Published Jan 07, 2010Stephen King may be the most successful horror writer ever, but the 62-year-old novelist still has a pipe dream of becoming a successful musician. He has frequently played guitar with Rock Bottom Remainders, a collective that includes fellow authors Amy Tan, Matt Groening and Maya Angelou.
Now, King will be contributing spoken word voiceovers to the new album by country/rock songwriter Shooter Jennings. The Los Angeles-based singer spoke with the Guardian about the collaboration, revealing that King was a fan of his music, and had even name-dropped Jennings in his 2006 novel Lisey's Story. The pair were put in touch by a mutual friend, resulting in King contributing to the album.
The disc is called Black Ribbon, and is a concept album about a radio DJ named Will O'The Wisp making his final broadcast before being cut off by government censors. The album is set in an apocalyptic future, as the DJ - voiced by King - plays Jennings' s music and makes ominous predictions about what's to come.
Jennings never actually met King, explaining that the pair communicated via email and "a few weeks later I had a recording of several voiceover clips - called 'The Last Night of the Last Light' - on my doorstep." This method of working was "like a digital correspondence with a spectre from the other side - very dark, eerie and profoundly mesmerizing stuff."
Black Ribbons is due out on March 2 via Black Country Records. Head over to Jennings's MySpace to hear the single "Wake Up!" a six-minute opus that begins as a haunting piano ballad before veering into Pink Floyd-style synth noodling and later exploding into heavy blues rock riffing. To hear a short sample of King's contribution to the album, head over to Jennings's homepage.