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Tom Petty says ‘Hypnotic Eye' changed direction from blues to rock

Tom Petty says that his new Heartbreakers collection, Hypnotic Eye, nearly followed the same route as their last set, the 2010 blues-based Mojo album. Petty told Uncut that Hypnotic Eye -- which marks Petty's first ever chart-topping album -- changed course pretty suddenly: "This album has been made kind of in between tours and the first few tracks were done two or three years ago. They were pretty hardcore blues tracks and really great, but then I started thinking, 'This is going down the same road twice -- I'll hold on to those later.' Then the songs just stated determining how people were playing and the sounds they were getting. So at one point early on, I started to think, 'Let's just do a real rock n' roll album."

Petty's concerts are hardly a traveling jukebox of his greatest hits and album favorites, with his new material always figuring into the setlists: "I ain't dead yet. I'm still doing new music and I insist on playing it. Haven't had a lot of resistance to that."

Tom Petty told us that he and the Heartbreakers have tried to take the high road in maintaining their creativity while become a heritage act: "Well, we've all got that hunger, and it doesn't go away, and you do kinda learn that there are graceful ways of dealing with it (laughs), y'know, of satisfying that hunger. And maybe, I think, you kind of see, too, that there are ways to step around some of the obvious pitfalls of longevity. I've seen people that have been around a long time, and they just fall into routine and self-parody, and that's just not where we want to wind up."

Petty & The Heartbreakers are offering up healthy doses of Hypnotic Eye in their current live shows, and guitarist Mike Campbell told us that the tune "Forgotten Man" seems to be a hit with both the band and the audience on a regular basis: “Actually, it turned into one of the great live songs. It’s got a lot of dynamics. It seems to connect pretty well on the stage. It’s got a little more balls when I play it live, honestly. I’ve been enjoying that one a lot. The words are so great.”

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers tour dates (subject to change):

September 6 - Arrington, Virginia - Lockn' Interlocking Music Festival at Oak Ridge Fram
September 7 - Darien Center, NY - Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
September 10 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
September 11 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
September 13 - Hartford, CT - XL Center
September 15 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
September 16 - Allentown, PA - PPL Center
September 18 - Raleigh, NC - PNC Arena
September 20 - West Palm Beach, FL - Cruzan Amphitheater
September 21 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Times Forum
September 23 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
September 25 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
September 26 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
September 28 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
September 30 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
October 1 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
October 7 - Anaheim, CA - Honda Center
October 10, 11 - Los Angeles, CA - The Forum

Side Notes

• Tom Petty is featured on Eric Clapton's recently released JJ Cale tribute album, called, Eric Clapton & Friends’ The Breeze, An Appreciation Of JJ Cale.

• In addition to performances by such notables as Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson, Derek Trucks, John Mayer, among others, Petty has teamed up with Eric Clapton for two tracks -- “Rock And Roll Records” and “I Got The Same Old Blues,” as well as recording Cale’s “The Old Man And Me” on his own.

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