Singer Talks New Album and Tour for 'Storm & Grace'
Core Media Group, which owns Elvis Presley's name and likeness for project development, and Digital Domain Media Group, which produced the Tupac illusion in April, have announced they intend to create a similar image of The King, with uses that range from a possible duets album and a TV drama series to "performances" at the Graceland mansion in Memphis and perhaps on the road.
Lisa Marie, who owns Graceland and continues to hold a minority stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises, tells Billboard that "I've been maintaining that as long as things are done tastefully, I would never have a problem with it. And thankfully we've been very much involved, so we will be formulating how it'll be coming out and everything. There's no definite plans yet." Presley, who helped curate the "Elvis...Through His Daughters Eyes" exhibit at Graceland, adds that she sees the Elvis image as the next step in something like Elvis -- The Concert, a traveling show that features footage of her father on a massive video screen while a live band that includes many of his former musicians plays live. "If you want to go to the next level with that, (the image) is where you'd go. You have to stay with technology," she says.
Right now, however, Presley is more focused on "Storm & Grace," her recently released third album. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, the 11-track set -- featuring songs she co-wrote in England, where Presley and her family now reside, with Ed Harcourt, Richard Hawley and others -- is a rootsy and organic affair that Presley says was more comfortable to make than her previous two efforts.
"The other two albums were more me trying to prove something or so something deliberately NOT to sound like something," she explains. "I hid behind the music, hid behind the production. It was a lot of fighting and kicking and yelling. There was always the pressure to write with the hit writers, get with the big producer, push me into the Top 40. It was very antagonistic, and very contrived. And, really, I've always just been a singer-songwriter. So this time I was able to do that and stay with that and write with great people and make music that felt more right for me to be making."
Presley also acknowledges a certain irony that while most of "Storm & Grace's" songs were written in England, it's a decidedly Americana-sounding album. "Yeah, it's ironic, but not necessarily unlike me," she notes with a laugh. "I don't think it's shocking that I would do the right thing when I'm permitted the freedom and space."
She wrote more than two dozen songs that she presented to Burnett, too, which may represent the head start for her next album, though Presley adds that "I would probably go through another round of (songwriting) to see what comes out of me, then maybe mix them together because I think there's some really good (songs) that I love. I don't have plan for them at the moment, though."
Presley kicked off a short U.S. tour on June 11 in Philadelphia, with hopes of more dates in the future. "I know there's talk of me heading overseas and maybe coming back and doing more of (North America)," she says. "I want to do more. That's my favorite part, playing live. The plan changes literally every week or two; there's so many balls in the air at the moment, we'll just how to see where they land."
LISA MARIE JUNE TOUR DATES / More Info
14 - New York, NY (Gramercy Theatre)
15 - Baltimore, MD - (Soundstage)
16 - Boston, MA (Wilbur Theatre)
18 - Des Moines, IA (Wooly's)
19 - Minneapolis, MN (Fine Line Music Cafe)
20 - Chicago, IL (Bottom Lounge)
21 - Indianapolis, IN (Deluxe)
24 - San Francisco, CA (Slim's)
26 - Los Angeles, CA (The Roxy)
27 - San Diego, CA (Belly Up)