Kid Rock has shifted gears on his next album, hooking up with producer Rick Rubin and telling Billboard.com that "we won't release anything until we both agree that every song on it is great."
Rock had previously fast-tracked the record and predicted having it out in the fourth quarter of this year, with a single possibly dropping this summer. But after the double-platinum showing of 2007's "Rock N Roll Jesus" and the chart-topping success of the single "All Summer Long," Rock says he's anxious to maintain that momentum with what he does next.
"It's hard to follow big records with another big record," he notes. "I had most of (the next album) in the stages where I could go in and finish it up. Then Rick said, 'I look at these like demos, and we should go back in with the right players and re-cut everything...To really solidify into the big leagues, I think we have to do it this way.' And I was like, 'I'm open to anything.'"
Rock says he has 18-20 songs ready for the album that he and Rubin will discuss and "prioritize" during the coming week, while Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker Band are in Florida preparing for their summer tour. "Right now we're just looking at where the record is and what's gonna round out the record," he explains. "Do we need a big record? Do we need this or that?' I think we've got everything; it's just a matter of zeroing in on it now."
Rock says he will have a small recording rig on the road with him in order to fine-tune any of the existing songs or write new material. He and Rubin will also be eyeballing potential studio time and might even "go rent a cool place somewhere and set up there for two or three weeks."
"It's kind of weird," Rock notes, "'cause I've never written a record and then gone into the studio. I've always written the record as I've been in the studio."
Fans might get a chance to hear some of the new material at shows this summer, too. Rock says he plans to have Twisted Brown Trucker rehearse the songs at sound checks and have them ready to insert into the shows.
"There's so many things you can learn from going out and playing your record live, things you might've done differently," explains Rock, who starts the tour Friday in West Palm Beach, Fla., and will play a two-night stand July 17-18 at Detroit's Comerica Park baseball stadium. "So we're going to at least start playing them all in sound check and screwing around with them every day. If nothing else, at least when we go into the studio we'll have a feel for playing these songs live."