When it came time to record their Warner Bros. debut, the band looked directly to its hometown for inspiration. "MANHATTAN" is more than an album -it's a statement of purpose and a portrait of life in New York City. "We were all bartenders, so the songs are tales of experiences we had or saw, and other people who were characters in our life during the first year we were in this band," Cummings says. (And for the record, SKATERS chose their band name because it captures their young and fearless attitude. The album kicks off with subway noises, "Because that's the sound of our lives," Cummings says. The disc was even recorded by John Hill (Santigold, Wavves) in the API room at Greenwich Village's iconic Electric Lady Studios, named after its one-of-a-kind board. "MANHATTAN" features other little pieces of the city, too, in the form of sounds and conversations Hubbard nabbed on an old-school handheld tape recorder. "There's a cab ride in there, there's kids yelling in Brooklyn, girls talking in a café," Rubin says. "It's like a book of short stories," Cummings adds, deadpanning, "It's Salinger's Nine Stories but it's Eleven Stories by SKATERS. And the writing is much better."