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Monday, September 20, 2010

Neil Young Interview on Le Noise: "It sounded like God"

Twitter / Greg Kot

Last week, Chicago Sun critic Greg Kot tweeted:
"Just spoke to Neil Young. Says death of Ben Keith means "I won't be able to perform 70% of my repertoire with a band ever again."

The tweet has caused somewhat of a collective gasp of disbelief in the micro-blogosphere.

Since Kot posted the tweet, he has published the full interview article with Neil Young sharing some insight into the making of the new album Le Noise. From Chicago Tribune: "Neil Young on playing his 'Le Noise' guitar: 'It sounded like God' by Greg Kot:
“It’s folk-metal,” [Young] says with a laugh. “We got this sound on the guitar that was very exciting to us. There’s the singularity of a folk performance on the guitar, but with a heavy-metal civilization of sound around it.”

“You get four dimensions of sound out of one acoustic guitar, and I thought it might inspire him to play a certain way,” Lanois says. “We got the clarity of the guitar with a rich, beautiful bottom, a great subsonic sound with no mumbo-jumbo. It started with that sound on that guitar and we recorded two songs. Then, at the end of the first session, we went electric on the song ‘Hitchhiker.’ That’s when things really started getting interesting.”

Young, not prone to hyperbole in interviews, was blown away by the guitar sounds Lanois was able to capture: “It sounded like God.”

[Regarding the passing of Ben Keith]:

“There is about 70 percent of my repertoire that I will never do again (with a band),” Young says. “There is no sense in trying to redo what was already great. There’s no payoff in that. That’s not what I’m about. I’m thankful to have known Ben and played with him for 40 years. He was one of my best friends and I miss him very much. I don’t see myself playing those songs with a band in the future. I can play them by myself, but I can’t play them with a band. I just don’t think I could handle it. I don’t know anybody who can do what he did. It closes a door on a period of my life, and it also opens up a giant space for me to be creative in the future.”

“It started out as this simple, acoustic record,” Lanois said, “and it became this other thing, a fabulous body of work.”

See full interview from Chicago Tribune: "Neil Young on playing his 'Le Noise' guitar: 'It sounded like God' by Greg Kot.


Le Noise by Neil Young
(Click to Zoom Cover)
Release Date: September 28, 2010

More on Neil Young's New Album 'Le Noise'. Also, see:

- Producer Daniel Lanois Discusses Making of "Walk With Me" + UNCUT Review (UPDATED)
- Video of Neil Young's "Angry World" from Le Noise
- Neil Young's Le Noise: "Just a man on a stool"
- "Imagination never sleeps": Neil Young's Le Noise
- NPR Previews Neil Young's Le Noise's "Walk With Me"
- Dead Man Soundtrack: Preview of Le Noise?
- Anticipating Neil Young's album Le Noise

FWIW, pre-orders for Le Noise by Neil Young are already ranked at #8 #5 on Bestseller listing.

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At 9/20/2010 12:05:00 PM, Blogger thezuma said...

"It closes a door on a period of my life, and it also opens up a giant space for me to be creative in the future.”

Wow! Sounds like his gears are turning and the future is still a fresh, blank canvas. He has to try to build on this stuff in a band situation.

At 9/20/2010 04:06:00 PM, Blogger Dan said...

This is exactly why every time I could see Neil and his latest band I'd make sure to see them ... the past couple years has to go down in the books as epic Neil ... with him breaking out all the old Harvest stuff and what have you ... its really sad to hear Neil talking about closing the door on 70% of his cannon, the only bright spot is that the other 30% is huge, who knows what he'll invent now, and maybe we'll see the horse brought back out ... but if he's serious and indeed that 70% is out, its a sad day worth mourning over this for sure. RIP Ben! many of us underestimated what life would like like without you.


At 9/20/2010 05:13:00 PM, Blogger Hambone said...

If Neil is genuine about this that I'm thankful I saw the Continental band 3 times in during the Euro tours in 2008-9. Seeing Neil and Keith's interweaving playing on "Words" completely changed my opinion of the song and you can see why Keith's passing has had such a impact on Neil.

Also take a quick look at Sugar Mountain and see how many times Keith's name appears in the band line ups - not just the obvious Stray Gators, Santa Monica Flyers, International Harvesters & Prarie Wind bands but also The Restless, Shocking Pinks, The Bluenotes and Trans Band - about the only band he didn't play with was Pearl Jam.

So maybe Neil's thought I'm just 10 years behind Keith - let's make every one of them matter


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