One gets a sense from Ringo Starr’s brand-new album, Ringo 2012, that the famous Beatle is thinking a lot about the past these days. First off, Ringo revisits a few of his older tunes here, employing reggae feels on “Step Lightly” (1973’s Ringo), and “Wings” (1977’s Ringo the 4th).

“For the last two years I’ve been listening to a lot of reggae,” he explains. “So some of this album has a bit of [that] feel to it. I’m a product of my environment.”

Like on his last album, Y Not, Ringo self-produced and did all the drumming on 2012. “I got out of bed [one] morning and thought, ‘Who can produce this album?’ Then I looked in the mirror, and there he was.

“I’m not cluttering anything up on these last two albums,” he continues. “I like it very open and sparse, sort of old rock ’n’ roll-ish in its way. And in the end, it’s all on the groove—because I’m the drummer, and I say so!”

For more on Ringo, go to www.ringostarr.com or check out the Modern Drummer review of Ringo 2012 here. For a classic Modern Drummer Web Exclusive interview with Ringo from 2005 click here.

**Update: Ringo announces his 2012 All Starr Band. Click here to read the release.