Interviews

Southern Revolution Warren Haynes of Govt Mule

With the imminent release of new Gov’t Mule record Revolution Come… Revolution Go (Spinefarm), Ghost Cult popped down to London to chat to Warren Haynes about the new album, the inspirations behind it, his upcoming UK tour and the unfortunate passing of his friend and fellow bandmate Gregg Allman

Ghost Cult: Congratulations on the new album, what was your aim for the record?

Warren Haynes: This was the first Gov’t Mule record since we celebrated our 20th anniversary as a band, so our goal was to look at it like we’re embarking on a new chapter. I kept telling people in interviews before we starting recording that that meant we were gonna visit our earliest roots but also go some places we have never gone before. The response would always be “Well, what do you mean?” “Well, I won’t know until we get there”. I think we were able to achieve that, about half the record sounds like old school Gov’t Mule, and the other half is exploring our other influences and utilising the chemistry we all have playing music.

There’s quite a healthy amount of funk and soul in there, which works quite well.

Yeah, which we all love and is a big of what our live performances are. It’s important for us to bring to the studio all the different things that come up on stage.

As this album was recorded on election day (November 8th 2016), did it affect it in any way?

It influenced it in the way it influenced the way we felt and the overall attitude. It didn’t really change the songs as they were written before we started recording. The only song that was written after election day was ‘Sarah Surrender’ which in no way is political. The biggest effect that it had on me was that I didn’t pick up a newspaper or watch the news for two weeks; I just buried my head in the music. The fact that we were making a recording. helped because I had something to lose myself in. It did help fire everybody up.

The title track and ‘Stone Cold Rage’ seem quite political in theme.

Yeah. Both of those songs, and a couple others. Most of the political statements on the record are mostly from an observant point of view, I’m not one for preaching or getting on a soapbox. I’ve always written about what’s going on in the world, going back to myself first solo record in ‘93 and the first Mule record in ‘95. This is a little different as more of the audience has focused on it, and the title being Revolution Come… Revolution Go has caused people to think. It’s unavoidable with the way things are right now, you can either examine the elephant in the room or not.

As you say, not all are political, there’s quite a few that are reflective and philosophical like ‘Travelling Tune’ and ‘Dreams and Songs’. Are they homages to anyone in particular or just general reflections on life?

‘Dreams and Songs’ is very autobiographical and very personal to me. ‘Travelling Tune’ is about the connection between the band and our audience and it pays tribute to the people that came before us and people we’ve lost.

Life on the road and all it entails?

Yeah, but more specifically our life on the road. We have a unique relationship with our audience because a lot of them come to multiple shows – in the way that the Grateful Dead starting this whole trend of fans following you around, a large part of our audience does that. I’ll meet people that have seen 200 Gov’t Mule shows, it still freaks me out when that happens but I never expected to be playing hundreds and hundreds of shows and seeing some of the same people every night – it’s very bizarre! A lot of them you wind up meeting, talking to and getting to know and releasing that, it’s a family atmosphere for them as well

You’re doing a UK tour in October, are you looking forward to it? When was the last time you came to these shores?

Yeah, absolutely. We feel like we need to start cultivating the UK audience more because it’s a very important market to us and we want to keep building that. It’s going to be the first time we’ve been to Ireland, Scotland or Wales so we’re excited about that.

Are European audiences different to American ones?

For sure, they’re different from country to country and from city to city in the States – the West Coast is way different from the east coast in the states. Culturally speaking some bands are more popular certain places and some are more popular in other places in the states, it’s very strange that way. European audiences are more similar to American audiences now than when we first started coming here. I’ve always been impressed by how seriously European audiences take the music, how appreciative they are and well informed of the band’s history they are.

Sorry to hear about Gregg’s passing, where were you when you heard the news?

We were in Illinois and we’d played a festival that night. I got the news that he’d passed about 5 hours before we had to be on stage.

That must have been tough.

Yeah, it was a really hard show to do. One minute I’m thinking ‘What am I doing here’ and the next minute I’m thinking ‘Well, music is the best way to deal with it’ – I was a bit numb that day, so I’m not sure how it went.

Would you do what you did for Allen Woody, do a tribute album with musicians he liked (The Deep End Vol 1 & 2)?

We’ve thought about doing a concert maybe, that’s more likely I think. There’s already a live DVD/CD of a tribute show including myself, The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and others covering Gregg Allman songs. So I could see us doing some sort of show, but there’s nothing in the works yet.

Thank you very much for having me.

My pleasure, it was nice to meet you.

Revolution Come… Revolution Go was released by Spinefarm on Friday 9th June.

THOMAS THROWER

Source: Ghost Cult Magazine

Laura Nyro Remembered A Musical Force of Nature

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There is an abiding image of Laura Nyro as the black sheep at the crowning of the counterculture. On June 17, 1967, the 19-year-old played Monterey. According to cousin and confidant Alan Merrill, the moment producer Lou Adler called and asked Nyro to play, “Her lips went blue from the shock.” Once she recovered, she started sketching costumes. Her outfit was a black dress that hung off one shoulder, forming a batwing beneath the other arm. A decade later, Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks would take this look mainstream. In ’67, Nyro came off as an earnest East Coaster in a field of flower children.

Onstage at Monterey, Nyro would have preferred to perform at the piano, but there was little precedent for a young female artist playing her own songs, and the house band struggled with her complex charts. Certain she had heard the crowd booing, Nyro demanded that DA Pennebaker omit her performance from his documentary. When he reviewed the footage in 1997, he discovered these were cries of “beautiful!” and invited her to see for herself, but Nyro died from ovarian cancer before she could resolve her fear. The film shows the Russian Jewish/Italian Catholic girl from the Bronx to be the greatest white female soul singer until Amy Winehouse emerged four decades later. “Wedding Bell Blues” sparkles with festive harmonies, while on “Poverty Train”, Nyro searches the sky as she details a bad trip. She’s vulnerable and dramatic, and appears daunted by her own power.

Contrast this tentative performance with a solo appearance at LA’s Troubadour in 1969. In attendance was Jackson Browne, songwriter, admirer and aspiring artist. (Joni Mitchell was also allegedly there, taking notes. “She was the only female singer-songwriter at the time that I knew,” she would tell PBS.) “She had brought in a grand piano,” Browne recalls. “Her fans were so crazy about her that, in between each song, she’d walk out to the edge of the stage and pace the front to rolling applause. Then she’d compose herself, and go into another song. I’d never seen anything like it. She wore a red velvet dress – she was not like the freaks, the hippies she was playing to. Her audience was just wilding for her. But she was a diva; she took this in her stride.” Browne laughs. “There was no false modesty in Laura! Never any, ‘Oh, you’re too kind’, she just expected it.”

“From the moment that I met her, she had a presumption of her own power,” says friend Ellen Sander, who met Nyro in the office of her first manager, Artie Mogull. “She sensed that what she was doing was important and should be popular.” Alan Merrill, who played on Nyro’s teenage demos, says her confidence was inbuilt. “Nobody could touch her in terms of musical strength, at least as a writer,” he says. “She was inimitable. She knew it. She was a musical force of nature, more than a talent.”

Contrary to the image of Nyro as a fragile failure, 50 years since the release of her debut, More Than A New Discovery, it’s apparent that Nyro was a confident, gentle visionary who thrived when she got to create her own terms. She upset the archetypes for female musicians, fashioning new aesthetic moulds and poetic expressiveness, and made a case for authorship as autonomy. She inspired Joni Mitchell to take up piano, and Carole King’s push to be taken seriously as an artist. With her natural producer’s touch, Nyro co-pioneered the LP’s transition from pop vending machine to studio-crafted statement, and found on the streets of New York analogues for the cyclical violence of war, poverty, and injustice plaguing the US at the end of the ’60s: “The Bronx Brontë”, as one writer described her. “She was inexorably the way she was,” says Browne. “A person who could focus her feeling, and summoned the song in a way that was real every time. That was a great example of how to conduct yourself as a performer. Someone who’s gonna get up there to represent their work.”

Source: Uncut Home

Derrick Green Discusses Sepultura History and

For almost 20 years Derrick Green has helped guide Sepultura’s journey in the second half of their career, celebrating their rich history, but also creating new musical frontiers. Armed with their recent album Machine Messiah (Nuclear Blast), the band embarked on a full US tour with label-mates and thrash veterans Testament and Prong. In an EXCLUSIVE wide-ranging interview with Ghost Cult’s Jason Korolenko, Derrick discussed the new album, the history of the band, the high cost of touring, and future tour plans, including a headlining gig at Rock In Rio 2017. Videography and photos by Omar Cordy/OJC Photography.

Source: Ghost Cult Magazine