Having dabbled in various styles over his two-decade-plus career, singer-songwriter Charles Thompson (aka Frank Black, Black Francis) tells Billboard.com his creative approach — as heard on his new Black Francis CD “NonStopErotik,” due out March 30 on Cooking Vinyl — remains the same. That is, there isn’t one.
“I have to say I’m pretty limited in the whole artistic vision department,” Thompson says. “I basically set out to make a record and at times in the beginning of the process I don’t even have the songs. It’s just kind of a big burst of energy. I don’t really have any pre-requisites to make it this or make it like that. There is no goal other than, ‘Let’s make a record, let’s make it good.’ That’s how I work on every single record.”
For “NonStopErotik,” which was recorded in Los Angeles, London and Brooklyn last fall and produced by Eric Drew Feldman (Captain Beefheart and PJ Harvey) and Thompson, the 11-track affair includes the tender piano ballad title track, the garage-y rocker “Cinema Star” and the Creedence Clearwater Revival-inspired “When I Go Down On You,” as well as a cover of the Flying Burrito Brothers‘ “Wheels.” While Thompson expects to tour the album in 2010, no date has been set.
“I’m not sure when it’s going to happen, but it’s rare that I don’t have some kind of tour going on within a calendar year,” Thompson says. “It’s just I have lots of things going on and I haven’t quite nailed down the ‘NonStopErotik’ tour yet. But I’m sure it’ll be all the usual places. It’s been a while since I did some serious touring on the Eastern Seaboard. It’s been a while since I managed to pull that off, so I would imagine that would be the priority that I hit that area before I go anywhere else.”
“NonStopErotik” isn’t the only new release from Thompson, who at his Web site is offering his score to the 1920 German expressionist film “The Golem.” Another project in Thompson’s future involves working on a second Grand Duchy record with his wife Violet Clark. As for the beloved Pixies getting together to tour or even perhaps finally get around to recording a new album, nothing is planned.
“Well, I decided the more I address that question in the press the less likely it is to happen because it kind of identifies me as a person with an agenda to other people in the world, specifically certain people,” Thompson says. “People that might be musicians in a band. So when I play that agenda outside of the band bubble on my own, I can see it from their point of view. It comes off as kind of egotistical or assuming and just makes me come off as more of a pompous ass than I really am and makes it more difficult for me to navigate that particular ship into the harbor.”