The fact that David Bowie‘s upcoming album Blackstar will be eclectic was probably implied from the get-go — but, as revealed in a new Rolling Stone preview, Bowie’s most recent influences will likely surprise even the most unquestioning fans.
“We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar,” Tony Visconti, Bowie’s longtime producer, told the magazine. “We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn’t do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll.”
One of the primary non-rock influences turned out to be jazz — Bowie enlisted Donny McCaslin, Jason Lindner, Tim Lefebvre, and Mark Guiliana after hearing the quartet play at New York jazz club 55 Bar. “They can play something at the drop of a dime,” Visconti added. “Jason [Linder] was a godsend. We gave him some pretty far-out chords, but he brought a jazz sensibility to re-voice them.”
The impact of LCD Soundsystem‘s James Murphy also represents another unlikely influence, from a very different direction. “At one point we were talking about three producers for the album: David, James and myself,” Visconti said. “His role was never really defined,” Guiliana told Rolling Stone. “He brought in some synths and some percussion and had a ton of ideas.”
Read the full preview here.