A Sound Salvation

Austin's Class of 2000

A Sound Salvation
Photo By Todd V. Wolfson

Fastball: Can They Turn Two?

On February 1, after a scant three months off the road, Miles Zuniga, Tony Scalzo, and Joey Shuffield will convene in the same Los Angeles studio where they recorded 1998's platinum All the Pain Money Can Buy. Here's the outspoken Zuniga on what he expects:

On pressure: "Last time, there was obviously a lot more at stake. This time there's a lot at stake, but I have money in the bank. I don't feel as destitute and desperate as I did last time, but I still feel like we definitely have something to prove. Even if we're technically not a one-hit-wonder, having another big hit album would be a way of saying, 'We can do this over and over again.' That's important if you want to have a career."

On change: "Having a hit album, there's so many different things involved. I know we're going to go in there and make a great record, and I hope it's a hit, that's all I can say. Anybody that liked our last album will like this record, but I also think it will be different. I don't see any reason to repeat things. We didn't really know what we were doing last time and we went in and made the songs as good as they could be. I thought it would be a complete mess -- I didn't think it would be cohesive at all.

"Lo and behold, I thought it was really cohesive at the end of the day. We're just going to use basically the same philosophy from last time: Let the best song win and let the songs dictate what's going to be on the album. Other than that, anybody that tells you they have their finger on the pulse of how to make hit songs is lying. There's a few people that do it over and over, but their music is lifeless and boring."

On hits: "I'm really just interested in making a great album that musically is really solid, so that we have a catalog that's really good. Again, that's all I can plan, control, or worry about. I want more hits and am hoping that it happens, but I'm certainly not going to sit at a piano with the radio on trying to figure out where rock radio or Top 40 is headed. We're just interested in [putting out] the best Fastball songs we can.

"It's not like we're Yoko Ono and suddenly we're trying to change our whole deal to get on the radio. We're just trying to make it different than the last time, and ultimately, better than the last time. Will there be melodies? Yes. Will they usually clock in at under three minutes? Yes. Will they fundamentally be pop songs? Yes. That's all I can say for sure."

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