Rusted Root's Michael Glabicki doesn't quite know what to make of his band's 25th anniversary this year.
"It doesn't enter time almost," Glabicki, 46, says by phone from his home in Pittsburgh, where he co-founded the band. "It could be 25 minutes, it could be 250 years. I don't know what it feels like."
But, he adds, "It does feel like many lifetimes within our lifespan. There have been so many relationships and so many experiences and ups and downs, and so many learning processes we've been through. There have been so many different things."
Rusted Root has certainly run a gamut, from major label success with 1994's "When I Woke" -- which netted the group an opening spot touring with Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page -- to a return to the independent ranks, with attendant roster changes along the way (only Glabicki and vocalist Liz Berlin remain from the original lineup). Nevertheless, Glabicki says he still feels a "childlike" awe and curiosity about music but also feels more secure in what he's doing these days.
"Now I know what I want to say and how to say it, and I'm able to give direction to the band," he explains. "I was a lot more insecure starting out and would really look at the band to kind of let me know if I was doing alright. That's not to say their input is any less now, but we're just starting from a higher plateau."
Glabicki and Rusted Root plan to demonstrate that with their next album, the follow-up to 2012's "The Movement." He calls it "the first album of our next 25 years," which means a focus on the future rather than rehashing past glories.
"when everybody started saying, 'This is your 25th anniversary, I put it upon myself that this album needs to be something completely different," Glabicki says. "We need to go somewhere completely new. I'm not sure how to explain it; in the past five years we've really opened up,musically, and gone into a lot of totally free-form experiences on stage and allowing whatever happens that night -- whatever mood we're in, whatever energy the ground brings -- and transform it into something completely surprising to ourselves.
"We've completely relaxed into that mode, so I'm sure what comes out of that will be like nothing people have ever heard us do before, which is exciting to me."
Rusted Root, the Infatuations and Secret Space
Friday, Aug. 21. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.
Tickets are $29.
Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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