Sturgill Simpson Says His Next Album Is Ready to Go — But Fans Will Have to Wait
Since the May 2014 release of Sturgill Simpson's Metamodern Sounds in Country Music -- the album that brought the singer-songwriter to the forefront of alternative country music and greatly expanded his fan base -- fans have been awaiting new tunes. Unfortunately for them, Simpson says they're going to have to wait.
The Kentucky native admits that he has finished his next project, but he's choosing to take some time off before releasing the album.
"I don't want to put it out just yet, because I know I'm just going to have to turn around and do what I just did all over again," Simpson tells GQ. "Quite honestly, I need about six months at home with my family."
Additionally, taking time off from recording and the road will also help Simpson figure out what his next steps will be, musically speaking.
"Hopefully, instead of being out on the road, I'll be doing what's-next-what's-next, you know?" he explains. "For me, it's all about being in the moment and having freedom. In the mechanics of the industry, the art comes last. But the art is what can't be put on a timeline. You can't say, 'Well, I'm going to make a record in May because that's when the producer has a window.' So just recording and getting things out is paramount for me. That has to be spontaneous. You're gonna bottle this time capsule. You don't want the band to even know the songs."
Simpson's musical inspirations are varied, and while he may currently be considered a country artist, that's not necessarily how he sees himself at this point in his career.
"I grew up listening to everything. I was in rock 'n' roll bands and punk bands, and I loved bluegrass and country music, too. Then, when I moved to Nashville, I put out a very traditional country record because that's just what you do. I had a bunch of very traditional country songs. Next thing you know, you're a country singer," he says. "I just don't see myself as a songwriter or a country singer or any of those things anymore. It's more trying to express ideas and emotional textures. Everything from the writing to the production to the performance — and how it all comes together.
"All I'm really interested in musically is trying to make concept albums. Serving a larger sum than the parts," Simpson continues. "I just can't sit down and write three verses and a chorus and a bridge anymore. I just don't find it inspiring."