Lenny Kravitz Wraps 'Raw' New Album, Talks 'Are You Gonna…' Reissue and 'Hunger Games'
As he brings out a Deluxe Edition of one of his most successful albums, Lenny Kravitz is also eyeing a spring 2014 for his next set of new music.
Kravitz tells Billboard he finished the follow-up to 2011's "Black and White America" during mid-September and is "very excited about it. It's very deconstructed, very minimal. Guitar, bass and drums are the primary instruments. There's some sax and horns on some tracks. There's an orchestra on one track, but for the most part it's very raw but it's got a big sound. At times it's only three instruments playing, and it sounds really big."
So, of course, does "Are You Gonna Go My Way," Kravitz's double-platinum third album that's just out as a 20th anniversary two-disc Deluxe Edition. The set -- his third top-seller behind 2000's "Greatest Hits" and 1998's "5" -- reached No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and topped the charts in the U.K., Canada, Australia and Sweden, and spawned hits in the title track, "Believe" and "Heaven Help." The new package sports a remastered version of the 11-track album, seven-B-side tracks and an extra disc of acoustic versions and demos, including songs Kravitz wrote for Vanessa Paradis' self-titled 1992 debut, which he produced.
"I don't listen to my music very often at all," says Kravitz, who's also released 20th anniversary editions of 1989's "Let Love Rule" and 1991's "Mama Said." "So when I revisit these record it really takes me back into a time capsule and it brings me back to my life at that point and reminds me what was going on. I can feel where I was. I can remember the people I was involved with that were in my life, the smells, the tastes, just the feeling in general of my life at that time. I remember all of the moments in the studio. It just all comes back to me, so it's an interesting thing to have this look back into your life."
Kravitz says "Are You Gonna Go My Way's" success came as a surprise, though it was a natural evolution from its two predecessors.
"I didn't know what I wanted to do; it just did what it wanted to do," he recalls. "It was an amazing time; 'Let Love Rule' and 'Mama Said' had done very well and I was touring the world and seeing the world for the first time that extensively, and my life was very, very free, very wild, a lot of craziness going on -- a lot of emotions and a lot of feelings. But I had no idea that this record was going to catapult me into that next level, no idea at all. I was just really enjoying the creative process."
While fans are digging into the deluxe "Are You Gonna Go My Way" and waiting for Kravitz's next album, they'll also be able to see him on the big screen when "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" opens Nov. 22. Kravitz reprises his role as stylist Cinna, and he says he enjoyed making "Catching Fire" as much as he did the first "Hunger Games" film.
"I haven't seen it yet, but I've seen the trailer and it looks amazing," Kravitz says. "I had a lot of fun making it. We all really dig each other, the actors on the set. We have very close relationships, and we have a new director, Francis Lawrence. It looks like it's going to be amazing, and I have no doubt it's going to be a huge film."
And, as fans of the book series know, Kravitz's character isn't long for the world of District 12. "He has a dramatic exit," Kravitz notes. "You'll see."