Kansas will release a new studio album on June 26, the band’s first since 2016’s The Prelude Implicit.
As Billboard reports, the new album, titled The Absence of Presence, includes nine songs and will be out in time for Kansas’ Jukebox Heroes summer tour with Foreigner and Europe, which starts July 9. The first single is due out in April.
Founding Kansas drummer Phil Ehart says the album’s title track, written by keyboard player Tom Breslin from a title that Ehart suggested.
Regarding the meaning behind the title, Phil explains to Billboard, “When we’re at an airport, there’s a lot of people there but everybody is staring at their phone or looking at their computer or their iPad or reading a paper or whatever. Someone’s sitting across from you looking up, and you can tell they’re not engaged at all. People are there, but they’re not really there. They’re present, but there’s an absence of presence.”
Ahead of the Jukebox Heroes trek with Foreigner, Kansas is currently on a U.S. tour featuring performances of their album Point of Know Return, as well as their other classics. Those dates will wrap up in May.
Speaking about the Foreigner tour, Ehart tells Billboard that it’ll be nice to be back together with them, since Foreigner actually opened for Kansas overseas in the ’70s.
“We’ve been trying to put the two bands together for quite a while, so when this came up we jumped on it,” Ehart says. “We’ve stayed in touch over the years and they’re a great band and good guys, and I think we have a mutual respect between the two bands…It should be a great summer.”
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