– A 50-YEAR DREAM COLLABORATION
Hello to you, hello to me, the record starts… No introductions do we need.
And it’s true. The artists behind this album – ARIA Hall of Famer Russell Morris and Grammy winner Rick Springfield – are well known to all of us. But if you think you know ’em … well, think again.
This is Russell Morris and Rick Springfield like you’ve never heard them before. They have come together to create Jack Chrome & the Darkness Waltz, an album that celebrates Día de Los Muertos – Day of the Dead – with the narrator, Jack Chrome (embodied by Russell and Rick), leading the listener through a compelling song cycle about life and death.
“Rick and I have been friends for many years now,” Russell explains. “And we have always loved the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ festival. It is a beautiful concept whereby every year at the end of October they invite the spirits of their departed loved ones to come back and live amongst them for three days. After losing parents and grandparents, I’ve always loved the concept – it’s all about celebrating life and bringing those spirits back. We both love the album and we hope you will also.”
“Russ is the happy one,” Rick smiles. “He brought a lot of the positive songs to the project, whereas mine get pretty dark. I’ve always loved the idea of our lost ones coming back to earth to spend time with us. What a great concept ‘Day
of the Dead’ is. Better than reincarnation. Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz is a project I worked on with my Aussie buddy during the lockdown. An homage to the ‘Day of the Dead’, Russ and I wrote and recorded these songs over the internet and we are proud to release this albeit ‘very different’ album. It’s a departure from our usual styles of writing as we both take on the persona of Jack Chrome. It’s dark and moody as hell.”
Russell calls the album’s sound “Macabre Romantic”. “Some people might think it’s ghoulish, but I wanted it to sound otherworldly. I tried to write the songs from the point of view of the dead and the joy they feel coming back onto the earth and being with their loved ones.”
Russell and Rick first recorded together 50 years ago, when Rick played on Russell’s debut album, Bloodstone. Rick later appeared on Van Diemen’s Land, the second instalment in Russell’s acclaimed Aussie Blues Trilogy, which was an inspiration for Rick’s own blues collection, 2018’s The Snake King (“I am the Real Thing,” he sang in the title track, a nod to Russell’s 1969 classic).
But this is the first time the good friends have made an entire album together.
The project started when Rick saw the video for ‘Carmelita’s Dance’, the first song Russell wrote for the record. Three days later, Rick responded with his own song and video, ‘Godforsaken World’. “And I poured all my darkness into
it,” Rick says. “It talks a bit about the plague we’ve been through. I look at all the shit that’s going on in the world and I wonder, ‘Where’s God?’ I see where evil is, but where’s god?”
The album – which starts with ‘I Am Jack Chrome’ and ends with ‘The Darkness Waltz’ – is a record of extraordinary storytelling. “Snuggle up now, children, to a story I will tell,” Rick invites the listener in the first single, ‘Heart of God (Corazón de Dios)’.
Ultimately, it is a celebration of life.
“As it begins,” Rick sings, “Forgive our sins.”
“Tomorrow we’ll be dust,” Russell declares. “Tonight we’ll be kings.”
Welcome to Jack Chrome & the Darkness Waltz.