John Mellencamp is eyeing a new recording deal with Universal Records.
John Mellencamp is eyeing a new recording deal with Universal Records. The veteran singer/songwriter has been signed for the past eight years to Columbia, which issued his most recent studio album, 2003's "Trouble No More." Beforehand, he'd spent the bulk of his career on Mercury, which was absorbed by the Universal Music Group (UMG) in the late 1990s.
Mellencamp told the Bloomington (Ind.) Herald-Times he is dealing directly with UMG head Doug Morris as he prepares new material. "He's not making comments, and he's not asking to have final say," Mellencamp says of Morris. "He just wants to be involved with what I'm writing, and I'm fine with that. It's a new process for me."
The artist says he's unsure if he will sign directly to a Universal label or release new music on his own imprint.
As for his long-in-the-works collaboration with author Stephen King on the musical "The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County," Mellencamp says a director is still being sought for the project.
"What we will do is take it to Chicago or the equivalent and workshop it -- get the kinks out before we try to take it to Broadway," Mellencamp told the Herald-Times. "Elton John opened his musical in San Francisco, and it lasted all of seven days before they closed it down and decided to rework it. When we hit Broadway, we want it ready from day one."
In the meantime, the artist has a handful of shows on tap this spring, running through April 18 in South Bend, Ind. He will also stage a free, outdoor show in downtown Indianapolis on Sunday (April 2) as part of the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four.