Nickel Creek ‘Hit the Ground Running’ for New Album
When Nickel Creek sat down to record their latest album, ‘A Dotted Line,’ they did the entire thing in a very short amount of time — just 11 days.
In an interview with CMT Edge, guitarist Sean Watkins said that the album was recorded in many of the same ways that their other albums have been, only much faster.
“We set up in the studio just like we did on previous records — the three of us in a room separated by about 15 or 20 feet, surrounded by a bunch of great mics,” he says. “There’s fewer overdubs than there were on the past record. It seemed like the songs were there, and we wanted to speak on our own without adding too much extra stuff. Also, we didn’t have very much time. Just 11 days. We’ve never spent that amount of time on a record. We’ve always had the luxury of working on it for a couple of months. We had to show up knowing the songs and hit the ground running, which was fun.”
Before ‘A Dotted Line,’ the band had been on hiatus since 2007, each working on solo and side projects. Watkins founded the band Fiction Family, while his sister, Sara Watkins, released two solo albums and mandolin player Chris Thile started the Punch Brothers. Nickel Creek had been together since Thile and Sara were 8 years old and Sean was 11, so the break gave each person more room to discover their own musical identities.
“When you’re in a band for a long time — and especially when you’ve grown up in a band — it’s easy to lose track of who you are as an individual musician,” Sean says. “I don’t think we had lost track, but in taking that time off and doing things on our own and with other people, we were forced to come to terms with our own music. We had to learn to be individuals rather than part of this larger organism.”
“I have no idea,” he says. “We’re just taking this for what it is right now.”