ROBERT PLANT On THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS: 'We've Found A Real Groove'
February 3, 2018
Legendary vocalist Robert Plant was recently interviewed by the New York City classic rock radio station Q104.3. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his need to experiment:
Robert: "What has 'Led Zeppelin I' got to do with 'Houses Of The Holy'? What's one thing got to do with another? You just grow and you absorb, if you want to. You can get lost in music, especially now, the information highways that are what they are, and with YouTube and stuff like that, it's remarkable what you can find. It's just as remarkable, like, this year, we'll be playing through the United States not once, but I think twice, and in Australia, but the twist comes when we get to the summertime, and we play in Istanbul. We play in Georgia, in Tbilisi, which was once a satellite Soviet state. We go through these places, through Romania and places like that, where you hear music in the cafés and in the streets that it's so far out to listen to. Its effect is kind of subliminal in a way — it just kind of creeps into you, just like if you go back to the West Coast music in the United States, and to some degree, over on the east side of the U.S. If you think about BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY and JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, people like that, the sort of Indo-fusions that were taking place in music, there's always been great meldings of style. If you can pull it off, and you know that it's a kind of hybrid — it's something on the corner of what might have been called rock at one point in time and it moves across to some other place, then it becomes very exciting and challenging, and you get some sort of artistic kickback. You may fade into obscurity [laughs], but who cares? You didn't start off by hedging your bets and trying to sound like Bobby Vinton."
On his current backing band, THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS:
Robert: "It's morphed a bit, because in the beginning, Paul Thompson from THE CURE was playing guitar, and Clive Deamer was with us. He went off — he's with RADIOHEAD now. We've kind of reached a place where we've found a real groove and a place to be, and it's like a cooperative – nobody gets in the way of anybody. It's a very neat and exciting exchange of energy and idea, which keeps us really excited about what we do. Obviously, you play some of the same songs forever, but it's like a good joke — it's how you tell 'em. You can print it out on a piece of paper and it doesn't look so funny, but if you tell it right, it's okay."
On his latest album, "Carry Fire":
Robert: "I feel that the songs live very — they're like a kind of family of emotions and music, and they live side by side. It's a hell of a deal to try and piece together a running order as if it were the old days when one song had to have some kind of cohesion and brotherhood with the next one. You can spend weeks and weeks moving songs around and seeing what will flow, and even the length of time between tracks."
On whether he misses living in Austin, Texas after moving back to Wales:
Robert: "I miss the people. I miss the friends that I had. I miss the company that I kept, and I miss the music from there. My friend Steve runs the Continental Club on South Congress, and Sunday nights, I used to go and see Junior Brown play. When I was promoting the release of this — about two or three months ago when I came over to do some stuff for 'Carry Fire' — I popped down to Austin and saw Patty Griffin, and we trekked around a little bit. It was great to come back and start going into Hill Country again. I'm very blessed with the friends that I made and the friends that I keep, but I just had to get back to where I come from, I guess — back to the soccer, back to the mad lunatics that I know here. There's never a dull moment in the game that I play."
"Carry Fire" was released last October via Nonesuch/Warner Bros. on October 13, 2017. It is Plant's second album featuring THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS, with whom he has been performing on and off for more than 15 years.
On February 9, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release ROBERT PLANT & THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS' "Live At David Lynch's Festival of Disruption" on DVD and digital video. Filmed as part of David Lynch's inaugural Festival Of Disruption, one of Los Angeles's most anticipated cultural events, this concert took place at the Ace Hotel Theatre in October 2016.