Van Hunt sat down for an interview with the Chicago Tribune which went online yesterday, delving into the his love/hate relationship with the major label system over the years. Speaking on getting dropped from Blue Note when they rejected his (ironically named) LP Popular for release, Van Hunt says:
It didn’t have much to do with me or any particular person at the label. It was about what they thought I represented as an artist and what they thought they represented as label. It didn’t make financial sense to them. I tried to make a record that they would like, but they didn’t think it was commercially viable. I could chase my tail forever with that. Maybe doing something a little softer, moodier, would’ve been better suited for them. Rather than what I gave them, which was an edgy, funk kind of rock record.
Though the majors set him up with a Grammy-winning career, Van Hunt says he is now “Glad to be free of their restrictions.” He also talks about the diverse stew of influences that defined his brand new LP What Were You Hoping For–a decidedly unbox-shaped sound that might have been a tough sell for a major:
I really wasn’t sure what it would wind up being sonically. I love Bach cello suites, I love punk music, I love old blues, negro spiritual quartets, Muddy Waters’ ‘You Need Love.’