Jamie Stewart spent the first part of 2019 dealing with a bundle of nerves.
It was because he was releasing a new album.
“It’s nerve-wracking,” he says of the time leading up to an album’s release. “I can’t think of anything else that is worse.”
After two years of working on material, Stewart and his band, Xiu Xiu, released “Girl With Basket of Fruit” on Feb. 8.
It is the band’s first album since 2017’s “Forget.”
“(The process) was definitely less linear (than that for the last album),” he says. “Only a few of the songs fall in the tradition of verse, chorus. We also collaborated with Nigerian drummers on some songs.”
Stewart and crew recently finished a European tour, and the current U.S. leg will bring the band to Sister on Monday, June 3.
Stewart is the only remaining original member of Xiu Xiu, with numerous musicians having rotated throughout the years.
The current lineup is Stewart, Thor Harris and Christopher Pravidica.
The album, Xiu Xiu’s 11th release, was co-produced by Angela Seo and Greg Saunier.
It was recorded in Stewart’s home studio in San Francisco.
“We’re playing a lot of songs from the new record,” he says. “It’s been an amazing time incorporating the new stuff with the catalog.”
Stewart has spent the majority of his music career on the road.
He says it’s something you never get used to.
“I think you just submit to the fact that most of it is going to suck,” he says. “Once you get onstage, that’s where it makes everything worth it. I’ve learned to read and sleep as much as I can on tour. I try to focus on the good parts of touring, which is basically being able to share the music with the fans.”
That’s partly why he doesn’t put together a set list beforehand.
“I try to see what the universe has decided,” he says. “I very much want to be a very instinctual and universe-base driven person. Occasionally, that won’t happen. But I always move forward.”
The show on June 3 will mark the band’s first date in New Mexico since 2014.
“I don’t know what has taken so long,” he says about the five-year gap. “I was in White Sands last year, so I’ve been in New Mexico, just not playing any music. That will change.”