Benjamin Crandell of SunSentinel.com recently conducted an interview with legendary LED ZEPPELIN singer Robert Plant. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
SunSentinel.com: “Band Of Joy” was the name of a band you had in the 1960s with [then-future LED ZEPPELIN drummer] John Bonham. Why resurrect the name?
Plant: Really, it’s braggadocio. Once upon a time, I was a young man, and I found my musical leanings were more important than success. The name is a return to a time when everything was free-form. I remember when I was with Bonzo; we were playing, and we knew it didn’t really matter how it was received. All that mattered was that the music was inside your heart. We were trying to get as far away from the popular music of that era, the Bobby Goldsboro sound, as we could. We just wanted to kick ass … The first BAND OF JOY was quite extreme, psychedelic … I’m thinking Grande Ball Room Detroit, the BLUE CHEER. We would have been right at home alongside [LOVE guitarist] Arthur Lee. This gets me back to the things that allowed me to be a singer, to end up with THE NEW YARDBIRDS and then LED ZEPPELIN. If I hadn’t been into this kind of extreme sound I never would have hooked up with Jimmy.
SunSentinel.com: How would you describe the new band and what people can expect at the show.
Plant: I think of the “Led Zeppelin III” era. There was a dynamic about the “Zeppelin III” period where we could go from reflective acoustic stuff to some heavy shit … “Hats off to Harper”, “Gallows Pole” … I’m not interested in doing late-middle-age cabaret. I want it heavy and spooky. There should be some mystery, big and deep, that makes people’s skin tingle. I want [BAND OF JOY] to be as much ARCADE FIRE as LINK WRAY. There’s gotta be a lot of dark shit going on. A lot of it is Buddy, who is absolutely incredible. He is playing in styles that he hasn’t touched on in years. Each of us — me, Buddy, Patty — we came out of ourselves and met somewhere in the air.
SunSentinel.com: You and Mick Jagger have taken different approaches to your rock-god status. He’s pretty much doing what he’s always done.
Plant: There has never been a time where you could say about me, “Oh, he does that, and that’s what he does.” It’s been like that since I was 19. No one ZEPPELIN album followed the next in style. I don’t want to get bored with my own gift. The last few years with [Plant’s band] THE STRANGE SENSATION, I was in the company of some real special musicians. When we were in Serbia or North Africa or West Africa or Mexico, I just kept absorbing all kinds of music. That guy out of the STONES … It can be so dull, if you’re not careful, if all you are doing is pulling things out of your bag of tricks. You reach in and out comes your juju; that’s no good. You’ve got to keep mixing it up. This is a whole new period for me.
Blabbermouth.net posted that among the tracks on the album is the new single “Angel Dance,” as well as covers of Townes Van Zandt’s “Harm’s Swift Way”, and two songs by the indie band Low’s 2005 album The Great Destroyer — “Silver Rider” and “Monkey”
Robert Plant and Band Of Joy U.S. tour dates (subject to change):
July 30 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
July 31 – Miami, FL – Bayfront Park Amphitheater
Read the entire interview from SunSentinel.com.
Robert Plant ad The Band of Joy Promo Video