JIMMY PAGE, CHRIS AND RICH ROBINSON
Cette interview est tirée du site de
did you get involved with musicmaker.com?
We recorded the shows in L.A. and we were so happy with
them we were like, "Wow, this would be really cool [to
release]." So we left it up to our managers to suss out
what would be a cool way of doing it. And they checked out all
sorts of options, major labels and indie labels, and then the
Internet thing came up and the thing that was so attractive
about it was the fact that they were accepting of this thing
that we supplied them. No one was telling us it was too long,
too short, we've got to edit, none of that. It was the
immediacy factor, as far as we can get this out in two months
without all the red tape or the bullsh-t. And it was something
different as well--it's about choices. The person buying it has
three choices on how they can do it. They can buy the whole CD
the way we put it out with our artwork, or they can sequence
their own, or they can download a song at a time.
you still have to fight about stuff with your regular record
Along with the Zeppelin numbers and the blues numbers and
the couple of covers that we did, we did play some Black Crowes
numbers, but because of that kind of stuff, contractual things
like that, we can't put them on this record. Which is a bummer,
because it was a part of the evening, and it was a very special
evening for all of us, you know what I mean? Usually when the
word "contract" comes into something, there's always
some kind of action like that. "Oh, contract.
That's why there's no Black Crowes songs on there."
this album is sold via computer, you can't go to the corner
store and get turned on to it and pick it up. That
old-fashioned way of finding out about music doesn't exist
Technically, you can argue that [radio] DJs used to do that
too. Like, "Hey, I have this big audience, let me play
something for you that I think is cool." Now it's too
caught up in "Oh, that didn't test very well, that's not
marketing well, that's not the right format."
And you know what? Go ask somebody at a big record chain,
they don't...it's not like you're going down to the corner
mom-and-pop record store.
It's like asking someone at Home Depot what a saw does or
something. Those guys won't know.
as far as going to a record store, like a vintage one, and
seeing racks and racks of CDs--sorry, of vinyl--and 45s and
picking them out, putting them on [in listening booths],
listening to them and selecting them, I can see a parallel
between that search and how our album is presented on the
Internet, the fact that you access the site and you can have a
30-second demo of each song, so you actually know what it is.
And I think that in the future you'll get bands going on there
that haven't found a comfortable relationship with record
companies, or new bands where the music is really radical. And
then the consumer will actually search and find, "Well,
that's an odd name for a band, hmm, let's listen to a couple of
demos of that. Well, I like that. Oh, that's crap." You
know what I mean? The search is still there, so maybe it will
move into this area.
said that you hadn't recorded the New York shows. Why weren't
they recorded? I thought everything gets taped.
does, by bootleggers and the general taping fraternity in the
back, but no, it wasn't thought of like that. It wasn't like,
"Right, we got the first show at Roseland, we've got to
tape this," it was like, "Let's get through it, let's
see how we do." We had no intention whatsoever originally
of recording it. By the time we finished the third show at
Roseland, we said, "We've got to record this because it's
going so well." There were so many elements that were
really magical going on...it was meant to be. It was an organic
process, the way we got together all of it.
Part of it too is, when you consciously record something
live, it's hard, you know what I mean? Especially hard for
bands and musicians who [are] living gig to gig. You have that
element of immediacy. Now when you're free to really think
about things, that's when that really clicks on all cylinders,
not to be clichéd. But sometimes when you're that kind
of band, you know what it sounds like when it works, that's
very exciting, but part of that dynamic is also when you're
thinking about the guy in the [recording] truck instead of what
you're doing because you're making a record. In this situation
we only had six shows to really show our stuff, so to speak, so
by the time we got there we were riding such a high, of the
vibe and the music, that we didn't even realize they were
taping it. Yeah, it was an awesome night and the band was on,
everybody played great...we weren't really thinking about it.
you think there was an element of danger, since you only had
six shows, that helped make it sound the way it does?
you say the element of danger...like, something like "Nobody's
Fault But Mine" is a difficult number to play, with all
the stops. It's really difficult, so there was an
element of danger, because there was always a possibility that
it could...not necessarily that it would fall apart from these
gentlemen over here, but that I would come in on the wrong
place or whatever. There's always that. So you really have to
be alert and on top of everything, because that sort of number
is just going to howl if you get it wrong.
you ever think about videotaping your shows?
RICH ROBINSON: they had a
passion for it.
It wasn't the vibe. If we had gone into
it videotaping and recording every show and looking at it as
that, I don't think it would have the same kind of passion. It
would be more contrived, and I don't think that there's
anything contrived about Jimmy and nothing contrived about us.
So in that sense, it really was about getting together and
making some music. Like whoa, big news scoop. It's 2000 and
somebody did something because
chance we could hear a joint album of new music by you guys?
Well, we've discussed the possibility of maybe having a
collaboration in the studio. It's all being discussed, but
there are so many different avenues you can go down at this
moment, and they're all very positive and good, and we'll see
what comes out of it all.
I imagine it will all get sorted out.
not the sort of conversation you can have over the telephone.
You really need to be sitting facing each other and talking
about it, and we haven't had a chance to talk about it.
the Zeppelin songs, knowing that
Plant did them a certain way, did that add any pressure?
I have to look at it from different angles. I know who
Robert Plant is, I have all the respect in the world for
Robert, but what am I supposed to do? Not go up there and try
to do the best that I can and do what I do? So you've got to
realize that it's not just black and white.
way that they approached it...if this carpet was poison ivy,
they took their clothes off and jumped into it. They just
committed themselves right to it, you know? And you could tell,
from my end of it, as I heard these soundcheck tapes coming
through--'cause they were rehearsing at [their own]
soundchecks--they had a real command of the songs. They
understood the subtleties, and I was just really looking
forward to getting together and playing them. We'd had a
discussion as to what numbers to do. I was up to playing
anything, but the initial mandate, really, was just whatever
you feel comfortable playing and singing. Let's see how we get
on from there as a starter. Rather than me saying, "We're
going to do this, this and this."
I'm assuming you've spent a good part of your life listening to
Page's riffs. When you guys met, was there any time when you
thought you had a part right, and he said, "Actually, it
goes this way"?
I've never been in cover bands. When I started playing
guitar, I was 15. I started writing immediately 'cause I wasn't
good enough to play other people's songs. The cool thing is
having the opportunity to learn these songs after I've
been in a band for 15 years. I think I've looked at it
differently than some kid who grew up and sort of learned some
Zeppelin song. I think that's why the subtleties came out.
Because I really tried to approach it from a songwriting
standpoint, listening to all the parts. And then when Jimmy
came around it was sort of taking my thing, doing his thing but
from my standpoint, I guess, because that's the only way I know
how to do it.
That's right. That's what was so good. Because the
character of their band is right through this as well, in
Chris's vocals and all of it.
was the most surprising thing you found out about each other
from playing together?
Well, I don't know whether it was surprising, but it
reinforced what I already knew, the fact that they were really,
really good musicians. Having played with them, I appreciated
it even more, and I'm not just talking about the Zeppelin stuff
here, I'm talking about everything right across the board.
From our point, it's a hard thing to describe. Because on
one hand there's a friendship, because we've known each other
now. Then there's also having to deal with a legend, and you
don't want to geek out and everything, but then we have to
handle our business--and we want to impress Jimmy more than
anyone, you know what I mean?--if we're going to play these
songs that are these rock 'n' roll cultural icons. The best
thing, I think, was the trust, and just for Jimmy to let us be
a part of that, that's the thing I came away with.
on the burner for the Black Crowes? Is there another album on
We're working on it right now. We're writing. We have to
get the label situation out of the way. We're looking at all of
our options, which spans everything from Internet companies to
independent labels to major labels, trying to find the right
one that will embrace our changes. We're proud of the fact that
we've changed every record. I think that it's helped our
career, and added to it. Whether we've sold more or less over
the years, I think it's helped us along the way. And I want
someone who's going to be cool about that and...almost like how
[musicmaker.com] just said, "We'll do our job and you just
give us this thing and we'll work it," instead of trying
to change it.
There's no room for any music on an album that's filler.
And I think we're in an age of a lot of filler, and I'm not
interested in filler.
love the songs we write. I wouldn't put a song that I thought
was half-assed on a record. Every song we put on records, Chris
and I really think about. We think about sequencing and whether
we want them on there or not. I'm proud of everything we've
done and I want someone who's working with us, Columbia or
whoever it may be, to be that way too. They never will, but
that's ideally how it should be.
about you, Jimmy? What are you working on?
had some material that I wrote last year, and the only proof of
that is when we did the Net Aid thing; I did one of the songs
there just as an instrumental, and I've got some other things
that I expect to surface at one point or another. I don't know
Maybe that'll be on our next album.
Maybe, yeah. Maybe we can rip off each other's ideas and
sue each other.
We'll do it on the Internet and you'll have to pay a fee in
the biggest misconception people have about the Black Crowes?
Well, it's hard to say. We've worn our hearts on our
sleeves. If you want to think that it's simple and some sort of
Southern rock thing, if that's what you think it is because you
remember when you saw our videos and you haven't really kept up
with what's happening...What I'm saying is, if you're the kind
of person that buys whatever is hip this week or popular this
year, then I don't have to explain anything to you about our
band. You know what I mean? They're not seriously into music,
and I'm seriously into music. I would love for us to have
another one of those songs on another album that touches a lot
of people, but no record is...There's no such thing as a record
being good because it's popular. Usually the really, really,
really, really, popular records are really, really, really bad
ones to me.
what about you is misunderstood?
He's much less satanic than you might believe.
Well, that's today, you weren't with me two days ago.
there anything you haven't done that you want to do?
I said at the time of the first
[Zeppelin] album, it's all a race against time. In those
days I knew that within Zeppelin we had this fantastic vehicle
that we could continue and continue and just come up with
amazing things...but I still thought it was a race against
time. I had no idea how prophetic that could have been with the
loss of John Bonham. But it's a fact. It really is. It's more
difficult as you get older, because you know your days are
numbered. Trying to do good work and improve upon what you've
done--it still is a race against time.