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Neil Young's new album EARTH released on June 17th. The album with The Promise of the Real, is from the 2015 tour. Pre-order here
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Neil Young’s Producer Niko Bolas Reflects On New LP Storytone | Live Design

Niko Bolas and Neil Young

Neil Young’s new album Storytone was produced by Niko Bolas, who has worked with Young before on several other albums, including Freedom (1989), Ragged Glory (1990), and Living With War (2006).

From an interview with Niko Bolas in Live Design:
Bolas recalls, “In working on the album’s fuller version, which we recorded second, the main experiment was to have Neil sing without holding an instrument. I encouraged him not to hold an instrument because it changed his phrasing completely – he became a singer, not a singer-songwriter. There is a big difference there, and it’s one that we hadn’t gotten around to exploring before. Suddenly you’re focusing on where you put your consonants, how long you hold your vowels, how you deliver the lyric. And that is not to take anything away from Neil’s vocal takes on all the other records he’s done, with me or otherwise – obviously he’s one of the all-time great rock singers, period; but taking the guitar or keyboard away from him really changed his approach, and he adapted beautifully, and frankly it sets this work apart from all the other great albums in his catalog.”

That isn’t to say that Bolas was pushing Young into uncomfortable territory or commandeering the project: “There’s really no ‘producing’ Neil,” Bolas laughs. “What you have to do is gather the adjectives he’s giving you and figure out how to build it. He had noted to me before how it was a dream of his to stand in the middle of a room and sing with an orchestra. When we started tracking his vocals, on the downbeat it was terrifying, but within about 30 seconds, he understood and was comfortable, and there was no stopping him after that.”
Complete interview with Niko Bolas in Live Design.


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At 11/21/2014 11:18:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Briggs produced Ragged Glory...

At 11/21/2014 01:33:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Niko has an engineer credit on RG, so "worked with" is accurate. He also has engineer credits on LOW and Life, and engineer/producer on This Note, Chrome Dreams II and Fork in the Road.

At 11/21/2014 06:49:00 PM, Blogger John EH Connelly said...

In regard to Neil's earthly environmental concerns , curious to know what source of electricity fueled this latest massive , self indulgent studio production ?
Show us the numbers Neil , coal or hydro-electric power ?
To pose as Mr Earth , you should be ashamed !
Is the wearer of Earth t-shirts above the level of integrity he so often preaches when it serves his own purposes ?...... EH !

At 11/21/2014 09:06:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@Jonathan - yes, Briggs produced Ragged Glory. Brilliantly, we might add.

@Babbo B. - thanks for clarification. Niko is also known as a Volume Dealer -- we might add. :)

@John EH - we could've sworn this topic was Niko Bolas?

Let's see... Neil's carbon footprint when recording an album? Compared too? And your point?

Oh, and those EARTH shirts? Organic cotton, eh.

At 11/21/2014 09:58:00 PM, Blogger John EH Connelly said...

The topic of course is as you see fit to censor .
Let all see the facts of energy consumption before one preaches and wears an Earth t-shirt !
From a preacher man like Neil , I have yet to see his numbers of a life of consumption ......
Fuel to burn and roads to ride ..Eh !
Such a privlege to live in the Free World of discussion ...

At 11/21/2014 11:06:00 PM, Blogger mrtew said...

John stop pretending you want a 'discussion'. There is no answer to any of your questions that would satisfy you or bring about any discussion, you would just fling another turd at Neil and demand an explanation! You're not a NY fan, you're a troll. I don't agree with all the stuff he says, but I'd never think of littering every thread on a fan site with random antagonizing while daring the moderator to moderate me. Get lost and come back when you want to discuss how horrible his new album is.

At 11/22/2014 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Old Neg said...

John makes a valid point. It's kinda like Bill Cosby trying to tell everyone how to morally act all these years while at heart he's a serial rapist.

I can't hardly listen to these Neil Young novelty albums. Never thought I'd say that. Maybe the THIRD version of Storytone will be better. I won't be buying it. I'm sure most here will love it or be too worried about the Wrath of Thrash so say anything negative. But check the reviews on Amazon. Lots and lots of 1 star reviews and people who wish they had their money back!

But I'll be watching for what's next as Neil circles the globe in his quest to save the Earth. Will be interesting to see how he keeps his pockets lined with "green". Is Billy feeling better yet?! God, I hope so. Gotta run. It's time for my latte.

At 11/22/2014 05:20:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@ mrtew - we've tried to help Jonathan see the light and open his horizons. Sadly, he's stuck in the left/right framework and unable to escape the matrix and make the big shift.

see you on the other side...

@ Old Neg - a valid point that has nothing to do with the post topic om Niko Bolas?

Seriously. Day after day Old Neg pours out his frustrations here on TW. How about this... since Neil is such a "failure" in your eyes, ears and heart, please suggest to us who else we might tune into? Who else is making green music from the heart? Singing about the major issues of the day? Connecting and resonating around the world?

Show us the way ON. Otherwise, the same old Neil bashing has become rather tired & boring.


At 11/22/2014 07:47:00 PM, Blogger Old Neg said...

Okay the Cosby reference might have been a little harsh but I see the hypocrisy that John points out, that's all. Day after day? I seldom post these days. I know I'm not wanted here.

Neil said he doesn't care if his politics hurt his record sales. But isn't it his politics that keeps him in the news? Free publicity is good publicity. I love Neil but I question his motives at times. He loves money, that seems obvious. But he never seems to be putting up any of his own for all the causes he backs (or gets paid to play). He gives his time. It's always someone else footing the bill.

In any event, sorry to rain on your love fest. God I hope Pegi writes one of those tell all books! What do you think Thrash? Or if she bashes him will you look the other way? I'm enjoying Neil in love. It's a hoot. See ya back at the ditch.

Fuck the doubters

At 11/23/2014 09:30:00 PM, Blogger John Valley said...

Here's a cover of the Crazy Horse version of 'Who's Gonna Stand Up?'. Thought y'all might dig it!

At 11/26/2014 07:48:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Thanks Thrash for trying to 'help me see the light' & escape the left/right framework/matrix...I know I'm just an ignoramus here in your eyes...I already told you that I most certainly have seen the Light & that Light is Jesus Christ & the message of the Gospel. There is no other light here is this fallen world...peace again...peace again...Spirit Road

At 11/26/2014 07:13:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@ Jonathan - your welcome. While you profess Christian values, it's unfortunate that you do not practice them here @ TW.

Jesus said to love your enemies, yet you "hate liberals"? Very un-christian we'd say. Or, just to use your favorite term, this is known as hypocrisy.

peace & love to all


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