Everlast Confronts 'War' On First Album Since '04
Three years after his 2004 Island Def Jam debut, "White Trash Beautiful," was released to a muted response, singer/songwriter Everlast has wrapped work on his next effort, "Love, War and the Ghost ofThree years after his 2004 Island Def Jam debut, "White Trash Beautiful," was released to a muted response, singer/songwriter Everlast has wrapped work on his next effort, "Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford." Due early next year, the set will be released via a joint venture between Three Ring Projects Management and Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
"I turned in what I thought was one of the better albums of my life when I was signed to Island Def Jam with Lyor Cohen. But a couple of weeks after I signed, Lyor got his offer from Warner [Music Group] and the new team that came in basically could give two sh*ts about me. My project was left out in the wind," Everlast tells Billboard.com. "It left a bad taste in my mouth and I swore I wouldn't sign another deal like that again. But, I found new management that saw what I wanted to do and found a deal that was tolerable. Now the pressure to sell millions isn't on me. I can sell modest numbers, have fun and make good music, and still be successful."
The deal, which follows a similar arrangement between Three Ring Projects and "American Idol" star Elliot Yamin, is a 50/50 profit sharing agreement.
"This new model gives the artist significant input into the creative, marketing and promotion of his music," explains Three Ring Projects' Jeff Rabhan. "The deal is structured as a partnership that allows Everlast to be involved as a creative partner in the album's financial success."
According to Everlast, the 15-track "Whitey Ford," produced by himself and longtime partner Keefus Ciancia and featuring no collaborations, is a lot edgier and aggressive than his previous work. "There's a lot of heavy stuff on this album -- songs about my struggles with love, relationships and all the things that come with that, and social commentary about what's going on in the world now," he says.
"I think people are real sheltered in America. If you didn't watch the news, you wouldn't know there was a war going on. It's like, 'Just keep eating your Cheetos and we promise not to show you some dead Iraqis and Americans,'" he continues. "I have strong thoughts about what's going on and a lot of people won't like what I have to say." Potential singles include the opener, "Kill The Emperor," and "Letters Home From the Garden of Stone," written from the perspective of a dead soldier.
Meanwhile, Everlast wrote the theme song and is scoring music for the TNT series "Saving Grace." He is also part of a rap/punk/rock group with former House Of Pain members DJ Lethal and Danny Boy called La Coka Nostra. "Our mentality is f*ck radio, f*ck TV, f*ck everyone that's ruined this game," says Everlast about the group. "Everyone wants to get paid, but when I was young there was that thing called selling the f*ck out. It seems to be rampant and OK now."