Losing a founding member hasn't stopped Californian prog-punks The Matches booking another world tour, this time to promote their new album A Band In Hope.
The Oakland-based quartet is set to show off their new bassist for the first time.
"We've just recently acquired him but we haven't announced that he's in the band yet," clarifies singer-guitarist Shawn Harris of his mystery recruit. "But we're about 98% sure that he's going to be touring with us in the Fall. While we can't make the official announcement in this interview, he is a friend of ours and we've know this kid since he was 15-years-old - he's 20 now."
Pleased at having avoided tiresome open auditions, core members Harris, guitarist John Devoto and drummer Matt Whalen say their new addition quit his own band - a small independent outfit from Tennessee - on the spot to join The Matches.
"We always stayed with his family when we went through Nashville," says Harris. "I ended up getting sick on tour once so we stayed for about a week at his house and his mum took care of me. We're really close with his family."
While former bass player Justin San Souci departed in July to explore a life beyond music, Harris is keen to pay tribute to his friend after a decade of loyal service.
"Justin's style of bass playing was really unique and even more than that he was a fun and amiable guy to be around," he says. "I won't say we're putting him behind us, I want to give him the respect he deserves because we will miss him. I mean he's had a girlfriend for quite some time and he was ready to slow down a little bit because we definitely keep a pretty hectic pace in terms of touring.
"He was missing home we could just tell for the past year, maybe two years, that Justin wasn't excited to be travelling anymore. I'm really excited with the new guy we're playing with but of course I'm going to miss Justin - the new guy is not a replacement. I am excited about the future but how can you not be nostalgic for the past to some extent."
Harris says it's been a smooth transition training up their new bassist who is currently undertaking a crash course in all things Matches, including learning A Band In Hope's progressive material in addition to writing new songs.
"He's a really great singer, me and John have been singing with him this week, doing a bunch of three-part harmonies that we hadn't done in the past," he says. "And we're writing a new bunch of stuff with him too. He's really wide-eyed and excited about the whole thing."
Renown for their multi-tentacled approach to production - 2006's Decomposer album utilised nine producers - The Matches believe they've crammed a lot into their 11 years together.
"We've recorded in some great places and every studio kind of has a different vibe," says Harris. "The thing that made me most excited is that we've made three albums but worked with 20 different producers in about 18 different studios! Most bands with three albums have recorded in three studios. And one of the craziest places we worked at was Sound City studios in Los Angeles where Nirvana's Nevermind and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours were tracked.
"There were ghosts in that place for real. It was almost like someone else was playing your guitar, it was kind of creepy. We were trying to get a bad guitar sound and we couldn't, no matter if we put the mikes three rooms away we'd still get a really cool sound. We kicked in one of the speakers on one of our cabinets trying to get it to distort and sound awful but it came out it perfect! We're actually talking about recording a proper studio album there for the next record instead of recording everywhere. That would be a new experiment for us."