Billy Idol
Getty Images

Billy Idol is planning to put out some new music and old memories in 2014.

The punk rock veteran is in the midst of both recording a new album and writing an autobiography, Idol told Billboard during a conference call with reports for this year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, where he'll play a midnight set on June 15. Idol has been slipping new songs such as "Ghosts" and "Love and Glory" into his recent sets, and he says that after his current tour ends in late July he and his band will hunker down on finishing what will be his first album since 2006's "Happy Holidays" and his first of original material since "Devil's Playground" in 2005.

"We're building up to make a new album in the autumn," Idol reported. "I've been gradually putting new songs together. A couple of them are a little more ballad-like, but of course we balance those off against a lot of the sort of fun Idol songs that people know and expect. It's as easy and as difficult as it's always been. A new songs is kind of like an undiscovered country...You're dreaming up this world that is going to exist. It's just in song shape. I still find it really exciting. There's the same easy part to it, the same difficult part to songwriting. I find it really intriguing, I really do. The day you come up with a killer song you're just over the moon. It pays you back a thousand fold."

The book, meanwhile, is a bit further along. "I'm three-quarters of the way through it; we're actually editing at the moment," Idol said. "It's sort of my recollections, which is almost a massive joke 'cause I don't remember anything! The bits I do remember...I've tried to give an overview of my career or my love of music or whatever, my personal way through life, maybe some thoughts about what I've done right or wrong in my life. In general it's a bit of a walk through my career, just said in my own words, really."

Idol did hint that there might be a bit of dirt flying in the memoir, too. "All I tried to do was write about things as I saw them, and I didn't try to think about was it sensational, was it this or was it that," he said. "I tried to honestly write about how I felt about things as they happened."

Idol did say that he's looking forward to joining the list of heritage rockers that have played at Bonnaroo, but he isn't planning to give any quarter due to his age. "We're going to be doing our party set, so to speak," he said. "We'll have a blitz of a set and have a hell of a good time. I know Bonnaroo is famous for partying. I usually go on stage pretty straight these days, but I'm going to get the biggest contact high of all time, 'cause I know how wild the audience is."



Billboard Music Awards Videos

See All BBMA Video

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print