Blind Pilot frontman and songwriter Israel Nebeker found himself on unfamiliar ground as he prepared tunes for the group's second album, "We Are the Tide," which came out in September.
"I was having a rough time. I'd never written a song before that I knew people would hear," explains Nebeker, 31, who formed the group during 2005 in Astoria, Ore., with drummer Ryan Dobrowski. "That was a real tricky thing for me to get around for writing songs for this album, the expectations.
" 'Keep You Right' I was writing till the last day of recording. 'The Colored Night,' too. I would sing one take with some lyrics, then change them for another take. And I'm not that kind of writer; I usually take my time and am kind of a perfectionist. It was sort of crazy."
Nevertheless, Nebeker and his bandmates are satisfied that they came up with the sound they wanted, "fuller, with lots of layering and sort of a richer, lush sound. A little more mainstream." And he doesn't discourage comparisons of "We Are the Tide" to a decidedly mainstream influence on Blind Pilot.
"When Ryan and I were talking about what we'd like the sound to be, if we were going to aim for anything going into the studio, we kept talking about Fleetwood Mac," Nebeker says. "I was listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac before going in and recording — I think 'Rumours' was the main one.
"So if that's what people get out of the album when they hear it, that makes me really happy."
Blind Pilot and the Barr Brothers perform Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to