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Maxwell Speaks On The Tone Of His New Album, Breaks Down Upcoming Tour

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Maxwell recently sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss his tenure on the road and divulge some new information as to when we'll hear the follow-up to 2009's Blacksummers'night. After explaining the cancelation of his last mini-tour and attributing it to a fairly serious vocal chord affliction that needed to be operated on and how that made him question the mortality of his career, the soul assassin talked at length about the new record, claiming its completion and definitive tone. He spoke on how the feel of the record changed when his close friend and cousin unexpectedly passed, but how he's embraced the artist's duty of transforming their personal pain into something polished for others to enjoy. Below you can catch some of the more compelling snippets from the interview, but be sure to keep it locked as details roll-out on the new album. Head over to Rolling Stone for the full scoop.

On the cancellation of his tour and his vocal chord operation: 

"You know, you always think about it. I thought to myself, "Damn." But luckily my doctor, Dr. Jimmy Morales, who works with so many people — from rappers to public speakers, it's insane who he's involved with — he assured me that it was not major, that it was something you must deal with now. It's better to deal with it now and cancel these dates, which, you know, even when I canceled the dates, I paid my entire staff — the musicians, the crew, everything. Literally out of my own pocket because everyone has families, so I didn't want them to be restricted because of the experience I was going through. So, I took care of them, and I think it was good karma in itself. [It] kind of helped with the healing process, so, you know, I was back in motion."

On the upcoming tour:

"Well, I can tell you that it's a secondary-market tour, and I like to get those out of the way first because I never get to really go to these beautiful, rare places like Albuquerque, New Mexico and Grand Rapids, which is the home of DeBarge, whom I love. I love DeBarge, the falsetto, the family, the songs — everything they've ever done, I'm obsessed with. So, you know, you get to go to these places in America that most people don't usually get to. They usually do the big city. So, I get to build a show, test out some of the songs, and then gear up for a much more expansive production down the road. The album is going to come out."

On the new album and the loss of his cousin: 

"...We were in Miami for three months earlier this year. We've been working over the course of the last three years. I kind of lost my cousin about a month and a half ago — probably my best friend in the world. He was like my little brother, really. We grew up together. I remember when he moved into the house when he was just a baby. I was about six years old. So you can imagine, a six-year difference — I'm 13 and he's six — so you're just kind of helping someone fend for himself. So that's the relationship and he passed away suddenly. He had an enlarged heart and had a heart attack. So when that happened, it totally changed everything about the album on some level because there's a certain amount of counting your blessings, forgiving things that you thought were unforgivable. Being an artist, it's like, "Damn, why do I need to have fucked up things happen for things to sound so nice for people?" It's weird. It's so weird, bro. I don't even get it. I take it as it comes and I go, "This is what you're here to do. You're here to take on your life and what you go through — mostly the worst part of it — and make it into something nice so people feel that they can relate and they can overcome certain experiences." So that's what I'm doing now."