- - Sunday, May 8, 2016

Since the early 1990s The Posies have been making perfect pop music packed with amazing harmonies that recall their heroes, Big Star. A slew of solid major label releases saw the band, composed of core members Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer, build a respectable fan base and almost have a megahit with the super catchy “Dream All Day.” Three decades of brilliance followed.

But after a commercially disappointing 2010 release and the deaths of both their drummer and bass player, The Posies found themselves at the crossroads. They decided to soldier on, because as Mr. Auer said, “This is what we do.”

The band (now augmented by new drummer Frankie Siragusa and a dose of technology) is hitting the road for a month of intimate secret shows in nontraditional venues like living rooms, private studios and a cave — all in support of their adventurous new CD, “Solid States.” Mr. Auer and Mr. Stringfellow discussed The Posies’ new direction, sound and way of hitting the road.

Question: Who came up with the idea to do a tour of secret shows?

Jon Auer: That was Ken’s idea. I think it’s a cool way to reframe what we’re doing.

Ken Stringfellow: I did something like this last year when I toured with country singer Holly Munoz. She has no label infrastructure around her music; she developed a way of doing shows independently. It’s basically the “living room show” idea. The secretiveness of it is kind of a neat trick to make it sound intriguing.

Q: You are playing in nontraditional venues, yes?

KS: Yeah, 99 percent of them are. Some of them we’re not really sure of the locations ourselves until the day before.

JA: In certain parts of the world, like America, playing clubs can be kind of a tedious experience for both us and the audience. This is a cool way to explore other places.

Q: What is the strangest show location?

KS: I’m not sure than any of them are too strange, but there is a cave involved with one of them.

Q: What is the capacity of most of these shows?

KS: Most of the spaces only hold 30 to 60 people. There are a couple cities where we had the chance to open it up to a bigger thing, and people responded.

We would have been killed in Seattle if we only sold 30 tickets. We really love the idea that the shows sold out in like a day.

Q: What material will you be playing on this tour?

KS: Depends if the PA works. [laughs] Could be nothing. We’re adapting our play list from our recent European tour, which was the entire new album “Solid States” and a mix of old songs.

Q: Touring-wise, you are now a trio, yes?

KS: In addition to doing this tour and the album release in a totally different way than we have ever done before, we had a major musical shake-up as well. Our drummer for the past 15 years, Darius Minwalla, passed away last year. So we had no choice. We’ve got a new drummer, Frankie, and we have a new band member named “Mac” [the computer]. Mac is running instruments.

JA: We know some people are quite prejudiced against using technology. Some people are old-school and like to see a person there. I would like to think that I’m a good judge of audience reaction, and this European show we just did went over really well.

Q: Did losing Darius make you wonder if The Posies would continue?

JA: Especially for me. Darius played with me three years before he joined The Posies. We were pretty much inseparable. He was like my best friend. It hit me really hard.

KS: We were completely unable to function, unable to imagine going on. I couldn’t even think about the future. Even though we were in the middle of making this record, there were weeks in there where I couldn’t even think. Then Jon and I checked in and asked, “Are we going on?”

JA: There were a couple months last year where I didn’t want to do anything. In the end this is what we do. I think he would want us to continue.

Q: How was the recording process different with this record?

KS: Usually we had some kind of live band core doing basic tracks and then overdubbing. The kind of classic way to make records. The way we made it was quite different. This one was completely constructed bit by bit, pixel by pixel with the computer.

JA: We barely spent any time together actually recording. Traded stuff back and forth. Which I thought would be weird. But it wasn’t because we trust each other enough. I know if I send him something, it’s gonna come back and be good.

Q: Are the dynamics different now that you’re a three-piece?

KS: We have always ever been a two- or four-piece band. Something kind of miraculous feel into place with the three of us: It’s extremely balanced. The architecture of this is quite proper. We are all leaning on each other the same amount. We’re all glad to be here. Especially after losing two band members (Former bassist Joe Skyward also died in 2016.) Especially this year.

Q: Musically the new CD is different. Was the shift in sound intentional?

KS: We needed to shake things up for sure. We had to. I think the last record we did (“Blood Candy”) was really good. But it didn’t really make an impression on people. When we started this one, I said, “We cannot make another record that was similar to the last one.” Because that one we took a little step down in terms of prominence. That’s not the game I’m in.

The Posies play a secret show in the District Tuesday. “Solid States” is out now.

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