Alternative country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson has been venturing into different sonic territories with his latest studio album release SOUND & FURY, and according to a recent interview with Uproxx, this may have been a strategic plan dealing with his record label Elektra Records. According to Pitchfork, the project, along with its large budget anime film, “might’ve been an attempt to get out of his contract with the label.”
“Maybe if you don’t want to be on a record label anymore, you make a record they can’t market, then you get them to spend a million bucks on an animation film and refuse to promote it, and leave them holding this giant un-recouped debt,” Simpson explained in the interview. “Maybe the bean counters will make a decision for me. I can go back to just doing it myself better than they do. That’s what I’ve learned. Because they don’t know what the fuck to do with me.”
Simpson’s future with the label is unknown, however he stated “I’m not going to give them anything ever again, so I guess I’m done.” He also claimed that he was “manipulated” into thinking that he should sign with a major label against his better judgement, and that the process left him with “lessons learned.”
“I was manipulated into thinking I needed a record contract when I knew I never did, by certain individuals who aren’t even in my life anymore, because they had their own back-channel deals working behind the scenes that nobody tells you about until the ink’s dry,” he elaborated. “So, that’s lessons learned.”
SOUND & FURY delved into a more rock and blues oriented sound than his previous work and held singles such as “A Good Look” which took inspiration from funk. The anime film itself was a collaborative project with writer/director Jumpei Mizusaki and character designer Takashi Okazaki. Mizusaki is best known for directing the animated film Batman Ninja, and episodes of the popular series Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, however he used a slight alteration of his official name Junpei to Jumpei for this collaborative project.
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna