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  • Writer's pictureConny Chavez

Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Stevens & John 5 Join Billy Morrison For A Track-By-Track Special Of His Upcoming Solo Album ‘The Morrison Project’

Updated: May 14

SiriusXM hosted an early celebration of Billy Morrison’s new solo album, The Morrison Project, out April 19 via The Label Group’s partnership with TLG/ZOID through Virgin Music Group. On Thursday, April 4 a small audience was invited into the SiriusXM Los Angeles studio to listen to a track-by-track special of the upcoming record, hosted by Tommy London featuring special guests Ozzy Osbourne, John 5 and Steve Stevens.

Billy Morrison, the British guitarist, singer, and songwriter—primarily known as Billy Idol’s rhythm guitar player for the past 15 years —has assembled an electrifying 12 songs for his upcoming solo album. The Morrison Project includes guest performances by Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, D.M.C., Al Jourgensen, Steve Vai, Steve Stevens, Linda Perry, Tommy Clufetos, John 5, and more. Ahead of the record’s release, Morrison sat down with Tommy London to discuss songs on the album for a featured episode of SiriusXM’s Ozzy’s Boneyard. Following the recording of the episode, Morrison was joined by friends and family for a listening party including appearances by major artists such as Billy Idol, Sex Pistol’s Steve Jones, Vixen’s Britt Lightning, and more.

A few lucky contest winners had the honor to sit in on a taped upcoming track-by-track radio special for SiriusXM. The winners were selected from a few promotional giveaways, one of which simply required fans to email their information to a specified email to gain entry to the taping. Another giveaway gave fans the opportunity to win an all-expenses paid trip to LA for the exclusive album special, grab dinner with Morrison himself, and receive a cash prize.

At 2:15 p.m. Morrison and London made their way to the intimate stage to discuss songs on The Morrison Project that featured the British guitarist’s vocals. The discussion began with the topic of the lead single “Drowning.” Morrison elaborated that the song was made the lead single because he wanted to start the record off with something he sang himself. Morrison then mentioned that the record was written during COVID alongside Erik Eldenius (Billy Idol) and Jeordie White (Marilyn Manson). The British artist had developed a series of ideas for a music video for “Drowning” before narrowing it down to real-life roaches crawling over his face and unintentionally literally drowning. Later on, the conversation was opened to the audience to ask questions, when asked to elaborate on his dangerous experience filming the “Drowning” video Morrison explained that he inhaled water after the spare regulator was not purged correctly.

The songs from the upcoming album were all written four years ago, tracks like “It’s Come To This” were inspired by a sense of desperation to get away from everything during a tough time of the pandemic. The track features a guitar riff by Eldenius embellished with a keyboard. Morrison revealed that the music video for “It’s Come To This” features a cameo of Joe Manganiello and stars a 1969 Shelby Mustang worth three-quarters of a million dollars, and of course, Morrison got to drive it in the desert for 10 hours. He stated that it was the greatest and most scariest experience to drive the car.

Morrison revealed that “Dystopia” was originally written for Al Jourgensen to sing on, but Jourgensen had instead written lyrics for a 16-bar riff which Morrison had intended to be a Ministry song. The song later became “The Ayes Have It.” Morrison recorded “Dystopia” in one take using Jourgensen’s vocal chain. When asked if “Puppets On A String” was politically charged, Morrison explained that he strives to be apolitical and the song is a political observation as it refers to the fact that the vast majority of the population does not have any real control.

“I’m not trying to have a massive solo career here. This is an album that I just ended up finishing and being super proud of and other people said this is great,” said Morrison. “But when you’re not trying to be successful, what do I got to lose? I’m not 21, I’ve got a career playing with Billy and doing the things I do, so, why not? I can say stuff that I believe and I really believe the lyrics in this album, I’m very very passionate about it.”

Though most of the tracks on the album hold a sense of anger and heaviness, there are a few that mellow it out. “We Are The Dead” is a love song of a love so strong it will still exist in the afterlife. “There was someone that I wanted to write a song about and I normally don’t do that,” declared Morrison. “But I wanted to write about a specific someone and my feeling was, the feeling that I have for this person will be with me when I’m dead, will be with me when I’m lying in my grave or wherever the fuck they put me when I die.”

The second half of the taping included a conversation with Steve Stevens, John 5 and Ozzy Osbourne. Sadly, the Prince of Darkness was unable to attend the event in person but was able to join via Zoom for roughly about 10 minutes. Though he was only a part of the discussion for a limited time, no screen could impede Osbourne’s bold personality from shining through during the breakdown of the making of “Crack Cocaine.” Morrison asked Osbourne how he came up with the song title, the metal icon’s quick wits had the entire room laughing as he answered “by thinking about it.” Stevens, Morrison and Osbourne stated that the song was written in about five minutes and came easily as it was friends writing a song together. John 5 complimented the trio for the song and said it was the greatest song he had heard in years. The discussion quickly became a platform for these incredible musicians to openly admire one another’s talent and work. Morrison recognized his companions’ ability to step up to the plate and create something memorable. Stevens and John 5 complimented their style and writing up to the point that John 5 kissed the hand of Stevens after being called “the best of his generation.”

Morrison’s upcoming record features a surprising hip-hop track, “Just Like A Movie” featuring D.M.C. (Run-D.M.C.) and Gary Numan’s daughter Persia. Morrison revealed that D.M.C. wrote the lyrics and Persia Numan was only 15 years old at the time of its recording and did not know who he was when he asked her to be a part of the song. The breakdown of “The Ayes Have It” included talks of John 5 writing the guitar solo on a 1960s Coral Sitar and having it stuck in his head for ages to Morrison wishing he could go flea market shopping with Jourgensen.

Throughout the taping, audience members were able to ask any of the three musical legends any questions. When asked if fans could expect an upcoming supporting tour for the new album, Morrison explained that it would be physically impossible to get all the featured artists to go on tour with him. But did state that if fans ask for it loud enough and if someone with “a big checkbook” supported the tour, the all-star band Royal Machines (Morrison, Dave Navarro, Mark McGrath, Donovan Leitch Jr, Chris Chaney, and Josh Freese) could perform the album live in its entirety. However, Morrison did confirm that fans can expect another Above Ground performance soon enough and it may feature John 5. Attendees were sent home with a goodie bag that included a signed limited edition red vinyl album, an exclusive tee shirt, and a signed fine art print by Morrison.

(Originally published on

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