Some eight years since their last studio album together, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers are making a big return with a new studio album and an extensive North American tour.
The band kicked off the 45-date tour this month with two sold-out shows at Red Rocks and has been receiving rave reviews. And the upcoming studio album—a blues-rock departure entitled Mojo—is being hailed as one of Petty’s best.
"Mojo is a huge opening of a door for us,” Petty said recently. He says this is the first album that really makes use of the band’s musicianship. “Every now and then you hit something where you find some new ground, and this is definitely one of those times."
Petty drew inspiration from his extensive vinyl record collection, and realized he was taking a risk by taking a more bluesy approach. "I used to be a little insecure about whether I could sing the blues authentically,” he admitted. “I can do my version of it, and this has our stamp on it. It would be an empty exercise if we weren't bringing something to the party."
With 60 million records sold and counting, Petty has earned his eminent status in the rock and roll pantheon. He still puts on one of the best live shows out there, and, at 59 years old, is not just a nostalgia act.
"We have no intention of turning into an oldies group," he said. "It's very lucrative, and everyone has a great time if you play hits for two hours, but I'm not done and I want people to know it."