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Drummer Zachary Alford Reveals Details About Secret David Bowie Recording Sessions

Photo: Jimmy KingWord continues to filter out about the secret recording sessions that led to David Bowie's forthcoming album, The Next Day, his first collection of new music in a decade.

Drummer Zack Alford tells Rolling Stone that he and the rest of Bowie's hand-picked and sworn-to-secrecy group of session musicians recorded 24 songs for the album over a three-week period in the spring of 2011, though only 17 have made the final track list.

Some of the material sounds like Scary Monsters-era Bowie, he says.  But other stuff is more off-the-beaten track for the Thin White Duke. "There's another number that's a straight-up country song," he says, and Alford describes some of the other material as having a "sixties doo-wop-ish" flavor.

The drummer says that to maintain secrecy the band wasn't allowed to hear any material before the sessions.  They listened to demos in the control room before heading into the studio to bang out the songs in a couple of takes.

Alford said playing live did come up during the sessions, sort of.  "On the very last day he asked if I would be available to do any promotion.  I said 'Yes!'  But that was in 2011," Alford tells Rolling Stone, and since then he's read the press reports saying Bowie has no intention of performing.  "I'm just hoping that something changes his mind.  But I'd be surprised if he never played again," Alford says, though he's had no further discussions with Bowie. 

The Next Day is set to hit stores next month.

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