New Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Rod Stewart has just finished work on his first album of new material in more than a decade. "It's ready to go," Stewart says. "It's seven new songs by R.D. Stewart, that's me."
The album will also feature four covers, one of a Tom Waits song. "I don't think I've ever written seven songs for one album, which I have here," says Stewart. "People are saying that it sounds like Gasoline Alley revisited, though I don't see that. It's a hats off to the past, and also a hats off to the future." Stewart hopes to release the LP in May.
Rod surprised even himself when he began to write songs for the project. "During the American Songbook period I thought that the art of writing songs had left," he says. "Suddenly, it all came flooding back to me. It was so much more enjoyable than when I used to write songs. I've got a bit more to write about now. They're grown-up songs. There's no 'Hot Legs' or 'Do You Think I'm Sexy?'"
The new project marks the end of his highly successful American Songbook series of covers albums. "That's all dead and gone," Stewart says. "I did five of those. We milked it dry. They all sold tremendously well. I think 7 million all together."
Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart have been planning their first collaborative album since the original Jeff Beck Group split in 1969, but the project has been delayed. "We've run into contractual problems," Stewart says. "Hopefully we can start on it next year, if Jeff still wants to do it. I signed a deal with Universal, and they just wanted me to do an album by myself. Hopefully we can do it next, or sometime next year."
Finally, Stewart is also beginning to work on his autobiography. "As you speak to me now, I was just in my first hour," he says. "I'm doing the period from 1945, when I was born, through 1962. I was just explaining to the guy who is writing the book what a powerful influence Bob Dylan was on me when his first album came out, which was 1962, when I was 17. So, I'm right in the middle of the book. It's going to be an epic story."