Patti Smith has uncovered her plans to release just “one more album” before retiring from music. The 75-year-old punk poet laureate has revealed that she has been working on new material that will form her 12th, and final, studio album.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, the iconic singer said, “I do have plans” when asked if there would be a follow-up to her latest album, 2012’s Banga. “I’ve written a lot of songs,” Smith said. “I’d like to do one more album and my record company, Columbia, has very generously left the door open.”
In 1980, Smith went into semi-retirement to focus on her children following the release of her first four studio albums, including the seminal 1975 release, Horses. “I was at the pinnacle of real success and financial success,” she said, “But I wasn’t growing as an artist or human being.”
She re-emerged in 1988 to release Dream Of Life and continued to release six further albums over the next 25 years. She likened the creation of 2012’s Banga to the feeling she had expressed when recording Horses in the ‘70s.
“‘Constantine’s Dream’, the long improvised piece at the end [of Banga], touched a lot of things that concern me – art, the future of mankind, climate change, the horrors done to our indigenous people, and love.”
“I love the cover,” she added, “Which was shot on the fly by my friend Stephen Sebring.”
Smith also discussed the iconic photograph taken and edited by her late friend and esteemed photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe, used for the cover art on Horses. “I wanted Robert to do the album cover because he wasn’t known and I wanted people to see his work,” she said. “I had no idea that it would have such impact. Robert took 12 pictures and I think it was the eighth and he just said: ‘This is the one with the magic.’”
When asked what her definition of punk rock is, Smith replied simply: “Freedom”.
In July, Smith is set to headline a new one-day festival in London called Higher Ground Festival. Nadine Shah, Connie Constance, Spelling and Joviale also appear on the bill.
Watch Patti Smith sing the Ukrainian national anthem at a Ukraine fundraiser in New York City back in February below.