Robert Plant Talks About New Album, ‘Carry Fire’

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Carry Fire, Robert Plant’s new album, will be released by Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records on Oct. 13. On the Nonesuch website, the singer spoke to writer Michael Hill about the project. Here are some highlights:

On the nature of the recording in general: “I’ve filled many British passports. It’s like I’m just moving through the spheres. I feel like a mariner who has spent so much time in so many different ports of call, experiencing so many different adventures and scenarios. So perhaps this collection is more ‘pictures at twelve’ rather than ‘pictures at eleven.’”

On the international flavor of the music: “It’s a very British thing, the Bristol thing and then the element of North African and West African drum rhythms brought together with plaintive melodies.”

On collaborating with Chrissie Hynde on a cover of the 1957 Ersel Hickey rockabilly hit “Bluebirds Over the Mountain”: “Some things were really spontaneous. I’d been singing ‘Bluebirds’ live with the band for a while. I approached Chrissie because I wanted a female voice. It’s such a retro-esque part for her, a 1957 rockabilly song…and now we’ve screwed it to the ground and put it through the Bristol sonic mill. That one came straight away.”

On the title track: “‘Carry Fire’ was very immediate. [Guitarist] Justin [Adams] has a beautiful electric oud line from which it developed. I’m inspired by the rhythmic grooves we create. We specialize in hypnotic moments of atmosphere and sounds. And of course there’s the bendir [a North African hand drum] underneath many of these rhythms.”

Related: Plant chats with radio personality Dennis Elsas

On the recording process: “We recorded it in a studio next to Peter Gabriel’s Real World, not far from Bristol and Bath in the West Country. It’s a real hive of industry there. Working alongside the main studios, we’d encounter many artists from around the world. It’s an inspiring atmosphere. You meet Welsh singers, African players from Niger, and American bluegrass goddesses passing through. It’s a creative place.”

On his current work and its relation to his earlier career: “It’s about intention. I rejoice in my previous work but must continue the journey to new worlds; after all there are so many songs that are yet to be written. The whole impetus of the band has shifted, moved on its axis somewhat to allow more air and light to come in. Ultimately that makes for more exciting, and interesting landscapes of mood, melody and instrumentation.”

Carry Fire Track List

  1. The May Queen
  2. New World…
  3. Season’s Song
  4. Dance With You Tonight
  5. Carving Up The World Again… a wall and not a fence
  6. A Way With Words
  7. Carry Fire
  8. Bones Of Saints
  9. Keep It Hid
  10. Bluebirds Over The Mountain
  11. Heaven Sent
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U.K. Tour Dates (Ticket info here)
Nov 16 Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth
Nov 17 Colston Hall, Bristol
Nov 22 Cymru Arena Llandudno
Nov 24 Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Nov 25 Liverpool Olympia, Liverpool
Nov 27 SEC Armadillo, Glasgow
Nov 28 Perth Concert Hall, Perth
Nov 30 O2 Apollo Manchester, Manchester
Dec 6 City Hall, Sheffield
Dec 11 Guildhall, Portsmouth
Dec 12 Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Watch the video for “The May Queen,” from Carry Fire

Here is the video for “Bones of Saints,” released on Sept. 5

 

Best Classic Bands Staff
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  1. Ray
    #1 Ray 2 September, 2017, 08:48

    Any person who still wants Plant to reunite with the other members of Led Zeppelin really needs to let it go. The man loves what he’s doing now … and it shows.

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