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The Stray Cats on first new album in 26 years: “It’s time now…We’re way past due”


Credit: Russ HarringtonThe Stray Cats are strutting again and will release 40, their first album in 26 years, on May 24 in celebration of their 40th anniversary.

The famed rockabilly trio talk about the album and give a behind-the-scenes look at the project in a video posted on their official YouTube channel.

In the clip, bassist Lee Rocker explains that The Stray Cats decided to make a new album after playing four concerts last year.

“The band just tore the roof off these gigs that we played,” Rocker notes, “and we really just looked at each other and said, ‘You know what, it’s time now. Let’s rock. Let’s make a new record. We’re way past due.'”

Singer/guitarist Brian Setzer, meanwhile, says he got inspired to make a new Stray Cats album after writing some new songs while using “an old Fender reverb unit.”

“I started writing kind of surf, spaghetti Western [tunes], and that kind of started the ball rolling,” he reveals. “Once we played, it started to spark the songwriting, because then I knew I wanted to make a Stray Cat record.”

Setzer also says that timing was a factor, with the band’s 40th anniversary approaching.

“It was just a really good time that we all came back,” he says. “Like I told the guys, ‘Guys, you don’t want to make a 41st anniversary record. Let’s do it now.'”

To record 40, the band convened late last year at Blackbird Studios in Nashville with veteran producer Peter Collins.

Setzer says he insisted that the trio all play live together while recording, as if they were performing in concert.

“It was just like an old way of making records,” says drummer Slim Jim Phantom. “The modern is meeting the vintage, which is was always been our inspiration.”

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