Lenny Kravitz is thinking big but starting small.
He wants to start a Love Revolution and create harmony, peace and all those other unimpeachable values you’d expect from a 1960s retro rocker. To spread his message, he’s releasing his eighth CD, “It Is Time for a Love Revolution,” on Tuesday. But first he’s doing a little grassroots organizing by performing in clubs and theaters in nine cities.
Q. Why are you playing such small venues?
A. Just to start out in an organic fashion and be close to the people and give them an intimate place to hang out. When you listen to the fans, those are the gigs they really enjoy going to. We’ll have time to come back and do the arena thing and all that. Right now, this is just like a little taste.
Q. What is the “Love Revolution” album all about?
A. It’s all about life and love and change. It’s a very positive record. It deals with what’s going on in the world right now. We’re at a very trying situation and what we need right now should be change. That’s a change of consciousness. We will never be able to change things and improve things unless we decide collectively as a global community that we’re not down for the way things have been going on. It’s about love, understanding, communication and so forth - for ourselves, for our environment, for the whole thing.
Q. Musically, what’s the vibe of the album?
A. It’s a rock `n’ roll record. There’s always elements of soul and funk and blues and whatnot. It’s guitar, bass and drums, embellished by some pianos and strings here and there. It’s very direct, very in your face and to the point.
Q. The first single is something not usually expected from you - an aggressive piano ballad, “I’ll Be Waiting.” What were you thinking?
A. The song is pretty simple. It’s strong and emotional. My records are very diverse. If you hear one song, you’ve got no idea what the next one is going to be like.
Q. What about the song “Back in Vietnam”?
A. It looks at the parallels between Iraq and Vietnam. It addresses that we’re repeating history, as we seem to do over and over again.
Q. At 43, you look as buff as ever. What’s your workout regimen?
A. I’ve got these genes, and I’m pretty active. I spent the last four months in Brazil on a farm, riding horses and working on the farm. That kind of thing. Good working living.
Q. What do you make of the recent reports that steroids and human growth hormones have been linked to such muscle-bound rappers as Timbaland and 50 Cent?
A. I didn’t even know that. Obviously, I don’t know who’s doing it or who’s accused or who’s not. But anybody using, it’s dangerous stuff. It makes you look good for a minute, but then it can shorten your life.