There’s no disputing the influence and importance of American singer/songwriter Tom Waits, the gravelly-voiced one is now entering his fifth decade and still inspiring all sorts of creative types from inside and outside music.
Along with unintentionally inspiring Heath Ledger’s iconic, Oscar-winning turn as The Joker for 2008’s The Dark Knight; we can now add Waits’ name to a list that includes the likes of U2, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Ramones with news that he’ll be appearing on an upcoming episode of The Simpsons.
SPIN reports that the producers of TV’s longest running series announced the news that Wait would be lending his familiar, gruff tones to the 25th season of The Simpsons – to air in America sometime in December.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your tastes) Waits won’t be making his cameo as one of his many, many narrative personas from his songs, but instead simply guesting as himself. But don’t expect any of that trademark fire-and-brimstone singing.
Executive producer Jean told press that the team “did a lot of research into the ‘prepper’ phenomenon, where people are convinced that some horrible catastrophe — like an electromagnetic pulse — is going to occur, and that people will have to survive without the grid.” How does that tie into Tom Waits? Well, if there’s one artist we can imagine selling his musical wares by torchlight in a tattered two-piece suit on the high plains, he’d be near the top of the list.
Waits has also been gracing screens – TV and otherwise – in the video for his latest single, ‘Hell Broke Luce’ from his latest and seventeenth studio album, Bad As Me.
Described by director Matt Mahurin as “an apocalyptic war dream”, it depicts Waits dragging a house behind his shoulder, envisioned as a “drill sergeant yelling the hard truths of war to a brand new batch of recruits.”
‘Hell Broke Luce’ also features an all-star musical cast, with guitar from Marc Ribot and Rolling Stone Keith Richards, drums from Casey Waits and bass from Red Hot Chili Pepper Flea; nearly all musicians who have also appeared on The Simpsons. (see what we did there?)
You can view the video for Tom Waits’ ‘Hell Broke Luce’ below: