After a decade of being restricted to just one or two songs per album, you might expect former Pavement singer/songwriter and current Preston School of Industry frontman Scott Kannberg to be a bit more wound up about finally releasing a full album of his own songs.
Although he helped co-found the Stockton, California, indie rock giants with then pal Steve Malkmus, Kannberg never seemed to be in charge of Pavement. Malkmus wrote and sang most of the songs, relegating Kannberg's tunes to B-sides.
The general assumption was that when Pavement dissolved in 1999 (a disgruntled Malkmus famously hung a pair of handcuffs on his mike stand at their last gig), Kannberg must have had a sackful of songs waiting to be recorded. Not so.
"I was really lazy," Kannberg snorts from a Revelstoke motel. "I would come in with an idea, we'd do it really quick and the results would be understandably rough, so they were usually stuck on B-sides.
"It was my own fault. I'd have five songs per record and Steve would have 25, so I just gave in. I didn't want any attention or drama. One of the good things Steve did, though, was to force me to write my own songs and do my own thing. I was happy just being in a band and having him sing my songs; in a weird way he forced me to do my own thing."
Released in the shadow of Malkmus's wildly anticipated, self-titled solo disc, Kannberg's new band Preston School of Industry's All This Sounds Gas debut slipped out with virtually no expectations.
Unlike Malkmus's set, the full-length debut from Preston School arrived without full-page ads and glossy fashion magazine interviews.
What must be satisfying for Kannberg is that the Preston record is a better listen than Malkmus's choppy offering. All This Sounds Gas has plenty of Pavement's shuffling, slow-boil indie pop but has loads more, too. Songs like Falling Away and Solitaire are poppier than anything Pavement ever accomplished and come without the lo-fi fuckery that often sabotaged that group's best songs.
Yet if Kannberg feels like he's finally got his way, he's not saying.
"All that rah-rah "This is the album I've been waiting to make' stuff is kind of against my nature," he murmurs. "I'm more shy and low-key. Steve's the kind of guy who thrives on that stuff, which is fine for him.
"I wanted to do a record that reflected who I am, because that wasn't really out there, but it wasn't a reaction to anything.
"Initially, I wanted to do a take on All Things Must Pass, which is what the title refers to. I had a photo of my face stuck on George Harrison's head, with the gnomes sitting around, but I couldn't get myself to do the side-three and -four jam."