Academy Is ... isn't afraid of taking chances.

Each of the Chicago band's albums features a different approach to pop-leaning rock, and its new EP, "Lost in Pacific Time" (Decaydance/Fueled by Ramen), is another musical left turn.

Singer William Beckett said the band members are proud of the new EP because they produced it themselves and recorded much of it on the road — in the opening of "Days Like Masquerades," you can hear a wooden roller coaster because the band's bus was parked at a Six Flags when they were recording. The process has him fired up to do more.

Q. The new EP is so different from the poppy "Fast Times at Barrington High." Did you mean for it to sound darker?

A. It's not as dark as our second album. ... Having three albums under our belt, we feel like we have the creative freedom to do whatever we want to. This is a bit of a bridge to what we want to do next. Not to take anything from the last album, but we don't believe in putting out the same material. We want to evolve and advance.

Q. "Fast Times" was such a good album. Were you surprised it didn't catch on more?

A. That part is out of our control. We tried to write the best songs we could and we really accomplished a fun, nostalgic piece. ... It was almost bad luck that it wasn't a bigger album or on a bigger scale. I could doubt myself. I could doubt my team. But it was just a matter of timing. All I can do is take some time to make the best fourth album we can. ... Overanalysis leads to paralysis.

Q. Are you ready to start writing the next album after this tour?

A. You don't seem like much of a person sometimes, being on tour. We need some reflection time, some time to just live. ... I am starting to feel some urgency now. I hope we can start writing soon.


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