American Songwriter Cover Interview with Neil Young And Daniel Lanois
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.
Photo by Alissa Anderson | American Songwriter
More of interview in American Songwriter.