DOWNLOADING WITH BOB WEIR

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By Andrew Wetzler


Bob Weir
JamBase: Just out of curiosity, what kind of time do you spend on the internet these days?

Bob Weir: I'm something of a news junkie. So, out here on the [West] Coast I get the New York Times online every night. I spend 9:00 to 10:00, generally after the kids are down, reading the news and stuff like that. I do a fair amount of shopping, as much as I have a stomach for. I try to do that online. I spend a lot of time traveling, so when I'm home I like to stay home.

JamBase: Do you ever spend time online reading the reviews and message boards related to you?

Bob Weir: I used to but I don't have time for that anymore. I know what kind of show we had, and I can tell from the reaction of the audience what kind of show [they feel] we had.

Do you download music yourself?

Yes. I go to commercial sites you know, mostly [iTunes]. If I can't find something on Apple Music then I start drifting around. It is all pretty much the same quality. Actually, Apple Music is pretty good. They have the FLAC stuff.

Are you able to perceive a big difference between MP3 and FLAC?

Yeah. [FLAC is] way, way more dynamic.

You need a much bigger hard drive though.


Bob Weir by Tony Stack
Yeah, actually I got a bigger hard drive.

What kind of stuff are you listening to these days?

I don't listen to much pop music. I listen to old R&B. I listen to modern classical. I listen to jazz, mostly older jazz. Some blues.

What about some of the bands that would be more on the jam side of the fence today?

Not a whole hell of a lot of it because I don't want that stuff in my head, what other people are doing in my ilk. It's bound to happen where if something catches my fancy it's going to come out through my hands. I would encourage jam bands not to listen to each other so that they continue to develop their individuality.

Where does covering the Dead fit into that mix in terms of stifling creativity for other bands?


Garcia & Weir by Jay Blakesberg
Whatever floats their mullet as the saying goes. If they love a tune, they should play it. That's what brings a lot of the joy to the music.

I find that as my kids are getting older I'm losing some control over the music that's being played in my house. Who controls the music in your house and what's being played?

Well, my kids are young. My oldest is nine. We do a lot of the Nutcracker for instance these days. They listen to a lot of ballets because the oldest is a ballet student. I imagine the younger one just listens to mostly what the older ones play. I don't play a lot of my music in the house. I tend to play that out here in the studio.

When you're deciding what songs you're going to play for a given show, to what degree does it enter your mind, "Well gee, is this something that someone is going to want to buy later on as a download?"

No, not at all. When I'm creating a set list it's a matter of flow and a matter of the evening's entertainment.

As you're going from Orlando to Boca to Jacksonville or wherever, do you give thoughts to what you played one night versus the next, so that it keeps it fresh?

The way I create a set list is I have a database so that the songs I've done for the last two years - and the last couple of times we've been around a given town - are automatically out. Then, say the last week's worth of shows, those songs are more or less automatically out, unless the set really, really needs them.

What happens if you play two "One More Saturday Night" in Boca Raton two years in a row?

Well, then you are going to get two "Saturday Nights." We'll try to make them different.


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