10/20/2011 10:40 am ET | Updated Dec 20, 2011

Tom Waits Album 'Bad As Me' Drops Oct. 24 After Long Hiatus

How would you describe Tom Waits?

Critic Daniel Durchholz took an oft-cited stab at it, describing Waits' voice as one that sounded "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." Touché.

In less than a week, any thirst for those bourbon-soaked vocals will finally be quenched.

Tom Waits' new album, Bad as Me, to be released Oct. 24, will mark his latest LP to drop since the seven-year studio hiatus following 2004's Real Gone. A "hiatus" that saw a 2006 release of a 52-song, three-disk box set entitled Orphans: Brawlers, Brawlers & Bastards, a set of 23 poems to accompany Michael O'Brien's portraits of the homeless, a role in "The Book of Eli" opposite Denzel Washington, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (by Neil Young, no less).

A slew of Waits-oriented press awaits an anxious public anticipating next week's album release, and we're glad the multi-talented performer is back on our radar, to say the least. In a recent interview with Pitchfork, the 61-year-old singer/songwriter revisited his skepticism of the Internet, which betrayed his trust back in August when the title for the very same album was leaked. Amidst unearthing the Internet's plot to kill off humans through robots' shared goal of eliminating the Earth's water supply, Waits compares the facility of writing songs to the unimpressive size of a bagel, the recording process to Chinese food, the creation of music to fast food, and the ever-so eloquent writing-songs-in-the-car to "combing your hair with the highway."

Waits also discusses the many musical connections he's made over his generation-defining career, speaking to Pitchfork about the process of recruiting Keith Richards for the album, who "came with about 600 guitars in a semi-truck. And a butler," briefly discussing his ties to the late Don Van Vliet, aka Captian Beefheart in a Los Angeles Times teaser piece to their full-length feature running on Sunday, and sitting down with the Wall Street Journal to chat about his songwriting partnership with Kathleen Brennan, his wife of 30 years.

Click over to Pitchfork for the full interview with Waits, head over to before Oct. 21 to stream the album for free, and revisit Tom's private listening party below to get your fill of the singer's metaphors.