Lori Friday finally has a chance to sing.
Fans of Troy hard rockers Super 400 may be surprised to hear the bassist’s smooth vocal, rather than guitarist Kenny Hohman’s gruff shout, on the band’s latest single, “Flashlight,” taken from the upcoming album “Sweet Fist.” The song came about when the band realized, about a week before they hit the studio to record the album, that it was missing something.
“It was missing a really upbeat, up-tempo pop song, so I decided to take one last crack at it,” Friday said during a recent phone interview. “I wrote ‘Flashlight’ over the course of a day and a half, two days, and the way it turned out, it was in a higher vocal register. I showed it to Kenny, and he said, ‘Why don’t you try to sing it?’ ”
Friday describes the experience recording the track as “kind of scary” — it was the first time she ever attempted to sing one of her own songs for Super 400. But the band and its new label, Response Records, liked the track so much they decided to release it as the lead-off single.
Super 400, with Hamell on Trial
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Revolution Hall, 425 River St., Troy
How Much: $12 (doors); $10 (advance)
More Info: 274-0553, www.revolutionhall.com.
“Even though I’m singing, I don’t feel that it’s a misrepresentation [of the band],” she said. “It’s still a Super 400 song through and through. If you listen to the rest of the record, the common thread is obvious; it’s the three of us in a room making music together, the same way we’ve done for the past 13 years.”
Super 400 is practically an institution in its hometown, so much so that there’s a holiday for them: “Super 400 Day” on Feb. 25. As such, hometown shows are always an exciting event for the band, also featuring drummer Joe Daley. They’ll be at Revolution Hall with Hamell on Trial, AKA Ed Hamell, on Saturday giving the audience a sneak peek at “Sweet Fist,” due out in September.
“There’s a special kind of magic that only happens in Troy,” Friday said. “To say that we’re looking forward to it would be an understatement; we’re shaking with anticipation to play for those people again.”
In keeping with the band’s tradition of making all Troy shows benefits, the group has aligned with the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society for the show. Concert-goers who bring an item to donate from the society’s wish list, which can be found here, will receive $2 off the door price.
“Way more than that is the knowledge that they’re helping the shelter, because everyone is an animal lover,” Friday said. “The three of us are; I’m sure that’s a pretty universal thing.”
The band has been home for the past two months, coming off a year and a half of solid touring behind their last album, 2007’s self-released “3 and the Beast.” After being unceremoniously dropped from its contract with major label Island in 1999 after a single self-titled album, the band chose to remain independent. According to Friday, the band learned a valuable life lesson from the experience, from which the band emerged much stronger.
“At the time we got the deal with Island, we were kids,” she said. “I’m not sure we were ready to handle what would have happened if we had been hugely successful at the time. Everything followed a natural course of events. We left the deal certainly not discouraged in any way, and we knew when we were ready, the next opportunity would come along.”
The band is now back on a label, although a much smaller independent. The group signed with Response in February, and according to Friday, Super 400 is now the label’s primary focus.
“The Island experience is a story you may have heard before; a lot of bands got lost in that major label shuffle,” she said. “The record industry, as anyone will tell you, is just about the worst industry you can find — it’s completely unstable and motivated by money rather than music. Small indie labels are certainly bringing back the real spirt of the old Atlantic days, the Sub Pop days, where guys find bands that they personally really loved, and stand behind them on a personal level. It’s really exciting to see that happening again.”
Response has also helped Super 400 realize one of its biggest dreams: releasing an album on vinyl. Given the band’s throwback sound to such classic rockers as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Cream, having the new album out on double vinyl makes sense.
“We had a lot of people asking us, ‘When will you release an album on vinyl?’ ” Friday said. “We all grew up — I still have my vinyl album collection from when I was in high school, stacks of LPs, as does Kenny and Joe. To us, it’s the most enjoyable way to listen to a record album; the sound is fuller and warmer on vinyl albums.”