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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

American Songwriter Cover Interview with Neil Young And Daniel Lanois

Neil Young And Daniel Lanois: Love And War
American Songwriter

An extensive Neil Young And Daniel Lanois interview in the January/February issue of American Songwriter by Jaan Uhelszki.

In the article "Neil Young And Daniel Lanois: Love And War", Young and Lanois discuss the making of Le Noise both in terms of the recording process itself, as well as, the creative collaboration between the artist and the producer.

Among the various topics:

  • the influence of moons on the recording process, always a favorite topic
  • the changing nature of Young's writing which has evolved from poetry to a more literal style
  • discusses lost album 'Treasure' from 1985 (thanks Jonathan!)
  • some very good and new thoughts on working with Producer David Briggs
  • quite surprisingly, discussion of the Vista & Muse?!

Q - American Songwriter, Jaan Uhelszki: When you heard some of the effects [Lanois] put on your voice and on your guitar, was it a look back to when music was so much more adventurous in the past? Or did you see it as a look to the future for you?

Neil Young: Actually I think it’s a look back. Wouldn’t you say that? (To Daniel, who nods ‘Yes.’) What it is, it’s a look back but it’s done in a very futuristic way because he has a control over all of these things that would have been hard to manage earlier. But the pieces and old records that we used to listen to, man, some of the swapbacks on those early ones, that’s where it all came from. And that’s just because it was on a fader or maybe they just had it on a tape recorder and then they’re doing the take and the guy will just, okay, this word right here, jack it up and record, and then back, and you know, live, as it went down.

Daniel Lanois: I see it as a continuation of some of the adventurous work that was happening in Jamaica back in the day, like early Lee Scratch Perry. They had very little equipment but they really did a lot with it. Like some idiosyncratic detail on a piece of equipment would become like the backbone of an entire production.

Q - American Songwriter, Jaan Uhelszki: It’s clear you’re in touch with something the rest of us aren’t aware of, and recently you said on your website: “I still see the vista and hear the muse, I will continue.” Can you talk about that?

Neil Young:
I still do see the vista. I feel good. That’s my way of feeling good. That’s my way of knowing that I can still continue. There’s no reason to not continue because I can still see where I’m going.

Can’t see it clearly but I know it’s out there.

Thanks Evan!

Neil Young And Daniel Lanois
Photo by Alissa Anderson | American Songwriter

More of interview in American Songwriter.

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At 12/15/2010 06:57:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Well slap me silly that is a GREAT interview!! They clearly held this until now since it was obviously done during the media blitz this past September.

Neil was listening to 'Treasure' from 1985?? WTF?? A future for Crazy Horse when they get together?? WTF??

This is the best interview from 'Le Noise' hands down...

Thanks a million Thrasher!!!!!!

At 12/15/2010 07:36:00 PM, Blogger Abel said...

"For the Love of Man" (aka "I Wonder Why"???) was also recorded with the other acoustic songs. Innaresting!

At 12/16/2010 09:23:00 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Great read.

At 12/16/2010 12:20:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Great interview. The Greendale/LWW/PW/FITR detractors should read this with a fine tooth comb.

A Friend Of Yours

At 12/16/2010 03:02:00 PM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

First of all, a great interview. About the Treasure.In 1985 Neil was working with David Briggs and International Harvesters.Briggs recorded other songs after the Old Ways sessions. The bulk of sessions with David leaked after his death in 1995, although not always of the best audio quality.I think that also the live songs with International Harvesters (the songs for the aborted EP) come from Briggs. I don't know if they are the same songs mentioned in this interview.Anyway, at the end of the american tour with International Harvesters, Neil spoke with a journalist of Melody Maker of having written enough songs for 2/3 records, since the Everybody's Rockin' release. Maybe The Treasure record is a record just like The Promise release, an ex post record, unlike the Homegrown and Toast sessions.Who knows.

Andrea."So Tired"

At 12/16/2010 07:38:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

Thanks for the post T!

I got through about 1/2 the article to where Neil talked about the Am(inor) to E arrangement for Love and War and went straight to the basement and plucked it out for a bit as it's been in my head the last few weeks. Got it down grabbed the lyrics and laid it down on the 8-trac.

Gonna go finish the article now. He's right (obviously) about when you get the 'movement' or that first thing in the morning for playin and grabbing the 'secret', that something that's got it and not just the regurgitation or the excercise. He sure knows how to describe what he's doing.

At 12/17/2010 06:41:00 AM, Blogger Brainstormlive said...

such a nice interview given by the songwriter.both are good one.i really like your post.
- songwriter


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