Lynyrd Skynyrd has a new studio album pretty much ready to go. Frontman Johnny Van Zant spoke to MadnessTo, and touched upon the band's ongoing “Last Of The Street Survivors Farewell Tour,” and Skynyrd's first new studio album since 2012's Last Of A Dyin' Breed: “We have an album in the can really, to be honest. We have a bunch of songs that we’re all the time writing. And so probably after this tour we’ll have that album, do a studio thing and we actually recorded our last show here in Jacksonville. Did a DVD and actually the CD for it and that’ll come out sometime along the way too.”

Van Zant shed light on the decision to embark on a final farewell tour, explaining, “When we started out, we said let’s play every place, every venue in every city that we ever thought about playing or wanted to play and before it’s over with, we’ll try to accomplish that. And the reason why we’re trying to cut back, I’ll be very honest with you, (co-founder) Gary Rossington will tell you himself, y'know his health hasn’t been that good. We just wanted to make sure that we treated our fans right and do it right one more last time.”

After a decade on ice, Lynyrd Skynyrd reformed in 1987 with Johnny Van Zant stepping into the frontman role his beloved older brother Ronnie Van Zant held until his 1977 death. Johnny was asked about the moment he took to the stage as Skynyrd's lead singer: “I’ve said it in plenty of interviews, how I probably didn’t feel comfortable singing for Skynyrd. And still (do) at times, I’ll be honest with you. My brother was a big figure. And I’ve always wanted to do it the right way and Ronnie was Ronnie and I’m Johnny. I never wanted to be him, there was only one Ronnie y'know? God broke a mold after him. . . God gave this guy special gifts and I never wanted to be Ronnie, but it was a couple years in for me before I actually started going okay, well new people are coming here to see us and they know what it’s all about, just carrying on the music and carry the tradition of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the legacy!”

We asked Johnny Van Zant — who was only 14 when the Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd album was released — if he can remember the first time his big brother Ronnie played the record for the family: “Wow! Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album! Y’know, I know it exactly. There used to be a department store, it was called Montgomery Ward, and my parents — me, my mom and dad and Ronnie — actually went down to the department store and bought one of the old, the real long turntables. . . It was kind like a big, huge, God, I don’t know what the heck it could be, but it had two speakers on the end of it with a turntable in the middle. And actually, Ronnie brought the record over and we sat and listened to it on this (laughs) brand new stereo (laughs)! And I thought it was the coolest thing, I was, like, ‘Wow! They really made a record!’”