Yusuf/Cat Stevens will release his new album, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone, on Oct. 27 and in an interview with SPIN, the singer opens up to Will Oldham (aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy) about the album, which was mixed by Yardbirds member Paul Samwell-Smith.
On the haunting track “The Devil Came From Kansas,” Oldham provides backing vocals. But it’s a song he doesn’t quite understand, so he asked Yusuf what the song is about.
“You know what? I’m frightened to ask [Procol Harum’s] Keith Reid, just in case it really disappoints me,” he tells Oldham. “But to me, I had a pretty bad trip in Kansas once, and I wrote a song about it called ’18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare).’ There is something to do with a devilish night that I had out there. So that song, ’18th Avenue,’ really does document very clearly what happened. I actually did run to the airport after coming off this terrible trip, and finally making it. And that was Gate 22 that I had to reach. So it’s all kind of really quite documented in that song.”