Questlove says R&B star's new album will be a 'radical 180° turn'
THE ROOTS drummer Questlove has been speaking to Rolling Stone about D’Angelo’s new album.
Questlove, who persuaded the R&B star to perform his first US show in 12 years at Bonnaroo earlier this month, says around 30 tracks have been cut over the last few years for the follow-up to Voodoo, mostly at the Electric Lady studios in New York.
Even more intriguingly, Questlove claims the record is a “radical 180° turn” from previous offerings. “It’s going to throw people off the same way that Prince’s Dirty Mind threw his R&B fanbase off,” he says. “In the past few years, [D’Angelo has] discovered Bowie and Zeppelin, the Beatles, Pet Sounds, Captain Beefheart and Zappa.”
D’Angelo’s been practising his guitar, apparently, which may also come as a surprise to fans. “I saw a guitar in the studio and I was like, ‘What the hell’s this?’” says Questlove. “One night, when he didn’t know I was watching, he took a dinner break from recording. Suddenly, I heard [Funkadelic's] ‘Maggot Brain’ playing. I realized he was in the studio room matching it note-for-note. 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.”
Questlove says the album will hopefully be released around August, but nothing is official yet, so we’d advise against planning your holidays round it.