John Doe (photo at right by Autumn De Wilde) is punk rock’s resident Renaissance man. An actor who’s appeared in “Boogie Nights” and “Roadhouse” (really? Roadhouse?), Doe is known more as the founder of the fiery, Los Angeles rockabilly punk outfit X.
His new solo album, A Year In the Wilderness, comes out June 12 on Yep Roc Records, and trust me, it’s good stuff. A winning combination of honest songwriting, a little tenderness and world-weary wisdom, A Year In the Wilderness is a dark, confessional take on punk and Americana, with driving rock guitars, elegant piano, creepy organ and soft-footed percussion.
Recently, Doe spoke to Goldmine about the record. A full-length story, with a review of the record, will appear in the June 22 issue of the magazine.
But, in the meantime, a nugget of news emerged from the interview that X fans might want to take note of. And that is, basically, that X is not dead. In fact, Exene Cervenka wrote the lyrics for “Darling Underdog,” a highlight of A Year in the Wilderness.
“I’m still trying to work on some songs that might be right for X,” said Doe, “and Exene and I have been talking about doing that, so I’m constantly looking at her lyrics thinking X songs, do X songs.” With “Darling Underdog,” Doe said, ” … these lyrics sounded like a more tender song to me.” And so, alas, nothing for X at the moment.
All right, so nothing is set in stone and the news is sort of vague, and it’s a bit of a tease, but when he said that, my ears perked up and I’m guessing it would make a lot of X fans take notice. Stay tuned.
To learn more about John Doe and the new album, visit www.yeproc.com.