Keith Urban took a very different approach on his latest album, Fuse. Having worked with Dann Huff on his last five records, this time around Urban switched things up by collaborating with several producers and hit-makers he never met.
“The expression we had was, if it’s not broken, break it,” Urban said at a Q&A during his record release last night (September 10) at New York’s Apple Store in Soho.
During his hour-long appearance, Urban sat down with music journalist Alan Light and took questions from fans, before he played a four-song set.
Urban confessed that he knew making Fuse would result in much trial and error, but he didn’t realize how long the journey would take.
“I wanted to start by working with people exclusively I hadn’t worked with before,” he said. “Guys like Butch Walker, Mike Elizondo (Eminem, Fiona Apple), Stargate (Rihanna, Beyonce). Some of them I had never met before. I had an idea of how to fuse what I was doing with what they did and see what things worked. I didn’t think I really imagined I’d have so many different people actually end up landing on the album.”
Urban said he decided to reach out to Butch Walker after discovering his work with Fall Out Boy.
“I heard [FOB’s] ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark’ and we had already written ‘Stars’ and so I just imagined that kind of energy in that song and what would happen,” he said.
“It was the first time a banjo was brought in on a Stargate session,” Urban said.
“I wanted to make sure they were songs that wouldn’t necessarily go with those producers,” Urban explained. “It was mixing and matching songs for that producer. If it was a slightly pop song I wouldn’t go to a pop producer, I’d go to a country producer. I’d keep the yin and the yang on everything. That was the plan.”
Urban said Fuse encompasses all the facets and chapters of his life. The married father of two said though he’s in a great place at the moment, there are still some emotional songs on the album which he channels from past hurts.
“A heartbreak you had from 20 years ago still seems pretty damn fresh, doesn’t it?”