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Todd Rundgren on Collaborating With So Many Artists on His New Album

Todd Rundgren recorded his new album, White Knight, with a little help from his friends. 

The set, which came out May 12, includes collaborations with Daryl Hall, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Joe Walsh, Joe Satriani, Robyn, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, Bettye Lavette and others, most of whom the Hawaii-based Rundgren worked with remotely during the recording sessions:

"I just made up a list of about two dozen people of all genres and ages that I thought I'd like to work with and began to contact them...And once I had a good number of them more or less committed...then I started to write...I wasn't interested in doing a duets album. I wasn't interested in singing over top of somebody else or vice versa. I wanted to highlight all of the collaborators and create a space for them to do their thing without me kind of undercutting it. So for the most part the collaborations are either me writing the basics of a song or a whole song, giving it to another artist or having another artist giving me the basis of a song...and then I write over top of that."

 

Only "Tin Foil Hat" with Fagen was written and recorded with the two artists in the same room, according to Rundgren, because Fagen happened to be vacationing in Kaua'i, where Rundgren resides.

Rundgren wraps up his latest tour on June 10 in Syracuse. He'll be on the road with Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band again this fall, but before that he's taking part in Yes' Yestifal tour, along with Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy.

 

Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.