The Black Eyed Peas are going on a European vacation this summer, during which time they’ll record their new album — and collaborate with a very unlikely friend.
The group is booked for a number of music festivals on the continent this season, including Glastonbury and PinkPop, so they’re using their itinerary as a reason to set up shop in London and record the follow-up to their platinum smash, Elephunk.
“The cultural aspects of London are really good,” singer Fergie said. “We get a lot of love there. It’ll be interesting to see how that influences the music.”
The album will be called Monkey Business, and the group insists it will be out by November. The Peas plan on finishing the LP back in the States when they play some domestic tour dates, including a couple of nights opening up for the Dave Matthews Band.
While in the U.K., the Black Eyed Peas plan to collaborate with none other than catsuit-clad Justin Hawkins of the Darkness.
“We toured with them in Australia, for Big Day Out [festival]. Justin is one of the people we gravitated toward, hung out with, partied with,” Will.I.Am said. “It’ll be something similar to [’Walk This Way’ from] Run-DMC and Aerosmith and [BEP’s] ’Let’s Get Retarded.’ ”
“Let’s Get Retarded,” incidentally, has handed the Peas continued success thanks to their recent, seemingly inescapable NBA television commercials that use a reworked version of the track called “Let’s Get It Started.” The commercials have become so ubiquitous and the song so well-received that the Peas are releasing the re-recorded version as their next single and video. Interscope Records will repackage Elephunk with the song as a bonus track on Tuesday.
The Black Eyed Peas confess that their current success wouldn’t be possible if they hadn’t confronted their respective demons before recording Elephunk. They paint a picture in which the group members had succumbed to their vices and needed to refocus themselves on their music.
“I was making bad mistakes in my life, like infidelities and lying,” Will.I.Am admitted. “[Apl de] Ap was partying. Tab was …”
“I was having a lot of one-night stands with women and while I was doing that I was drinking a lot,” Taboo interjected.
“All these things that we’re doing right now are a reward. If you really want to achieve in life, change yourself and aim for it,” Will.I.Am preached.
The Black Eyed Peas certainly went for it when they dished out black eyes as part of a prank gone wrong for the show “Punk’d.” Will.I.Am orchestrated a prank with the show’s mastermind, Ashton Kutcher, to bring Taboo, Ap and their road crew to a faux brothel that would be busted by fake cops. The prank went wrong, however, when members of the Peas’ crew, including their tour manager Polo, resisted “arrest” and instead started throwing ’bows.
“Polo was like, ’This ain’t right, you ain’t cops,’ ” remembered Will.I.Am. “Polo thinks these dudes are trying to jack us. You know, some cars outside, some chicks, big house. He didn’t think they were cops. He punched one cop, pushed another in the pool. [The producers] came out yelling, ’You’re on “Punk’d!” You’re on “Punk’d!” ’ And he said, ’I ain’t no punk!’ and socks a cop in his neck. It was crazy.”
The Peas said they’ve been assured that the episode won’t be airing.