Television-Era Tunes Sneak Onto Lloyd Album

Richard Lloyd, the guitarist in the seminal new wave band Television, hasn't released a solo album since 1987. We've had him to kick around, mind you; he spent a lengthy tenure as one of Matthew Sweet's main sidemen. But with The Cover Doesn't Matter, Lloyd has returned to active duty under his own name — and he promises it won't be another 14-year wait for the next one.

"I have studio time booked — hopefully, if we don't get bumped by some bigger act who's in there now — to get working on the next record," says Lloyd, who recorded his new album with bassist Peter Stuart and drummer Chris Butler. "I really want to get in front of people. I feel like I'm coming to the height of my powers, as it were, as a guitarist, so I have no intention of not putting out another record sooner rather than later. I wouldn't have said that before."

Several of the songs from The Cover Doesn't Matter have been gestating for quite some time, Lloyd says. The chorus of "Strangestrange," for instance, dates back to 1972, while "Downline" is about 10 years old. And Lloyd wrote "I Thought" during the late '70s, while Television was still active, and the song was subsequently recorded by Chris Stamey.

"I'm not prolific," Lloyd notes. "I was on the tour bus with Matthew Sweet, and he'd come out of the back of the bus and say, 'I just wrote 56 songs,' and they're all good. Me, I'm just sweating bullets; I'll write the title, have an idea, write two lines, and it'll dry up. I'm getting better, though."

Lloyd plans to tour to promote The Cover Doesn't Matter, and he says Television is planning to reactivate for some dates this year — including a stop at Chicago's edition of the Noise Pop Festival — and most likely at European festivals.