Halfway through my conversation with Atsuo, drummer and spokesman for drone metal trio Boris, I bring out an original CD copy of the group's 1996 release, "Absolutego."

"This sure brings back memories," he says, looking at his band's self-released debut. The record is, in a way, relevant to the group's latest release, "Dear," because depending on who you ask, this may or may not be the band's 23rd studio album.

"That depends on whether they count this as an album or not," says Atsuo with a smile, pointing to the CD in question. According to him, the 60-minute, droning one-track release is actually a single, not an album. He's also the first to admit that even he has lost count of how many albums the famously prolific group has released in its 25-year history.