Interview: Plain White T’s Tom Higgenson and Tim Lopez discuss the band’s new album, ‘Parallel Universe’

Photo by Colin Lane

For Parallel Universe, the highly-anticipated eighth studio album from the Plain White T’s, the band decided to explore a deeper sonic landscape. Still present are the band’s radio-friendly melodies and singer Tom Higgenson’s signature vocals,  but the songs themselves have been tastefully enriched with elements of synths and guitar tones. The result is an album of the familiarity as well as a mature sound that takes the band to an entirely new level of cool.

Parallel Universe was produced by Matt Squire (Ariana GrandePanic! At The Disco) and includes infectious tracks like “Your Body” and “Bonnie I Want You”. The latter of which a risqué homage to lost youth and a love that might have been. Other standouts on the album include the ethereal, groove-ridden “Light Up The Room” and “Top of The World,” which has a funky eighties kind of vibe.

Plain White T’s is: Tom Higgenson [vocals], Tim Lopez [lead guitar, vocals], Dave Tirio [rhythm guitar], Mike Retondo [bass], and De’Mar Hamilton [drums].

AXS recently spoke with Tom Higgenson and Tim Lopez about Parallel Universe (which will be released on August 24) and more in this exclusive interview.

AXS: How does the new album, “Parallel Universe” compare to some of the band’s previous work?

Tim Lopez: We came up in a time when we were considered punk rockers and it was all about just recording drums, guitars and bass. We love how far music has come since we started and knew it was a place we needed to be. But we didn’t change much about the songs or the writing, just in their production and presentation. Instead of sticking to what we’ve done previously, we tried new things and carved out a new sonic bed for the songs to lay in. We decided to explore sounds and make something that was really cool and unique.

Tom Higgenson: We come from that punk rock background, and one of the things we kept saying was retro punk from the future. We wanted it to sound like old school eighties but very futuristic as well. We took inspiration from that kind of feeling.

AXS: What was it like working with Matt Squire on this album?

TL: The songwriting process for was lengthy for this album, but we didn’t know what the sonic direction was going to be until Tom and I and [collaborator] Brandon Day wrote the last batch of songs. As soon as Matt heard that last batch, he got it and exponentially pushed the album in that direction. He was awesome to work with and an absolute wealth of knowledge. It was such an awesome vibe and everyone was so positive. The results speak for themselves.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Plain White T’s by Clicking Here!

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