Beck recovering from major spinal injury
‘It’s improving so I’m back in the music,’ says singer ahead of his new album, but admits fears he will ‘not move again as before’
Beck is recovering from a major spinal injury. With his first album in almost six years due early next year, the singer revealed he is still bouncing back from a previously undisclosed medical problem.
Beck’s remarks came in an interview with Argentina’s Pagina 12, first published in Spanish. “I had some injuries,” Beck said, according to an approved translation by the blog The Future Heart. “I had severe damage to my spine, but now it’s improving so I’m back in the music. It was a long, long recovery. Lately I concentrated on playing guitar. Do not think I can move again as before, although I can give a lot onstage.”
Until now, Beck has not provided much of an explanation for the long wait between studio albums. He was reported to have recorded music with several collaborators, including Jamie Lidell, and over the past few years has released several singles and one-offs, and the sheet music project Song Reader. He also produced records for artists such as Stephen Malkmus, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Thurston Moore. This is the first time he has publicly discussed a health problem.
Morning Phase, Beck’s comeback, is due out in February 2014. Described as a “companion piece” to 2002’s melancholy Sea Change, the LP was recorded with many of the same personnel. Another “small-bore, self-contained” acoustic album may follow some time after.
Elsewhere in Beck’s Pagina 12 interview, he mourned the rise of online music streaming services. “What Spotify pays me is not even enough to pay the musicians playing with me or the people working on the discs,” he said. “It’s not working. Something is going to have to give.”
But the “saddest” part, he said, “is the issue of sound quality”. “It’s like watching [Citizen Kane] on your phone. That’s what people are listening to [online]!” Still, the 43-year-old musician holds out hope that technologists will improve the fidelity of digital files. “I know that Neil Young is working on a system for that,” Beck said, referring to Young’s digital music project, Pono.