"We put our hearts and souls into every record we made, but this one just felt better," says Angel Alvarez, bassist for Medford's TallBoy. "The songwriting process was the best we've ever done."
Alvarez is referring to the heavy metal band's new self-titled EP. The seven tracks see the band — which includes singer Jimmy Roberts, guitarists Brandon Cregan and Kevin Kaufman and drummer Justin Bullen — continue the aggressive sound that has earned them a loyal fan base in Southern Oregon.
TallBoy took much of 2013 off from performing, playing only a handful of shows. The band used the time to write the songs for the new EP, which was recorded and produced in Alvarez's studio. Alvarez says they are very proud of the EP because they were able to take their time.
Who: TallBoy, Audiophobia and Fallen Theory
When: 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1
Where: Club 66, 1951 Ashland St., Ashland
Tickets: $7 in advance, $10 at the door
"We only recorded for two hours per band practice. There was no rush. We started in May and finished in November," Alvarez says. "We did it in our own time and could make the exact record that we wanted to make. It made the whole process better."
While the music was written before the recording sessions, Roberts wrote most of the lyrics in the studio with the band, wanting to bring them in on his process.
"On the past albums, I would record my vocals in three days, which is rough," Roberts says. "My throat would be bleeding. It's not easy to sing and scream in a song. Now they're singing with me, letting me catch my breath. I'm really proud of them."
The time off allowed the band to reconnect on a personal level.
"We were going hard for five years, playing up and down the West Coast. It gets rough. We smelled all the stinky smells. We needed time to remind ourselves that we were friends," Roberts says.
The subject matter on the album covers a variety of topics.
"I'm going through a custody battle for my son, so I'm pretty angsty about the court system right now," Roberts says. "There's stuff on the album about seeing people for who they really are, but there's also stuff about having fun. 'Fox Hound' is about (the video game) 'Metal Gear Solid.' "
TallBoy will celebrate the release of the CD at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Club 66, 1951 Ashland St., Ashland. The show, presented by KZZE, will also feature Eugene bands Audiophobia — also releasing a new EP — and Fallen Theory.
It's no accident the show has a dual CD release. Audiophobia recorded its CD at Alvarez's studio, and TallBoy wanted to share in its release.
"It's been really cool to watch Audiophobia blossom," Roberts says. "They're where we wanted to be when we were 16."
More than celebrating the release of a new CD, the band is using the show as an opportunity to give thanks to the people who have supported them.
"Our last CD release was at the fair and KROG sponsored it. We would have liked KZZE to cosponsor because both stations have been really supportive of us, but that couldn't happen," Alvarez says. "It's because of that that we approached KZZE to be a part of this show."
"We try to do as much as we can for the town we live in because they are our biggest supporters," Roberts says.
Tickets for the all-ages show cost $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets can be purchased in Medford at Zeplins, 1110 Biddle Road, and Eads Furniture, 853 S. Riverside Ave., or online at www.tallboyrocks.com.