Ben Folds is pushing back the release date of his next solo album to early 2005 in order to give William Shatner’s upcoming collection, “Has Been,” his full attention. The set is being targeted for a September release by Shout! Factory.
“It is a great record and it is really worth going out and doing some shows in major cities,” Folds tells Billboard.com. “[Shatner] is not a musician at all — he’s not rapping or singing — but he is still part of the music. I’ve never heard a record quite like it.” Shatner previously guested on Folds’1998 solo album “Fear of Pop, Vol.1”
Shatner’s album was produced and written mostly by Folds and includes cameos by Henry Rollins, Aimee Mann and Joe Jackson, who duets with Shatner on Pulp’s “Common People.” Author Nick Hornby (“High Fidelity”) also co-wrote a song with Folds for the project.
Currently on the road with Rufus Wainwright and Guster through mid-July, Folds plans on returning home to Nashville after the tour to finish his next studio release. Due out in January via Epic and currently untitled, the album includes new tracks such as “Trusted” and “Late,” as well as a few remixed or alternate versions of tracks from Folds’ recent EPs.
“Right now, it doesn’t feel like an album that has a title,” says Folds. “I think because the songs are basic enough to me, it almost has a debut solo artist feel to it. It seems less like a tangent to me in the songs and the production than ‘Rockin’ the Suburbs’ [Folds’ last studio disc], which seems like an over-the-top pop kind of [album]. This doesn’t seem like a direction to me, it just seems like songs I wrote and they are approached much more from the piano and with a little more of a live, rougher edges, feel.”
While Folds enjoys the unfettered creativity and spontaneity associated with releasing EPs (“I love putting out EPs — that keeps me sane,” he says), he foresees a day when all of his non-album projects will be released as “a cheap box set of EPs.”
Fans are finally about to get Folds’ third EP, which is due out in a few weeks and will be available via online and at his shows. Originally scheduled for release last November, “Super D” includes new tracks “Rent a Cop,” “Adelaide” and “Kalamazoo,” along with a cover of the Darkness’ “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” and, more than likely, a live version of the late Ray Charles’ “Them That Got.”