John Mellencamp Working on New Album
Now that his musical, ‘Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,’ is behind him, John Mellencamp is ready to get back to rocking. In a new interview, the songwriter says he’s written a massive amount of songs since 2010’s ‘No Better Than This.’
“I’ve got a notebook with 85 new songs that I’ve written for my next record,” he tells Rolling Stone. “T Bone Burnett is going to come out to Indiana sometime in early January and we’re gonna go into the studio for however long it takes to make a new album. I haven’t done one in five years.”
Mellencamp has already rehearsed a bunch of the songs with his band, and will try out some new ones later in the month. Once the new record is out, he hopes to mount an extensive North American tour, with him playing some different venues than he has done in the recent past.
“I want to play places I haven’t played since the 1980s. I want to go to Hays, Kan. and Youngstown, Ohio. In the 1990s I kept playing these same f—in’ sheds and arenas. It was a drag. I’d walk in and realize I’d been in the dressing room fifty times before.”
Even though the details of the record and tour are still undetermined, one thing is certain: the album will be produced by T-Bone Burnett, who worked with Mellencamp on his last three efforts, including ‘Ghost Brothers,’ “I never want to work with anyone else,” Mellencamp says. “At least, I want to work with him as long as he wants to work with me. He’s a minimalist. He was able to strip down all my songs. My ’90s records were almost paint-by-numbers. He came in and said to me, ‘You don’t need this part. You don’t need that part. Take out these background vocals…'”