NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 28, 2013 – Australian-born singer Keith Urban is preparing the highly anticipated release of his ninth studio album, and while the record has plenty of material in the works, he admits that he is constantly heading into a new direction. As he finds or writes a new song, he notes that the project, titled Fuse, catapults a fresh stream of inspiration, and it becomes something different. The forthcoming album is set for release on September 10.
“If you had asked me three months ago, I’d have said we’ve got 13, 14 songs done and were just going to round them out,” he tells Billboard. “But new songs have come along that I’ve finished writing or I find, and before you know it, we’re back in tracking those, and then the album goes off into a different direction.
He adds, citing his creative prowess, “I’ve probably got about 16 or 17 songs, and I’ve got about three or four, maybe five more to do. There’s lost of material; I’ve just got to figure out what constitutes the album at this stage.”
On Fuse, Urban says that he’s working with a wide multitude of collaborators, including Dann Huff, Nathan Chapman, Butch Walker, Mike Elizondo, Jay Joyce and Zach Crowell. “I’m just seeing what comes out of me working with those guys,” Urban says, noting his penchant for instruments. “I love working with people who play a lot of instruments, and really, all these guys play lots of instruments and they program and play synths and they can build an entire track just on their own.”
“I love the idea of working close and collaboratively with people like that so we can work quickly and we can not have to try and get this vision across to six, seven, eight different people in the studio — not exclusively, but I like starting like that,” he continues.
While the lead single “Little Bit of Everything” was the final decision to kick of the album on the right foot, he asserts that three other tracks had the same potential. “Even the Stars Fall for You,” “Cop Car” and “She’s My 11” were all considered to be the first offering from the album but says “there’s any likelihood we might cut something that is a stronger, better choice for the next single for whatever reason.”
Without a new album under his belt, he will launch his Light the Fuse Tour this summer on July 13 in Cincinnati. He discloses, “I’ve never done that, and certainly I’ve never hit the road before an album was finished, but that’s what’s going to happen this year.”
“Basically we’re going to hit the road with one single out, an album in the works, and there’ll just be certain songs that feel right to do live even though nobody knows them. But the way I look at it is that when people hear a song on the radio, that’s the first time they’ve heard it, too, and hopefully it connects with them and they want to hear it again. So our stage will be kind of like our radio station, and we’ll be playing these songs for the first time.”
On the possibility of returning to the American Idol panel next season, Urban says he doesn’t know anything. “I have no official information of anything,” the 45-year-old singer-songwriter tells Huffington Post. “I’m pretty much in the same boat as everybody else here with the rumors that have been floating around. I don’t know anything more about what’s happening next season. It was like this before I signed on … so it’s not unusual for the `Idol’ folks to be in this place of figuring out what they want to do, then they always pull it together.”
He continues of the panel’s lack of chemistry, “I did as much as I could in the environment we had,” Urban said of the judges. Yet he was able to find some satisfaction working with the contestants: “I love artists. I love the beginnings of artists when all they’ve got is raw talent and nothing else. They’ve got no star power, just nothing going on but just this raw talent that’s just beautiful to see, and you look at them and just go, `All you’re needing is life experience … because you’ve got everything else ready to go.'”
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