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Sleater-Kinney Starts Fresh with Sub Pop

ock trio Sleater-Kinney has signed with venerable Seattle label Sub Pop Records after releasing its past four albums for fellow indie Kill Rock Stars.

The group will begin recording its Sub Pop debut Thursday with producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) in upstate New York, with an eye on a May release.

“We instigated it because we wanted to do something different,” vocalist/guitarist Corin Tucker told Billboard.com. “We really like the team that’s at Sub Pop now. There are people there who are really enthusiastic and putting out really good music. We’ve done a lot of records with Kill Rock Stars and we really respect them. But we just thought it was time to re-energize our music career.”

The band’s most recent studio effort, 2002’s “One Beat,” has sold 73,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

“They were wondering why we hadn’t approached them and we kind of felt like goofballs,” said Sub Pop general manager Megan Jasper. “Had we known the situation, we would have spoken to them a lot earlier!”

Sub Pop’s roster included the Postal Service, the Shins and Saint Etienne as well as early Nirvana recordings.

“We waited until the time was right for us,” Tucker continued. “In terms of where we are as a band, we really want to take it to the next level. We just feel like we have it in us. It was either the time for us to shut it down or take it to the next level, and we know we’ve got a lot of music still left in us.”

Tucker said 11 songs are “pretty much done” for the new album. “Some of them are much longer than we’ve ever written before. There’s actually a space jam in between two of the songs.”

Sleater-Kinney will team with Wilco and the Flaming Lips for a New Year’s Eve concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

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