December 21, 2017At this time last year, after a final tour date of the year in Rapid City, South Dakota, I made a decision to take a break from touring in 2017. The three previous years were the busiest tour years of my life and it was time to take some time off. It was nice to spend my first summer off, in many years, spending time with my girlfriend and her cat, fishing and visiting friends. But I couldn't and don't know how to stay away from making music. I not only managed to somehow release four albums this year, but also recorded two new records that are in their final stages. Both will be released under the Sun Kil Moon moniker, and are very different albums. One of the albums was recorded in hotel rooms in San Francisco throughout the year, with mobile gear, mostly recorded on a 1960 Fender Jazzmaster guitar. The album was recorded at hotels to take a break from the dark, windowless atmosphere of studios, and to see how atypical recording environments would affect my music. My guess is that the album title and track listing will be announced by February, and I'll likely release the album early next summer.
The other album was written during a Sun Kil Moon tour in November of this year, partly recorded in Copenhagen during that tour, and also at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco after returning home in early December. The lyrics were written on trains and planes between those concert dates and the music was written quickly when we arrived at soundchecks in various cities. The 3 non-original songs on the album include a cover of The Partridge Family's "Come On Get Happy" in honor of the late David Cassidy, a new, amped up cover version of "Rock 'N' Roll Singer" by AC/DC, in honor of the late Malcolm Young (and features Jordan Cook from Reignwolf on guitar), and another track is "Chapter 87" of John Connolly's novel He, set to music. I'm mixing the album in Buffalo, NY, at GCR Studios, as I write this, and will likely release it in early November next year, as the atmosphere of the album is heavily November themed.
In addition to this, I've just signed off on final score work for a beautiful James Franco directed film "The Pretenders."
Though I only did three tours this year, it was great to share the stage with, and/or make music with many wonderful friends and musicians including Steve Shelley, Sean Yeaton, Scott McPherson, Jim White, Ben Boye, Kevin Corrigan, Josh, Rachel, and Petra Haden, Minna Choi, Neil Finn, Nels Cline, Ramon Fermin, Tony Scherr, Chris Connolly, Holly Throsby, Low, Jordan Cook, and many others.
Thank you to Tony Visconti, John Connolly, and Conor Oberst for the interviews. Thank you to Rough Trade and Redeye for their continued support. Thank you Nathan for the hard work. Thank you to all of my friends (many mentioned above, the rest know who they are) for their love, kindness and inspiration throughout the years. A big thanks to my fans who turned up everywhere from Auckland to Chicago to Dublin. At almost 51 years old, and 25 years into my career, I'm still living my dream - and I'm grateful to all of you.
My 2017 favorites list:
Favorite concert: Thurston Moore Group at The Chapel, San Francisco
Favorite book: Goodwood by Holly Throsby
Favorite movie: Snow On The Bluff (Netflix)
Favorite TV Series: Dice (Showtime)
Favorite fight: Mayweather vs McGregor
Favorite album: Spain- Live At The Love Song
Happy Holidays to all!
Mark Kozelek, December 21, Buffalo NY.