The idea at the moment is to have kind of a rocking side and then an acoustic-y, maybe country-ish side," Vickrey says. "We got the first half done in May in New York, so half of it is pretty strong and done. And now we're going to work on the second half, the country tunes, during the tour."
That tour is a co-headlining jaunt with the Goo Goo Dolls, which opened June 21 in Ridgefield, Wash. As for the already recorded material, Vickrey says the band called upon frontman/lyricist Adam Duritz to "sift through a lot of the ideas that we had in the past."
New song titles include "Come Around," "Hanging Tree" and "Suffocate." The latter track pre-dates the band's 1996 sophomore album "Recovering the Satellites," which appropriately is also the stylistic direction Vickrey sees the band headed. The upcoming album also reunited the Crows with "Satellites" producer Gil Norton.
"I think it's a lot more rocking," Vickrey says of the new album. "If you take the most rocking song from our previous records, it's an album of that. It's a little heavier. It has that same sound as 'Recovering,' kind of a live feel for me and a live sound -- very guitar oriented."
To bridge the gap between the new set's release, the Crows today released the live album "New Amsterdam -- Live at Heineken Music Hall," which was recorded during the band's 2003 European tour and features the new track "Hazy."
Despite the fact the Counting Crows will be celebrating 15 years together this summer, Vickrey is optimistic the outfit's new material bodes well for its future.
"I think we still have good music in us," Vickrey said. "Listening to the new songs, it's like 'Yeah, this is something we've never done before.' I can hear it and go, 'Wow, that doesn't sound like us. We have more to say.'"