Although the new jams that D’Angelo has unveiled in the handful of live shows he has performed since returning to the stage early this year have felt–reassuringly–like logical progressions from his previous catalog, picking up roughly where Voodoo left off, if not exactly staying in that spot. According to a ?uestlove interview published in Rolling Stone yesterday, however, that is not what we should expect from his forthcoming LP.
“He is about to take a radical 180 turn with this record,” says Questlove. “It’s going to throw people off the same way that Prince’s Dirty Mind threw his R&B fanbase off. In the past few years, he’s discovered Bowie and Zeppelin, the Beatles, Pet Sounds, Captain Beefheart and Zappa.
Speaking on the influx of more rock-ish musical inspiration and the addition of guitar-playing to D’Angelo’s repertoire, ?uesto adds:
For the last 12 years, he’s been strumming the guitar … He is so painfully shy about it. I think in his head, if he doesn’t surpass Eddie Hazel, Santana, James Blood Ulmer and Frank Zappa as an axeman, he doesn’t want to share it with the world…My whole reasoning for doing [the super-jam at Bonnaroo] was to show him who his real audience is…I wanted him to see how loved he really is, because he really doesn’t get it. He seriously doesn’t watch television. He’s not on a computer at all. He’s still listening to vinyl, cassettes and a Discman.”
“I’m just hoping that this was enough fire to really make him do that. Because we spoke the day after [Bonnaroo] and he said, ‘I’m so happy.’ I said, ‘Now you just turn in your damn record. Just finish. Just turn it in. Let your children go already.”
?uesto expands on the super-jam experience and adds more tantalizing details about the new LP in the full interview, getting right down to the synth voices and patches that define D’Angelo’s new sound. Read it in full at RS.