Dustin Lanker, pianist and vocalist for the Visible Men, says that he and bassist Dan Schmid formed the group as a side project to their former band, the swing-revival group Cherry Poppin' Daddies.
"We wanted to write our own songs and not just be sidemen in a band," Lanker said by phone from his home in Pleasant Hill, Ore. "We wanted to do some more experimental things that got away from what the Daddies were about."
The Visible Men have been together for about 3 1/2 years. And with the addition of drummer Jordan Glenn, the group is now a trio.
Lanker and the boys released the Visible Men's second album, "Love: 30," a few weeks ago, a more experimental follow-up to "In Socks Mode." "We actually started recording 'Love: 30' on the heels of 'In Socks Mode.' We knew we wanted to expand the sound we did on the first album. And we wanted the new album to sound chronologically progressive."
The Visible Men did take some far-out twists in making "Love:30," said Lanker. "We had a lot of freedom. If we wanted to record a vocal track sung through 10 feet of PVC piping or playing the drums outside through an open door, we'd do it."
The philosophy behind making the album was the sound of each song, said Lanker. "We thought to ourselves, 'How can we make this song it's own little world?' And we came up with some cool ways to do it."
Still, 3 1/2 years is a long time to make an album. "Things change during that amount of time. The songs expanded. And the sound did, too.
"I mean you can work on a song for a few weeks and then go back to it after a year, and it becomes a different song than when you first started working on it."
That proved to be a boon, however, according to Lanker. "We had some songs that we really liked, and we had them finished. But when we went back to them, we found that we had changed, and those songs weren't as strong as we thought. Even though we loved them and wanted people to hear them, we knew they weren't the best things we had done. So we did some new ones.
What: The Visible Men
Where: Burt's Tiki Lounge
When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
How much: $6
E-mail: [email protected]