Lynyrd Skynyrd prepping next album

Band is eyeing an early 2009 release date

CLEVELAND -- After spending the past year or so working with former Marilyn Manson/current Rob Zombie guitarist John 5, Lynyrd Skynyrd is close to finishing its next studio album.

"We've been doing quite a bit of writing with John 5," group member Rickey Medlocke said. "While everybody thought, 'My god, you are going to write with this guy? How is that ever going to work?' But this guy came in and is really multitalented in all genres.

"I was surprised that this guy could sit down and play Glen Campbell and Roy Clark better than they do, and it blew my mind. And then he loves southern rock, the blues and country. It really blew us away."

While Medlocke said the band has dozens of song ideas, two new tracks that have the act excited are the dark, anthemic "Floyd" and the uptempo "Bang, Bang."

Current plans call for Skynyrd to hit the studio in the fall and finish recording by the end of the year. An early 2009 street date is planned on a label to be announced.

And while the ex-Blackfoot member said "he's been recording a ton of stuff on my own," he has no plans for an actual release in the interest of "keeping this thing rolling and doing what we're doing. We're loving where we're at right now."

What the band is doing this summer is a co-headlining the "Rock and Rebel" tour with Kid Rock. "This thing between us and Kid Rock kind came around when we experimented with it in Detroit the year before last," Medlocke said. "Then this year we started the tour in Madison Square Garden, and it was phenomenal. The shows are selling out.

"He's happy with it, we're happy with it," he continued. "And looking forward to next year, starting next spring or summer touring season, we're looking to do it again, except we'll have a new record out this time. So, it'll be even better for us."
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