The past four years have been a bit rough for Everlast.
The singer, songwriter and rapper -- real name Erik Schrody and a member of the hip-hop group House of Pain ("Jump Around") -- found himself at the end of a major label deal that yielded the double-platinum 1998 album "Whitey Ford Sings the Blues" and the hit "What It's Like," as well as a Grammy Award-winning collaboration with Carlos Santana, "Put Your Lights On." He didn't exactly despair, but it "definitely put a dent in my spirit."
"It was more about whether I was going to want to make music anymore," explains Everlast, 39, whose "Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford" -- the first for his own label, Martyr Inc., came out this week. "My outlook on this (music) business is very weird. I love it. I love making money. I love making my living doing this. But I kinda hate the [i]business[/i].
"So I sat around for four years. I just had to wait for the point where I wanted to make music again."
Along with a remake of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" with Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs, "Love, War..." features some of the most political pointed lyrics Everlast has ever recorded, including "Kill the Emperor," "Stone in My Hand" and "Letters Home From the Garden of Stone," the latter of which imagines the thoughts of U.S. soldiers stationed in overseas combat zones.
"I just think that's the climate," says Everlast, who also composed the theme and score music for TNT's "Saving Grace." "I don't consider myself to be very political, but it's what goes on in my daily conversations. It's what I'm talking about in my daily life.
"I didn't force any of the songs; they just kind of came, so I figured it was meant for me to express my opinion this time out."
Everlast, the Lordz and Questions perform Friday (Sept. 26) at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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