RZA says "Chamber Music" is NOT a new Wu-Tang Clan album -- but it's pretty close.
"This is not a Wu-Tang Clan album, but this definitely feels Wu-Tang Clan inspired," explains the hip-hop impresario, who executive produced the June 30 set that features Clan members Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck and U-God working out with guests such as M.O.P., Kool G Rap, Havoc, Az, Tre Williams and more over live music beds played by the New York band the Revelations.
"I think the ('Chamber Music') title is very fitting. This music is totally in the chamber, or in the mind-frame of Wu-Tang like in the ('Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)') days. But it's not a Wu-Tang Clan album. The whole clan's not on this album. But it couldn't be in any other category but Wu-Tang."
RZA credits the "Chamber Music" idea to collaborator and producer Bob Perry, who proposed "an album with Wu-inspired music with you (Wu-Tang) guys spitting all over it and bringing it back to that vintage sound -- without sampling." An extensive search yielded the Revelations, who RZA says "just basically had the vibe" and allowed the album to have a consistent flavor across its 17 tracks. "It was like the old days where I would produce Wu-Tang Clan albums -- one producer, one mind, one sound," RZA notes.
On "Chamber Music" RZA also warmed to the idea of sending tracks around to the different MCs and singers rather than requiring everyone to be in the studio together. "I don't usually like to do that," he explains, "but in this case we were able to do that and get it successfully done. I'd rather have Ghostface right there. I'd rather have Method Man come to the studio. I still like the energy in a room, but in a digital age people are kind of ignoring that."
RZA says he and Ghostface Killah have "talked about" a new Wu-Tang album -- the troupe's first since 2007's "8 Diagrams" -- but haven't made concrete plans yet. "We'll see what life brings," says RZA, who's working on his film directoral debut, "The Man With the Iron Fist," and has a brief appearance in the upcoming Adam Sandler-Seth Rogan comedy "Funny People," as well as some performances on the Rock The Bells tour. "The Wu-Tang saga continues. We continue to just live out this hip-hop legacy and take our artistic challenges to other mediums...and we'll come together when the time is right. It's never an easy task, but I'm always up for that challenge."