A few eyebrows were raised when "Infinite Arms," the third album from Seattle modern folk rockers Band of Horses, debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 chart in May.
And some of those belonged the five members of Band of Horses themselves.
"Yeah, it was crazy," says keyboardist-guitarist Ryan Monroe. "We were very excited about that. It kind of took us by surprise, but we were super-stoked about that, and now we're just taking it in stride."
Monroe credits "Infinite Arms' " success with a general growth in the Band of Horses' sound and musicality, which in turn comes from simply time spent playing together. Most of this incarnation of the band has been together nearly four years -- guitarist Ludwig Boss joined just after the album was finished -- and Monroe says the group members are "collaborating a lot more now" rather than leaning heavily on founder Ben Bridwell.
"I think ('Infinite Arms') really emphasizes the Band in the band name," says Monroe, 33. "It looks like we're here to stay. We've all got ideas flying out of us. We're together more than we're apart, so it feels really good right now."
So good, in fact, that Band of Horses had a good time recently recording a cover of Cee Lo Green's "Georgia" which was posted on its official web site in homage to Bridwell's favorite college football team, the Georgia Bulldogs.
"Cee-Lo covered on of our songs, 'No One's Gonna Love You,' so Ben thought what better way to thank him than to cover a song with the title of his favorite football team -- and he has family from (Georgia) as well," says Monroe, who's partial to his home state's rival South Carolina Gamecocks. "We've got a little rivalry going wtih me and Ben, but it's such a killer song, and we got the UGA band to play it with us and it all came together really quick.
"So it's OK, I guess. If we were playing that song at a Gamecocks tailgate party it would feel weird, but I didn't mind doing the record."
Band of Horses, Jenny & Johnny and the Besnard Lakes perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22 at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.. Tickets are $35.25 with a $56 four-pack. Call 313-961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.
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