After releasing two consecutive No. 1 pop-punk albums, Machine Gun Kelly has stated that his intention for his next album is to return to his rap roots that preceded his crossover into the rock world.

That's what the musician, who released Mainstream Sellout earlier this year, told Audacy's Kevan Kenney in a new interview (audio below). The record is MGK's sixth studio effort overall and the second since relaunching his career as a pop-punk artist with 2020's platinum-selling Tickets To My Downfall. While many questioned his transition from a mainstream genre to one that hit its commercial peak roughly 20 years ago, the move has been nothing but a complete success.

Careful not to wear out his welcome, MGK cited a number of reasons for returning to rap on this proposed followup to Mainstream Sellout.

"I’m going to make a rap album for myself. For no other reason, no point to prove, no chip on my shoulder... If I keep doing things to prove things to people, I’m going to, one, drive myself crazy and, two, not make a good product," the 32-year-old told Kenney.

"I made Tickets and Mainstream Sellout because I wanted to make them. I need to now also make people miss that sound," he continued, "because Tickets and Mainstream Sellout are companion albums, I don't think making a third that's so [sonically aligned with the last two albums] is going to be exciting unless it's missed."

Divulging the next steps he plans to take, MGK went on, "So I’m going to do this tour and I’m gonna step into where I left [off with 2019's] Hotel Diablo and expand on my storytelling as a rapper and find a new innovative sound for the hip-hop Machine Gun Kelly. That’s where my excitement is and where me as a music archaeologist wants to explore."

He's still searching for what the "next version" of his pop-punk sound is and is hoping to be struck by the "right inspiration," like how he was on Mainstream Sellout by merging different musical worlds, namely bringing some of his hip-hop and rap influences to the fold. "That was fun for me because I knew how we could one-up Tickets," MGK said of the experience making his latest album.

There's more than a rap/hip-hop album on the horizon, however. A 52-date arena tour with Avril Lavigne and a rotating cast of openers is set to begin on June 8 and, two weeks prior on May 20, the stoner comedy film Good Mourning, starring MGK and Lavigne's new fiancé and fellow pop-punk rocker Mod Sun, will be released on select pay-per-view platforms.

Machine Gun Kelly — Audacy Interview (April 26, 2022)

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