Neil Young Talks Promise Of The Real, Crazy Horse, ‘Colorado’ & More In New Interview
Iconic musician Neil Young spoke about performing with Promise Of The Real and Crazy Horse as part of a new interview published by Wired. One of the many other topics covered was Young & Crazy Horse’s Colorado album, which comes out this Friday, October 25 via Reprise.
Young explained the differences between Promise Of The Real and Crazy Horse to Wired’s Jesse Jarnow.”Promise Of The Real is a very beautiful energy. They’ve got a great feeling; it’s amazing to play with them,” Neil stated. “That said, Crazy Horse is not a great band and does not have a great feeling all the time. And yet Crazy Horse is able to go places that I can’t go with anybody else. I know I can go bipolar, I can go cosmic, I can go wherever I want to go when we play the instrumentals and the band just starts to gel like this one big heartbeat, and it’s this special thing I’ve only experienced with Crazy Horse. Other guys have got their bands, and that’s true for them, too. But this is the most cosmic band I’ve played in, period. There’s no comparison.”
The 73-year-old also addressed the change in Crazy Horse’s lineup as Nils Lofgren replaced Frank “Poncho” Sampedro starting in 2018. “We realized that Poncho isn’t up for it anymore, because he’s over there in Hawaii and he’s grooving,” said Young. “We love Poncho, but we decided that we were going to keep going.” Lofgren spoke with Jarnow about Crazy Horse and shared the following of the rhythm section featuring drummer Ralph Molina and bassist Billy Talbot:
“There’s a very solid simplicity with Billy and Ralph, and it lends itself to space,” says Lofgren of the battery. “You can go off the grid a little bit, but they’re going to keep you covered, and there’s going to be space for it. It’s not going to be a train wreck of rhythms, even when Ralphie steps up his fills. They’re just sometimes so unusual and rhythmic, but Billy would always be there on the one.”
Colorado, the first Crazy Horse album since 2012’s Psychedelic Pill, was recorded earlier this year in Telluride. “We’d go out at dinnertime every night and watch the moon as it was becoming full,” recalled Lofgren of the sessions. Young discussed a new concept the band employed for Colorado:
“We started off doing something that we’d never done before, just to see what would happen,” Young says. He’d played some solo shows in the months leading up to the session and rediscovered a concept even more satisfying than first takes: no first takes at all.
“Every time you do a song, it’s an opportunity to define it and what it means and how it feels,” he says. “So if you feel it while you’re doing the song [live], you’re fucked, you’ve already done the song. It’s only going to happen once like that, when you get that feeling. And so I had that feeling on a couple of the songs, that I’d done the song. I didn’t want to do it again.”
The article also focuses on Neil’s fight to bring high-quality audio to consumers. Young, who created the defunct Pono audio player, is a supporter of the recently launched Amazon Music HD. Jarnow profiles the musician’s long battle to improve audio quality, the launch of Neil Young Archives and the history and future of digital music. Head here to read the feature.