INTERVIEW: Neil Young: All Alone the Captain Stands - Flood Magazine
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An interview from Flood Magazine - Neil Young: All Alone the Captain Stands by Pat McGuire:
Q: In [your 2012 memoir] Waging Heavy Peace, you wrote a passage about walking with your dog and always sending a warning as you walk so as to avoid startling anything you might be approaching. How drastically have we ignored our planet’s warnings? Is that to some degree what EARTH is about?Full interview from Flood Magazine - Neil Young: All Alone the Captain Stands by Pat McGuire.
NEIL: We don’t even pay attention to what’s going on. We’re so distracted, we don’t see. You can experience the whole [new record] as an ear movie. Close your eyes and listen to it with no stops for an hour and a half. The [message] is that with all the creatures, there’s a relief. There’s no politics with animals, they don’t have an agenda. There’s a war going on and the crickets are still singing. Where they’re allowed to sing, they sing. Every once in a while they get wiped out by what we’re doing, but if they’re not being wiped out, they’re being themselves. They’re not campaigning; they’re living.
Is there an implied chronology to the nature sounds on the record?
One thing leads to another. [The original] running order started with a war, and then there was silence, then nature, and then the record happened. But that just didn’t work for me. So the second running order was this one. It’s all one big song—everything relates to everything else. It was quite a monumental undertaking to put this together. [Neither the co-producer] John Hanlon, who I made the record with, [nor] I had ever worked on anything like it before. It got completely out of control.
Do you mean with making the field recordings?
Field recordings, editing, putting the transitions together, crossfading, going from one place to another, [figuring out] where you introduce the animals [and on] which song. A lot of the field recording I did myself around my home, because my home is surrounded by animals. A crow lives [there], I see the crow every morning, and he has his girlfriend.
Did you tell them they’re guest stars on a Neil Young album?
Yeah! I talk to them all the time, and they talk back. They know me, and they’re not just there, they’re aware; if you pay attention to them, you can see that they’re just as there as you are. My girlfriend has a hummingbird that comes out in the morning and [hovers] right in front of her face and looks at her. It’s interesting; they’re forms of life, and to me it’s a very simple thing: I would like to make sure they have a place to live.