Neil Young is a man who wears many hats, both in the literal sense these days, and in the figurative one. Between the time he spends writing and recording new music, launching a new online streaming service, converting gas-guzzling old cars into modern electric-powered, earth-friendly vehicles, and starring in the new Western film directed by Daryl Hannah titled Paradox, you wouldn’t think he’d also manage to find the time to work on yet another book, but here we are.
While doing press at SXSW for the release of Paradox, Young spoke to Rolling Stone where he detailed the premise of his first foray into the world of fiction after releasing two different memoirs, Waging Heavy Peace, and Special Deluxe. The in-progress novel is tentatively titled Canary, and from Young’s description, it sounds kind of bonkers. “It’s kind of a sci-fi thing about a guy who gets busted for a crime,” he explained. “He works for a power company and there’s corruption in the power company and he wants to expose it, so he figures out a way to expose it and shuts down the grid a couple of times.”
Seems normal so far, but it doesn’t remain that way. After getting captured by the authorities, the protagonist wakes up in a hospital and eventually discovers that, “The solar company he works for is a hoax. And they’re not really using solar.”
“They’re using this shit — the guy who’s doing this has come up with a way to make bad fuel, the bad energy, this really ugly terrible stuff, and he’s figured out a way to genetically create these animals that shit that gives the energy to make the [fuel]. So he’s created this new species. But the species escapes. So it’s a f*ckin’ mess.”
Elsewhere in the interview, in case you didn’t get a sense that Neil is already too busy to hang it up, the singer-songwriter poo-poo’d the idea of a farewell tour. “When I retire, people will know, because I’ll be dead,” he explained. “I’m not gonna say, “I’m not coming back.” What kind of bullshit is that? I could go out and play if I felt like it, but I don’t feel like it. I’ve got a great band.”
You can read Neil’s entire interview over at Rolling Stone.