Music

Russell Crowe Breaks Down His New Rock Album With Indoor Garden Party: ‘This Is an Actual Band’

Before Russell Crowe became an Oscar-winning actor starring in such films as A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator and L.A. Confidential, he was a musician. Crowe picked up his first guitar when he was six and has always made music alongside his more famous day job. 

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The Australian performer will release his newest album, Prose and Cons, with his band Indoor Garden Party on Friday (June 7).  This is not some vanity project, he tells Billboard. “This is an actual band of musicians. They play together,” he says. “We feel things out, we work out what works best and then we go and play them live and if another opportunity comes up, we discuss in our next rehearsal and adjust accordingly.”

The album is based in rock, but strays into other genres on such tunes as the fiery revival stomp, “Let Your Light Shine” or the country-tinged anthem, “Time & Kindness.” 

The set came together over a multi-year period. “It’s been like a five-year process since we started playing around with the songs,” he says. “Probably of the original 11 or 12 songs I thought I was going to record, there’s maybe one or two that survived and the rest are songs that have come along.”

Crowe did the interview from his home studio in Australia, in front of a wall of classic guitars spanning the 1950s through the 1970s that he has acquired over the years, including a candy-apple red Fender Stratocaster “that’s played on a few Billboard Top 10 singles in its time,” he said. 

In addition to pulling one of those guitars down when he’s feeling inspired, Crowe met a luthier who now makes bespoke custom guitars for him and his friends. “We’re doing some insane things, man. One of the guitars we made is purely out of woods from Australia,” he says. “We made that for Ed Sheeran and gave it to him. He just turned around, grabbed it and sang a song which I’ve got on video. And that song, which hadn’t been released, two months later was like at the top of the charts around the world.”

Crowe and the band will embark on his first U.S. tour in more than a dozen years in August and the hand-picked stops will include Los Angeles’ acclaimed Whisky-A-Go-Go. Before Crowe hits the U.S., the band will have embark on a short European jaunt that includes the prestigious Glastonbury Festival in England alongside headliners SZA, Coldplay and Dua Lipa. The festival takes place June 26-30. 

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