MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Are you over 40? It's your turn to tune out. Hey, under-40s, listen in now. We have a band that's never really left college behind. Well, they have physically, but spiritually maybe not. The band is called Guster. Their fifth album is Ganging Up on the Sun. It's just out.

Mr. BRIAN ROSENWORCEL (Percussionist, Guster): This is Brian Rosenworcel. I play drums in the band Guster.

Mr. RYAN MILLER (Lead Singer and Guitarist, Guster): My name is Ryan Miller. I play guitar and bass and keyboards and harmonica and sing in the band Guster.

(Soundbite of song from album, Ganging Up on the Sun)

Mr. MILLER: (Singing) When you look in the mirror, do you wish you were somebody else.

Mr. ROSENWORCEL: The band was sort of formed when we were I guess freshmen at Tufts University. We had all been in high-school bands, and we started playing out of dorm rooms. We brought a - Adam and I both brought our acoustic guitars, and...

Mr. MILLER: Did you bring your bongos from home, Brian?

Mr. ROSENWORCEL: I had a pair of bongos, and I put them on the shelf in my dorm room.

(Soundbite of song from album, Ganging Up on the Sun)

Mr. MILLER: (Singing) Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba - never be the same again...

Mr. ROSENWORCEL: I think starting out as a college band helps you only in the sense that you're definitely going to get better and not worse.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. ROSENWORCEL: You're not in danger of starting with your best record and then trying to recapture it the rest of your careers.

(Soundbite of song from album, Ganging Up on the Sun)

Mr. MILLER: (Singing) What are you running from...

Mr. ROSENWORCEL: We've definitely grown a lot over the last 12 years. When we listen to the stuff we wrote when we were 18 years old it sounds a bit sophomoric to us, as it should - we were sophomores.

(Soundbite of song from album, Ganging Up on the Sun)

Mr. MILLER: (Singing) He finds himself away...

Mr. ROSENWORCEL: For a lot of people, our band was the band that they knew about that was still underground a bit.

(Soundbite of song from album, Ganging Up on the Sun)

Mr. ROSENWORCEL: For this record, we added Joe Pisapia, who's an old friend of ours from Nashville, and he's now a full-time Guster member.

Mr. MILLER: If we were on a quest to make a classic pop record, this is the closest we've ever come.

(Soundbite of song from album, Ganging Up on the Sun)

Mr. MILLER: It's not due solely to the fact that we've chosen this new instrumentation, but it gives us a wider palette to sort of paint from. There's a song on this record, Ruby Falls, which I think is the best song we've ever written.

(Soundbite of song, Ruby Falls)

Mr. MILLER: (Singing) Can he look the other way? Some things are best unsaid...

(Soundbite of song from album, Ganging Up on the Sun)

Mr. MILLER: (Singing) You're my satellite...

Mr. MILLER: I have one funny story about this. Isn't it - when we wrote that song we wrote, you're my satellite, and then we were all like okay, but the words won't be satellite.

Mr. ROSENWORCEL: I remember spending days and maybe weeks trying to change that lyric to something else, and then we all realized well, that lyric's actually pretty good.

Mr. MILLER: And that is - if you went like just right to the soul of the band and how we work, that is exactly how it is. We deconstruct everything. Everything is meticulous.

(Soundbite of song from album, Ganging Up on the Sun)

Mr. MILLER: (Singing) You're my satellite...

Mr. MILLER: Charting the progression of this band over the course of lifespan, there's hardly ever been a jump. You know, there's been little moments along the way that have been great, like when we played on TV for the first time, and we played Woodstock, or recently we played Radio City, or even, you know, our record came out very recently and we had our highest chart debut ever.

So there's been success along the way, but there was never a moment where it was like wow, today is different than it was yesterday, and the scope - the landscape has changed. It never really happened that way. It's been a very slow progression, which is, you know, alternately very rewarding and frustrating because there have been some bands who were huge when we started off who have, you know, who are dust now, and bands who have sort of surpassed us along the way, and we sort of are like the slow turtle, I guess.

(Soundbite of song from album, Ganging Up on the Sun)

Mr. MILLER: (Singing) I'm earning a reputation...

BRAND: That's Brian Rosenworcel and Brian Miller from the band Guster. Their latest album is called Ganging Up on the Sun. More from Guster at our Web site, npr.org.

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