Singer Eric Burdon is refusing to be part of an upcoming 50th anniversary tribute to his former band the Animals because as far as he's concerned the band is dead.

The House of the Rising Sun singer will be back in Austin, Texas for the upcoming South by Southwest music festival, where the star-studded night of all things Animals is planned, but he doesn't think he'll be dropping by.

Instead he'll let the likes of Brendon Benson and members of Wilco and Calexico perform his old band's hits.

He tells, "From my personal point of view, the Animals are dead. They killed themselves. I kept using the name for strictly promotional purposes so that young kids would associate the Animals with the Beatles and the (Rolling) Stones and that period... but I got sued for using the name by former members of the band.

"So, for me, it's the past. I'm all for allowing other people to do and say what they want to say, but, for me, it's over, and I'm on my own."

Meanwhile, Burdon is working on a third memoir - and this one will have very little to do with his life in music.

He explains, "It's just about my world and people that I've met and people I love and respect. I made a conscious decision to stay away from music and musicians because that's what I've written about before. This time I'll find people in between the gaps and the people standing the shadows.

"I'm concerned a lot with my childhood and how World War Ii had an ongoing effect on me, things like that. At the moment I'm writing about how and when I met my missus (wife), the woman I'm married to at the moment. That was an adventure in itself. So I have to go on a trip of discovery on that level."