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Monday, December 13, 2021

INTERVIEW: Neil Young - ‘Barn’ with Crazy Horse and Being Future-Forward with Care for the Past | Apple Music

Zane Lowe and Neil Young

Here is a video interview with Neil Young on new album ‘Barn’ with Crazy Horse and "Being Future-Forward with Care for the Past" via Apple Music. (Thanks Jonathan!)

 

From YT video description:

Zane Lowe joins rock icon Neil Young at Shangri-La recording studio in Malibu to discuss his 41st studio album, ‘Barn’ with Crazy Horse. Neil Young explains that geography is very important to his songwriting process and that he needs to feel the energy of his space in order to create lasting music. Neil describes working with Crazy Horse on tracks like “Song Of The Seasons,” which was inspired by the beauty of their surroundings. The two discuss the Neil Young archives, which is a project he’s been working on for years. Neil believes that in music it’s important to have sights set on the future, with care and respect for the past.

BARN
 by Neil Young & Crazy Horse
(See more on 1st IMPRESSIONS: "Song Of The Seasons" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse
 

Crazy Horse, 2021
Photo by dhlovelife 
 
 
"BARN features 10 new songs that capture the cosmic, raw, idiosyncratic rock and roll spirit and lyrical beauty that epitomizes classic NY/CH collaborations. Recorded this summer under a full moon, in a big historically restored off-grid 19th century log barn high up in the Rockies, the Horse was right at home and the album’s stunning love songs, reflective ballads and powerhouse rockers burst spontaneously to life."
 
MORE BARN!!!
 Produced by The Volume Dealers – Neil Young and Niko Bolas, the album will be available on vinyl (special edition), CD, cassette and Deluxe Box set. The special edition vinyl contains 6 behind-the-scenes photographs from the Barn sessions. Available as a numbered first pressing, the Deluxe Box set contains the special edition LP, CD and Blu-ray of the film Barn.
 
(Watch out for The Greedy Hand, but you'll be supporting Thrasher's Wheat. Thanks!)

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28 Comments:

At 12/13/2021 07:56:00 PM, Blogger Shakeydave said...

i got my copy of Barn deluxe edition in the usps mail today, i am going to wrap it up and give it to myself for xmas, wifey told me to do it....i love her and keep on rockin uncle neil!

 
At 12/13/2021 09:29:00 PM, Blogger Shakeydave said...

p.s. thats a really good interview!

 
At 12/14/2021 07:26:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Found the interview a bit twee, no searching questions.

 
At 12/14/2021 01:49:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Shakeydave - good deal. sounds like a nice holiday gift. enjoy and happy holidays to you & the 'wifey"!

@ Andy - not quite sure about "bit twee"?

Did you not find the question about how Neil finds peace and his response "searching"?

We found the interview to be quite enlightening about Neil's inspiration and technique.

In particular, about how Neil would walk several miles each day to the studio to find inspiration.

He would start the walk without a song and by the time he reached the Barn he had something to work with for the day whether a melody, a lyric or an idea.

neil -- still fascinating after all these years ...

 
At 12/14/2021 02:25:00 PM, Blogger Mystic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12/14/2021 02:33:00 PM, Blogger Mystic said...

Oh dear. What have I done! The emperor has no clothes.

 
At 12/14/2021 03:20:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Mystic…… well, I’m certainly glad you got that off your chest….

….. I’m still waiting for my deluxe set to arrive from The Greedy Hand, and I prefer to hear new music at home and on vinyl, so no opinion about Barn from me yet…..
Peace 🙏

 
At 12/14/2021 03:31:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

…. Loved the interview, a really relaxed and healthy looking Neil. Very enjoyable. Interesting to see how little energy is focused on how people react to his music. As long as he feels good about it; it’s all that matters to him…. Probably why he’s still relevant over five decades later. I just really admire his ability to stay true to himself, and ignore those who just don’t get it.

Peace 🙏

 
At 12/14/2021 05:43:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Mystic - thanks sharing. As Dan mentions, Neil is making records for himself & his friends. We're just along for the ride.

As we've mentioned here over the twilight years, we're very lucky to have Neil & The Horse.

It brings us great joy just to know that they can still do it after all these years. We find it inspiring as we head into our own 3rd Act as well. Is it any wonder that BARN is now a AARP Feature?

Maybe The Emperor really does have clothes on but you just can't hear them???

@ Dan - bummer on GH delays. :(

Like you say: " I just really admire his ability to stay true to himself, and ignore those who just don’t get it. "

Hope your box arrives soon.

We eagerly await your report.

 
At 12/14/2021 08:55:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Rats, Mystic removed the comment! That is not fair!!

I could have really gone pretentious on that one. Ha ha ha, how we take ourselves too seriously!!

 
At 12/14/2021 10:47:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12/14/2021 10:52:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

@Abner, Ha ha! I am good with its removal.

I keep scratching my head and thinking, Its a Fan Blog for our favorite music artist(s). No need to Beat the undead Horse. Nor the Old Man. And he is at retirement age, for most mere mortals. Should we cut him some slack? Is some Respect warranted?

He has given us so much sonic joy & top shelf Music Art. How much more should we demand of him? We are all Restless Consumers. "He's doesn't sing like the Young anymore. His voice cracked. He didn't Rock hard enough (for me). I am not ok with how he is recording albums these days." What if you were the one receiving the criticism. Would that be ok?

Maybe we should instead Thank Neil Young for all the great Art he has created and hold back the smears when we have a forum to speak in. Neil is not ignoring TW and he drops hints in recent interviews that he has taken delight in knowing that we actually are excited and interested by the news songs, & what he is STILL doing. He has gotten some happiness from some of the more positive conversations about the new songs.

As much as Neil Young ignores those who tell him what to do, despite the legend that Neil does not care what fans think & say about his Art, he has a Heart in his chest & he even has feelings. Fans, Hard Core or not, Don't Forget Love.

Nobody likes every album. But we do love Neil Young and the impressive power and depth of his vast library of Music creations.
Mortality seems unfair when pondering our Music Gods. Should he not Rock On Eternally? He will. He will. We'll be getting good seats at the Great Gig in the Sky soon enough ourselves.


The Pandemic Blues and doldrums have driven some to the point of grumpiness, anger, and depression. Perhaps that explains some of the mean comments and judgements fans or former fans drop by to dump on TW, although this is not a new precedent on the blog.

Intelligent analysis is enjoyable to read unless it is entirely negative, which doesn't seem intelligent at all.

At the same time, Don't Sugar Coat Anything, because we'll know you are talking BS. And don't piss on the rug either.

Long May You Run.

Thrasher, Huge Thanks to you and Thrashette for tending to this wonderful Blog through the many Decades and trips round the sun, even when the weather or critics get ugly.

Alan in Seattle

 
At 12/15/2021 03:41:00 AM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Based on everything I've learned about Neil Young in the 40 years that I have been listening to his music, I'm pretty certain that he appreciates honest and real opinions from his fans. I have never been of the belief that Neil is too sensitive to handle any critiques of his Art from his many admirers. He never seemed the type to expect all of minions to simply bow in awe of everything he creates.

That's one of the reasons why I love and admire the guy. And I'm sure not gonna hold back any criticisms of his music for that very reason. Neil has has his critics since he was a teenager and he has always Rocked on, he can handle some grumps even here on Thrasher.

 
At 12/15/2021 07:33:00 AM, Blogger Steve L said...

Hi Richie

Although I found myself largely agreeing with your initial response to the album on the other thread, it is also the case that I am enjoying Barn more each time I listen to it.

A couple of tracks I was initially ambivalent about are definitely growing on me. (Not the final song though, at least not yet)

Initial reactions can easily be outmoded over time. e.g. I remember disliking Hawks & Doves when it first came out, yet in recent decades it is one of the NY albums I play the most.

Steve

 
At 12/15/2021 04:03:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I’m sad that @Mystic felt compelled to deleted the post. Hopefully it wasn’t a case of feeling pushed away from posting here, because differing opinions generates more interesting conversations.

Peace 🙏

 
At 12/15/2021 10:31:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

There is so much good stuff happening in the Neil Young universe. His latest releases, Archival and new stuff, have been good medicine. So many cool albums on the way, and already an embarrassment of Riches judging by the pile of presents Uncle Neil has given us this year. Surely we have all found a lot of stuff to be thankful for in the NY universe. Alan in Seattle

 
At 12/16/2021 07:44:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Even as it tackles uncomfortable themes, Barn is a comforting sort of record.

(Which is exactly what we all need right now, isn't it?)

You can be a die-hard Crazy Horse fanatic and like—if not love—this record. You can also play it at respectable volume with no risk of animal cruelty charges for terrifying your neighbour's cat.

Sure, there are moments of appropriately hellish brutality on this record. But they're controlled — unleashed on tap for a few seething minutes.... or moments.

Actually, this record reminds more of Prarie Wind and Living With War than Weld or Arc. A lot of it is acoustic-based: mellow and laid-back.

And, on some of its most powerful tracks, there's that Sleeps With Angels vibe in there, too.

The songs are short and sweet. There's a sense of most of them being lightly dipped in honey before being packaged for public consumption.

(Raw live performance enhanced with a little sparkle and polish — that's the trademark of more than a few classic Neil albums.)

And Crazy Horse are playing quite beautifully. Colorado (an idiosyncratic performance piece that demands you give it another listen) sounded like it was recorded in the ruins of a dead city. And if Ralph Molina's drumming sounded incompetent, well, maybe that's why.

Or maybe he was just hearing the songs for the first time.

On Barn, meanwhile, Crazy Horse *as a band* are somewhere scarily close to their best. (I wrote about Nils' contribution to the band in my old Colorado review, so I won't retread the same ground, here).

And most of the music itself is less eccentric than that on Greendale or Colorado. That means it's extremely easy to like and admire... but perhaps harder to fall deeply in love with.

(There's no comparison to Psychedelic Pill. That's an album with Poncho Sampedro on guitar — a disruptive monster that obliterates the footsteps of Rust and Weld, not Harvest or Peace Trail).

(End of part one).

 
At 12/16/2021 07:46:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Welcome Back is the song getting most of the attention. And maybe for compelling reason:

It single-handedly proves my incessant point that the magic (the spook!) lives in the spaces *between* the instruments, the sounds, the echoes, the reverberations...

Fill in these spaces, and you give the listener's imagination no room to manoeuvre. That's enough to kill the spook... and the record. No such complaints here.

Welcome Back, musically gorgeous, is also the song that exposes the sporadic "iffy-ness" of Neil's songwriting for the last few years. Namely, his adversion to sticking with the songwriting process until the occasional bouts of blandness turn (mutate? Grow? Evolve?) into something greater.

(Example? In the previous paragraph, notice how I used the phrase "something greater". That itself is a bland phrase! And even just spending an extra 10 seconds tweaking it would have awarded me a more vivid way of putting the same sentiment.)

Realistically, I think Neil is naturally a die-hard perfectionist. He's one of the most focused people I know. For years, his working methods proved this.

And sometimes, he went too far. Overkill!

He burned himself out, and others, too. Razor-sharp records were sabotaged by too much tampering *at the end of the process* by an intense artist who didn't know when to stop.

And sometimes he tries to avoid that grisly fate by going to the other extreme — of accepting as Gospel whatever words effortlessly end up on the first draft. No effort, no editing: just capture the moment.

The problem, of course, is that the first idea is rarely the best one — it just opens the door for the best one. So, do you stick around and hold the door open or not?

Maybe Neil disagrees with me, I don't know. But I think just a little extra perseverance, and just a little editing, goes a long way.

And maybe Canerican disproves everything I've just said. Because the fusion of its sublime, swaggering, in-your-face sound and nuanced, fragile vocal delivery completely negates the fact that's its lyric is an under-ripe corn cob.

(But, can we agree, a sharpened lyric rarely does any harm — and often does a lot of good?)

So I've said everything I have to say about Barn, right now.

No, it doesn't have the red-hot intensity of Walk Like A Giant, nor the haunting deviousness of I Do. No matter! This is a different record.

It's warming and comforting, colourful, gutsy-when-required and also quite beautifully performed. And the spook is well and truly back.

Oh! One more thing —

How about "They Might Be Lost"? That's one of those songs that comes out of nowhere — either a gift from the Gods, a gift from the unconscious mind, or a gift from Marijuana... It depends on how you look at it.

(Opinion: I think one of those explanations, at least, is a cop out; if not all of them).

Either way, it's a song—and performance—that *makes* you feel something, rather than tells you how to feel. That, in my opinion, is one of Neil's greatest talents or skills.

The journey continues! And I for one am grateful we're still here to see what happens next.

(One day, the time may come when I no longer care if tomorrow will arrive or not. That time is not now.)

I wish you all the best for the Christmas/holiday period, and for 2022. Let's keep going.

Scotsman.

 
At 12/16/2021 08:57:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Scotsman- awesome, as usual. Thanks so much for keeping the flame burning.
Future COTM
Merry Christmas

 
At 12/16/2021 11:13:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12/16/2021 11:17:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I have yet to hear Barn as it didn’t arrive until late last night, but Scotsman has shown me that it’s worth the wait. Thank you my friend.

Peace 🙏

 
At 12/16/2021 11:43:00 AM, Blogger G-Man said...

There is an interview in the latest issue of MOJO magazine (February 2022) with Neil on the cover. It's interesting and very enlightening where it comes to the Archives releases and Neil explains his rationale and why there is so much recorded music in his vaults. well worth a read, IMHO.

 
At 12/16/2021 12:32:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Thanks G-Man for the heads up…. I forgot about Neil being on the cover of MOJO….. more to look forward to…. like Alan said earlier….. an embarrassment of riches…. Neil just keeps giving….. yet, I’m not thoroughly convinced we’re worthy….but it would be rude not to accept he’s generosity. We should be grateful…. I know I am.

Peace 🙏

 
At 12/16/2021 06:21:00 PM, Blogger Hambone said...

@Scotsman, I played the Barn blueray tonight and the first chords of They Might be Lost was a goosebump moment.

There is such a melancholy lilt to the song and you find yourself trying to rather gently understand the story but then Neil sings "but the jury is out on the old days you know, the judgement is soon comin' down" and the bottom falls out of that cosy space and there's a confrontation with what you may take for granted of your own past and as you reel back from that Neil lands another blow with the casual "The weather is changing, you know" and the weather in mind might be wahts's happening outside your window right now.

And though I'm a bit younger than many here (I was 5 in the summer of love) I have children in their early 20s who are challenging me about how far did I & my generation really go to stop the slow slide to damagimg the earth and what they'll have to live in. And it's hard to come up with a convincing explanation and maybe for some it's easier to cry "woke" and pretend everything is chundering along just fine.

So They Might be Lost is my personal key song of the whole album.

And it shows Crazy Horse at their most subtle, with echos in the playing of the stunning acoustic Sleep With Angels performance at Bridge 1994. The only Neil bootleg I've ever gone out an bought in the days before streaming concerts and a treasured possession.

Oh and the blueray has a coda to that song with Nils which is just perfect.

Tony "Hambone"

 
At 12/16/2021 09:18:00 PM, Blogger (D.) Ian Kertis; The Metamorphic Rocker said...

'Barn', as a whole, gives me 'Chrome Dreams II' vibes. And I know tastes vary, but coming from me, that's an affirmation. Ralph's drums are a part of that aural fabric, as is Nils' piano. Not that Nils was involved with CDII but listening to Shape of You, Tumblin' Through the Years--the sound is similar. Don't Forget Love is a classic Neil ending in the vein of The Way, minus the children's choir. On the other end of the spectrum, Human Race is the ghost of Spirit Road.

The piano songs are possibly the biggest surprise of the album, disarmingly earnest, amusing, and heartfelt. Along with Song of the Seasons, these softer moments are a good ballast to the weight and urgency of Human Race, Canerican, Welcome Back.

'Barn' has rough edges but also a lot of warmth. Song of the Seasons was such a strong single... almost too strong... that I wasn't sure where the rest of the album would land. As usual, it's a waste of energy to expect, predict, or worry the future too much. In truth, I don't think any single track would be fully representative of the album. 'Barn' runs on variation and contrast, and I'd say the same of many of my favorite Neil albums.

CDII, again, is a good relatively recent example: the songs are wide-ranging in sound and feeling but, for me, they hold together. 'Barn' is a little heavier and louder than CDII overall but just as organic and soulful. On both albums, some of the best moments are some of the quietest. Remembering the last three Horse albums--Pill, Colorado, and now Barn, no two are alike yet each one is distinctively Horse.

 
At 12/18/2021 12:43:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Scotsman- I truly look forward to your reviews and comments. Hambone and Ian, same thing. Real substance to engage.

 
At 12/18/2021 12:51:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

See http://neilyoungnews.thrasherswheat.org/2021/12/comment-of-moment-barn-by-neil-young.html

 
At 12/18/2021 03:06:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Thanks guys! Glad it went down well.

Tony, thanks for your comment and for mentioning the 1994 Bridge School Benefit — one of my faves. I started watching the Barn Blu-ray, liked it but stopped half way through. Need to get back to it.

Thanks too to Alan and Co. for comments on the other thread.

Stay safe everyone, and wishing you a happy and healthy conclusion to 2021.

Scotsman.

 

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