Acoustic legend Joan Armatrading wants to record a heavy metal album with “lots of guitar shredding”

UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 31: HYDE PARK Photo of Joan ARMATRADING, Free concert headlined by Don McLean
(Image credit: Ian Dickson/Redferns)

Over a more than four decade-long career, British singer-songwriter and acoustic guitar player Joan Armatrading has earned numerous Grammy and Brit Award nominations, been recognized as a Commander of the British Empire and been lauded as one of the first female singer-songwriters to achieve international success.

But in a new interview celebrating her being honored with the Women of the Year lifetime achievement award in the UK, she reveals that there’s still something she has left to achieve – recording a heavy metal album.

"I love hard rock!” she tells the Guardian. “I always tell myself, ‘One day I’ll make a heavy metal album.’ With lots of guitar shredding! And I will.”

The article is quick to point out, of course, that while she is known for working more in the folk, blues and jazz arenas, Armatrading has dabbled in hard rock before, on her 1983 album The Key.

But she remains most recognized for acoustic-based songs like Love and Affection and Down to Zero and pop hits like Me Myself I.

Nevertheless, Armatrading is spending her time in lockdown working on songs for her 20th studio album, and the heavy metal record appears to be on the table.

And why not? As she says in the interview, “My songs are for everybody.” 

Which, presumably, means they’re for metalheads, too.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.