Steamboat Springs For The Iguanas, recording their latest album, "Plastic Silver 9 Volt Heart" was an exercise in growing up -- or in realizing they had.
The five-man band gathered in a recording studio, secluded in the countryside outside of Nashville, Tenn., to work with Justin Niebank, the man who produced their first two albums more than 10 years ago.
They were all a little older now. They all had families back in New Orleans and they all had been entrenched in the music industry during the years since their last saw each other.
In the countryside, there were no distractions.
"This was a first for us," Rod Hodges said. "We spent a week in the studio. We would get up every morning and we would stay at the studio until 1 a.m. Plus, it was a real beautiful setting."
The result of that week is a new CD that sounds well thought out and relaxed.
"On both of our sides (the musicians and the producer), we had done a lot of growing up," Hodges said. "Everybody was a lot more open and willing to listen to other ideas. (Niebank) had learned a lot and he was much more relaxed in the studio.
"It was like old friends getting together, and it was a much more pleasant experience (than when we were younger)."
Their experience as new musicians was more of a "record company thing," Hodges said. "This was more a labor of love. I'm proud of the whole thing."
Their song "Flame On," an upbeat, horn-heavy song that sounds a lot like Morphine, has gotten a lot of radio play, Hodges said. "I'm not sure why everyone liked that one so much. I think it's just a good party song."
Hodges' personal favorite on the new album is "The First Kiss is Free."
"I just like the atmosphere, the space, it creates," he said. "First Kiss" starts off with a slow lullaby guitar. By the end of the song, you can see a woman in her white summer dress at a dusty crossroads. The lap steel guitar creates a begging chorus.
"That phrase just came from somewhere in my brain," Hodges said. "I always keep notebooks. I'm always jotting things down as time goes along."
Their latest album, he said, is a gathering of things the band had written in the past three or four years.
"Since we started playing together, our music has gotten richer," Hodges said. "We still have the same kind of basic approach. It's still real organic, but it has grown deeper."