The B-52s are known as the “World’s greatest party band” for a reason. The band brings their signature high energy sound to songs like classic like Rock Lobster and 52 Girls, and new songs like Love Shack, Roam and Pump. Recently the band marked their 34th anniversary by recording a live album called With the Wild Crowd! (out now), live in their hometown of Athens, Georgia.
Recently we talked to B-52s guitarist and composer, Keith Strickland about the new live album (which will be released as a DVD/Blu-ray next year), producing and more.
CraveOnline: How did the Athens Center Concert and album come about?
Keith Strickland: We had a gig in Athens and we were looking at the calendar and we thought, oh this will actually be the 34th anniversary of our very first performance. It was also a benefit for the Georgia Theater, which is a theater which had burned down and is very important to the music scene.
We wanted to record the live show that we have been doing over the years. Our fans have been really requesting that. We felt like it was time to do it.
CraveOnline: It's really good for the fans to have.
Keith Strickland: It's nice stuff. I enjoy hearing the songs from Funplex performed really live. My original intention was to write the songs and go out on tour and really break them in. But there were financial constraints and timing that kind of prevented that from happening.
CraveOnline: What prompted the recording of Funplex after such a long hiatus?
Keith Strickland: We had been touring… We have about six songs that we have to do in the set, or our fans would get disappointed, which is fine, it’s great. We had attempted earlier on to get in the studio to start writing together and it just didn’t work out for one reason or another. Things just fell in to place. I started writing new music. I guess I had a moment of inspiration and sort of an idea in my head of what the music would sound like, which primarily was inspired by our live show. I had this real sense of how it should feel. I had a feeling of what would work live.
CraveOnline: Are there any plans for another studio album?
Keith Strickland: We don’t have any plans at the moment.
Photo by Robb D. Cohen