If you go

What: The Yawpers

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Conor O'Neill's, 1922 13th St., Boulder, 303-449-1922

Cost: free

More info: conoroneills.com

Rumor had it that The Yawpers were working on new songs and, of course, we wanted a taste. If you caught the band's last gig at Oskar Blues in Lyons, you heard three new songs and you probably heard something heavier.

It's not just the switch to James Hale on drums or the addition of Dave Romano on harmonica, though it really fills the sound out. And, no, there's still no bass -- Jesse Parmet and Nate Cook's acoustic guitar work does more than enough on the low end. As they work on the follow up to last year's excellent Capon Crusade, a hint of metal is creeping into the country rock.

We called up Cook to talk about the different sound and see what else The Yawpers are up to (because they're always up to something).

So, The Yawpers are working on new music. Where are you at in the process?


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I've been spending the last week kind of just holed up writing all the baseline material that'll get arranged in the next week or two. We have a couple songs, I think five, that are all set and arranged for the band already. In April, we'll get into the studio, maybe in Boulder, but we might go out to Nashville.

The new stuff sounded sludgier.

Well I'm in the sludgy mode right now. Darker and heavier is what I'm shooting for, I guess. We'll see what comes out of it. It's darker, heavier, for sure.

What's the influence there, or is it just your mood?

Obviously Nick Cave has always been a big influence and he has a lot of sludgy material. We've been listening to some Black Mountain and a lot of psychedelic stuff lately. The 13th Floor Elevators and The Warlocks, stuff like that. Even going so far as to listening to serious metal shit, like Electric Wizard. I like to explore those ideas in a blues way.

You're headed back to South by Southwest this year. What's on the schedule?

We have a few showcases lined up that we can't talk about yet because the lineups aren't out.

Will it be part of a bigger tour?

I think, right when we get back, I think we're gonna go into Nashville pretty soon.

Are you driving there again? How was that last time?

Yeah. It was fine. We've gotten used to touring in cramped, uncomfortable places. The only bad news right now is that we might be traveling with only three people because our harmonic player tore something in his knee.

Hear the new material for yourself tomorrow night at Conor O'Neill's, and if you feel like getting out of town, you can catch them at the Little Bear Saloon, 28075 Colorado 74, Evergreen, on Friday.