Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers hope there’s more Mudcrutch in their future.
The reunited Gainesville, Fla., band that Petty and company took to Los Angeles in 1974 releases its self-titled “debut” on April 29 and plays 11 California shows beginning Saturday in Malibu. Promoting the album will be interrupted by a Heartbreakers summer tour that begins May 30, but Campbell tells Billboard.com “there’s hope” that Mudcrutch will resurface on the other side of that — and beyond.
“It’s not a nostalgia trip,” says keyboardist Tench. “It’s a living, breathing band. And it’s certainly, I hope, not a one-off, because I really love it and I have missed the sound.”
Guitarist Campbell adds that the 14-track album — recorded with Petty on bass and original Mudcrutch members Tom Leadon (younger brother of Eagles co-founder Bernie Leadon) on guitar and Randall Marsh on drums — “was such a pleasure to do, and the response to the record has been so positive so far. If there is an audience for it, we would certainly have a reason to do it again.”
It sounds like there will be time. Campbell says that after the summer tour the Heartbreakers will “take a couple years off to write the next album. We’d like to make a really great album this time and take our time with the songs … and work on it at our own speed.” There’s no new material yet, according to Campbell, but he says that it’s “looming.”
Campbell and Tench, meanwhile, will be heard on Neil Diamond’s new album, “Home Before Dark,” after working on 2005’s gold-certified “12 Songs.” “The songs are wonderful, just wonderful,” Tench says, while Campbell adds that, like “12 Songs,” it’s another sans-drums effort that’s “built around Neil and his guitar. We made him play guitar again, and he loved it. He wrote some good songs and, of course, Rick Rubin produced it, which is always fun.”