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Author: Subject: Warren Haynes: The Jambands.com Reader Interview

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 09:52 AM
Warren Haynes: The Jambands.com Reader Interview

2008-07-22

Warren Haynes is having one of those summers. He started things off on the road with Govít Mule, performing a series of dates on a co-bill with Bob Weir & RatDog. Currently, Govít Mule is the midst of its own High Mighty summer tour that will culminate with a multi-band event at Masquerade Music Park in Atlanta on August 9. Shortly afterwards, heíll begin the slightly-delayed but much-anticipated Allman Brothers Band tour. Beyond that heíll offer up two solo acoustics gigs and also return to the road with the Mule. He addresses his upcoming plans, looks back at his most nerve-wracking performances and contemplates Joey Arkenstat in the following Jambands.com reader interview.

I heard a possibility of you moving the Christmas Jam from Asheville to NYC. Is that true? I would hope the Christmas Jam would remain in Asheville for as long as it is held. I am an Asheville resident and we appreciate what you do for our community. Wally M.

WH- There are no plans to move it outside of Asheville. This year weíre doing two nights at the Civic Center in December, 12th and 13th. Itís going to be the 20th anniversary and weíre pulling out all the stops and trying to make it the best yet.

You just wrapped up a series of dates with RatDog which features guest appearances all around, can you share some of your favorite moments from the tour? Kevin B.

WH- There were many because we shared the stage every night for the most part. I think ďDeath Donít Have No Mercy,Ē the two nights we did it was really fun. The ďAll Along The WatchtowerĒ that Bob did with us was really fun. My doing ďSugareeĒ with themÖThere were so many, a lot of highlights. I really enjoyed the other guys from Govít Mule sitting in with RatDog and the guys with RatDog sitting with us. It was really fun and we all got to know each other even better than we knew each other before. I thought it was a really positive experience.

You have had a lot of big shoes to fill over the years (e.g. Dickey Betts, Jerry Garcia). What is the most nervous you have ever been for a performance? Jim McWalters

WH- Probably playing at my brotherís wedding trying to sing in front of fifty relatives and childhood friends outdoors in a little botanical garden. I completely forget the words to the song I was trying to perform.
Other than that maybe my solo acoustic performance at Bonnaroo which I wound up really enjoying a lot but it was really intimidating to play by myself in front of a crowd that big.

When was your brotherís wedding?

WH- That was in the early 80ís.

Speaking of your acoustic performances, a few people wanted to know if you have plans for studio or live solo work in the near future, beyond the Aspen acoustic shows in September.

WH- Well Iím starting to work on some solo recordings, although not necessarily by myself. I have material for what I think will wind up being two different solo records, one thatís more soul music influenced and one thatís more coming from the singer-songwriter side. Iíve started recording some of the stuff already. I was going to try to do a solo acoustic tour before the end of the year but I donít know if thatís going to work out because of my schedule. But I am very much looking forward to the two nights in Aspen.

I've always been amazed at your ability to assimilate multiple influences into your guitar playing and songwriting process. Your recent live collaborations with Grace Potter seemed to be a great musical marriage ala the current Robert Plant/Alison Krauss project. Do you have any plans to record or tour with Grace in the future? Randy R.

WH- We have no plans but of course Iím open to anything. I like working with Grace and we work well together. Iíve really enjoyed everything weíve done so far, so I wouldnít rule out anything.

Warren you have played with many great musicians over the years, who is that one musician that you have yet to jam with that you really wish you could? Joseph N.

WH- Iím still hoping to jam with B.B. King who is one of my first heroes. When I first joined the Allman Brothers in 1989, I had the opportunity to jam with B.B.. We were doing a show together in Texas and Gregg Allman was sitting in with B.B. and B.B. went up to the mic and said, ďAny of the other Allman Brothers who want to come and jam, come on out.Ē I had not met him at that time and I thought, ďWell, Iím going to walk out there and heís going to look at me like, ĎWho the hell are you?íĒ So I was kind of shy and didnít take advantage of it and itís turned to be the only opportunity that Iíve had. So Iím hoping that eventually weíll get to play together. Iím such a fan. I think none of us would be here if not for people like B.B..

Warren, whatever happened to Joey Arkenstat? Dave R.

WH- I donít keep track of Joey, I donít know where he is these days. Iím sure heíll surface again, heís a hard one to keep tabs on.

A number of years ago you performed a series of shows with John Scofield which I had read you were going to release. Is that still a possibility and if so what is the status? Heather B.

WH- I think itís a definite that weíre going to release it, itís a matter of when and how. Iím hoping to do it very soon. It actually has been mixed and mastered. I really love the performances, I think it turned out great and itís probably a good thing that weíve waited until now to release it, because back when we did it our fan bases were much further apart than they are now. I think there are a lot more people who like both Scofield and Govít Mule than back when we recorded it, which was I think was Ď99. But the musicís tremendous, itís with Allen Woody and our friend Dr. Dan Matrazzo plays keyboards and Iím really happy with it, so Iím looking forward to it coming out.

Hey Warren just wondering my wife and I were at last years New Yearís run, and I noticed on New Yearís Eve the entire show was filmed. Will there be a DVD release of this as well in the future? Rob

WH- Hopefully so, weíve been filming a lot of projects. Of course we canít release them all at once but yeah thatís one of things that weíre considering.

What influence has your wife had on your music and what do you think of her Sirius radio gig? Kev J.

WH- Well Stefani and I have very similar tastes in music, sheís a very music-oriented person and sheís turned me onto some music that I might not have heard and vice versa. But for the most part we tend to agree on what great music is.

I think sheís doing a wonderful job at Sirius and sheís a natural at that. Sheís so much a part of that scene that she can talk off the top of her head about whatís going on in the jamband world and itís not like she had to research it, she just knows all the players. Itís interesting to see it happening and Iím really proud of her for doing it.

Do you ever listen in and she says something or plays something that just knocks you on your butt because itís so interesting, amusing or compelling? Lauren T.

WH- All of the above. Sheíll pull out information and Iíll be like. ďWhere did you get that from?Ē If itís about moe., sheíll be like, ďOh I was just talking to Jon Toper on the phone,Ē or if itís about some other band sheís like, ďI was hanging out with so- and-so last night and we were talking about it.Ē Itís all just inside scoop which is the best kind.

William Howard Ector, publisher of Hittin the Note magazine passed away Wednesday July 9th. Bill was a long time friend and fan of Warren, Gov't Mule and the Allman Brothers Band. I was wondering if Warren would share some of his memories of Bill. Teresa L.

WH- Bill was a beautiful human being and weíre going to miss him dearly. He was one of those people that brought this wonderful spirit wherever he went. I donít think I was ever around him when he wasnít in a good mood. He was just one of those people that makes you feel better and I cherish all the time we had hanging out together.

A while ago you recommended that I should purchase Frank Zappa's "Roxy and Elsewhere" album. I'd been listening to Zappa, and new the more "popular" stuff - Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation, Joe's Garage, etc... Roxy and Elsewhere changed my life. How has Frank Zappa's music influenced you, and what has it meant to you? Justin B.

WH- The first two Zappa records I heard as a teenager were Apostrophe and Roxy and Elsewhere, both of which really changed my life and my open-mindedness about music. I think the most important thing that we can all learn from Frank is that music doesnít have to be any certain thing, it can be whatever you make it. He was one of those people who was just so good that he forced people to pay attention to whatever he was doing. He often said he would prefer to make instrumental records and the only reason he wrote lyrics and sang was because people demanded it, that the world didnít accept instrumental music. So if he was going to write lyrics, they were going to be his kind of lyrics which I love him even more for.
I had the pleasure of seeing Zappa at the Fox Theater in Atlanta when I was a senior in high school in 1978. Itís still one of the greatest shows Iíve ever seen.

While it was understandable that the format of Gov't Mule would change after Woody passed away, do you ever miss playing in a three piece band? Ritch H

WH- We actually played recently as a three piece, we played an hour and forty minute first set as a trio because Danny had a prior commitment and couldnít be there until later. It was really fun and I think one of the cool things with the line-up we have now with Danny playing keyboards and he also plays guitar and trumpet, is that there have been moments where heíll leave the stage and weíll become a trio again. So we always have that option.

One of the reasons for becoming a quartet after Allen Woody died includes the fact that we were already starting to write a lot of material that sounded better as a quartet. So itís fun to go back and visit the early stuff as a trio but itís also fun to visit that stuff as a quartet and take it somewhere other than where it was. Again, one of the great things about music is you can do whatever you want.

Hey Warren, did you try to find a tech guy (Farmer) that looks like you or did it kinda just happen? Kirk A.

WH- Brian Farmer was Allen Woodyís friend and at the point we were looking for a guitar tech/bass tech, Woody recommended Farmer and he casually alluded to the fact that, ďOh he kind of looks like you.Ē I didnít realize what he meant until I met Farmer and I definitely see the similarities but at the same time we look way different too.

The odd thing about my relationship with Farmer is we didnít find out until quite some time later that we have the same birthday.

Most people see Farmer from a number of rows back and from that perspective itís much easier to see the similarities, particularly when he walks on stage and picks up your guitar. Not to insult either of you.

WH- Farmerís got his own following.

As well he shouldÖHereís the next one: I saw that you traveled to England to check out the Led Zeppelin show? What are your memories of that night and how did they sound?Karen H.

WH- They sounded amazing. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and experience. Even if they decide to get back together which looks more and more like theyíre not gonna do but even if they do, I am going to be really, really happy and proud of the fact that we went to see Led Zeppelin in London. The whole experience was great. They sounded great, the audience was so pumped up and we knew so many people there, we were constantly running into friends from the States.

We were guests of John Paul Jones and so they purposefully sat us next to Ben Harper and Laura Dern and so we watched the show together and that was great. We all felt like high school kids.

I recently read an interview where Derek Trucks talked about some of his favorite recorded solos by other musicians. Can you name a few that stand out for you?Steve G.

WH- Other peopleís solos? There are too many to mention. Cannonball Adderleyís solo on the Cannonball Adderley record Somethiní Else, the first track on that record, ďAutumn Leaves,Ē is just something that every time I hear floors me but thatís one of many. Any solo Wayne Shorter ever played. There are classic Muddy Waters solo and Albert King solos, I could make a list and it would be as long as [Relix] magazine.

A number of people had questions about another possible Allman Brothers Band studio disc and the next Govít Mule studio record. Can you talk about the possibility of the former and share the status of the latter.

WH- There are some new songs floating around in the Allman Brothers camp. I know all of us would love to make another record, I donít know when thatís going to happen. Maybe weíll see some of the new songs start to surface on stage.
In terms of the next Mule record, weíve recorded about half of a record that I really love that Iím really excited to get back in the studio to start working on the other half. So hopefully next year theyíll be another Mule record.

What goes through your head when you launch into a solo, can you describe it?Roger F.

WH- Itís really hard to describe what youíre thinking during an improvised solo. Best case scenario youíre not thinking at all, you can completely shut that side of your brain off and youíre just responding to whatís going on but so much in the moment that you donít have time to think about it.

If you can get completely into that zone where youíre not thinking, then you canít screw up. You donít screw up until you start thinking again. Itís hard to explain but I know a lot of people would agree about that particular reference.

Having said that, I get glimpses of what Iím going to play shortly before I play it and as a musician it was always a major goal to be able to play whatever popped into my head. But the longer Iíve continued to play and improvise and learn, Iíve realized that one of my major goals is to know how to play what pops into my head but not necessarily play it, maybe play something else instead based on what Iím hearing coming from someone else in the band or the audience or whatever the case may be.

I think if you open yourself up to be able to respond to everything thatís going on around you and at the same time shut off the thinking side of your brain then thatís the best youíre going to be able to solo.

Warren, with Gregg Allman's health affecting this yearís shows, how long can you envision the the Allman Brothers Band playing together? William M

WH- I donít see the Allman Brothers slowing down anytime soon. Greggís situation right now is an isolated incident. Itís a situation where he needed treatment for hepatitis C which heís had for a long, long time. Itís been coming back to him recently, according to his doctors, most likely as a result of getting some steroid shots for his neck which was bothering him. He has some degenerative discs in his neck and that seems to be whatís triggered the hep C. This treatment he probably should have done a long time ago and the treatment was very successful, so he should be back stronger than ever and any rumors that are different from that are just rumors.

Warren, I was excited to see you sit in with Phil. What are the chances that youíll play additional shows with him and/or the Dead in the future?Dave H.

WH- My experience working with Phil was a very positive experience and my experience working with the Dead was great. I have nothing but fond memories of all that stuff, and look forward to any opportunity we get to do it again. Iíve become friends with all those guys and really value their friendships and the musical relationships that we have. It was really fun playing with Phil the last few times that Iíve done it and I look forward to the next time.

FinallyÖlooking ahead, what are your plans for Gov't Mule and your other projects this coming fall?Lee G.

WH- My year is going to be pretty busy from now until the end of the year. Mule tours up until the next Allman Brothers tour. Then as soon as thatís over I go back out with Mule. I have a little bit of time off here and there but for the most part my schedule is going to be crazy pretty much between now and Thanksgiving which is usually a good time to start slowing down. Of course at that point Christmas Jam is right around the corner and New Yearís Eve is right around the cornerÖ


http://www.jambands.com/Features/content_2008_07_22.11.phtml

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 10:19 AM
WH- I donít see the Allman Brothers slowing down anytime soon.

Woo Hoo!

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 10:27 AM
Nice!



 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 10:27 AM
Thank you Ang!
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 10:37 AM
Great interview! Thanks for sharing Angela!

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 10:43 AM
Wow, I am so happy they asked him my question about Willie Howard.

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 10:44 AM
quote:
Wow, I am so happy they asked him my question about Willie Howard.


I posted it in the memorial thread! Thank you Teresa!

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 10:48 AM

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 10:54 AM
Thanks!!
 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 10:57 AM
quote:

A number of years ago you performed a series of shows with John Scofield which I had read you were going to release. Is that still a possibility and if so what is the status? Heather B.

WH- I think itís a definite that weíre going to release it, itís a matter of when and how. Iím hoping to do it very soon. It actually has been mixed and mastered. I really love the performances, I think it turned out great and itís probably a good thing that weíve waited until now to release it, because back when we did it our fan bases were much further apart than they are now. I think there are a lot more people who like both Scofield and Govít Mule than back when we recorded it, which was I think was Ď99. But the musicís tremendous, itís with Allen Woody and our friend Dr. Dan Matrazzo plays keyboards and Iím really happy with it, so Iím looking forward to it coming out.





Now THAT'S exciting news!

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 11:59 AM
the hardest working man in rock'n'roll.

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 12:25 PM
that made my week! Such a good guy.

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 12:54 PM
nice
 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 01:26 PM
In a few sentences the man gave us more hope than most of us had...
Gregg in better health, talk of a new record that "all of us would love to make", no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Great news for our boys!!!!

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 01:31 PM
Welcome guys. I thought it was a good one.

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 01:38 PM
"Hey Warren just wondering my wife and I were at last years New Yearís run, and I noticed on New Yearís Eve the entire show was filmed. Will there be a DVD release of this as well in the future? Rob

WH- Hopefully so, weíve been filming a lot of projects. Of course we canít release them all at once but yeah thatís one of things that weíre considering."

Another exciting little morsel of information!

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 02:45 PM
Just reserved rooms in Downtown Asheville for the jam. If you wait, they're hard to get. The Renaissance is $200 night. I got mine for 125 at the Sheraton.

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 02:56 PM


 

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Pete

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 03:59 PM
What a great guy! Warren just keeps giving us so much great music. Down to earth, humble, and lets you know he is a fan of great artists. Great to know that he isn't slowing down. With B.B. as an influence, maybe we get those 300 shows a yr. for 30 more yrs. Thanks for sharing Angel!!!!!

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 04:17 PM
"WH- There are some new songs floating around in the Allman Brothers camp."

I've been hearing vague rumors about this since the abbreviated rehearsals in March, which of course ended early when it became clear that Gregg wasn't well. I'm glad to hear it verified from Warren himself. This is obviously the best possible news for ABB fans, and I hope this part comes true...

"Maybe weíll see some of the new songs start to surface on stage."

I guess we'll find out in a few weeks It was also good to read this...

"Greggís situation right now is an isolated incident. Itís a situation where he needed treatment for hepatitis C which heís had for a long, long time. Itís been coming back to him recently, according to his doctors, most likely as a result of getting some steroid shots for his neck which was bothering him. He has some degenerative discs in his neck and that seems to be whatís triggered the hep C. This treatment he probably should have done a long time ago and the treatment was very successful, so he should be back stronger than ever and any rumors that are different from that are just rumors."

That is the clearest, most thorough explanation of Gregg's health issues I've heard yet.

And of course, it was wonderful to read the nice things Warren said about Bill. I know they had met many times, and like all of us, it sounds like Bill made a big impression on Warren.

Warren rocks!

 
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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 04:42 PM
quote:
quote:

A number of years ago you performed a series of shows with John Scofield which I had read you were going to release. Is that still a possibility and if so what is the status? Heather B.

WH- I think itís a definite that weíre going to release it, itís a matter of when and how. Iím hoping to do it very soon. It actually has been mixed and mastered. I really love the performances, I think it turned out great and itís probably a good thing that weíve waited until now to release it, because back when we did it our fan bases were much further apart than they are now. I think there are a lot more people who like both Scofield and Govít Mule than back when we recorded it, which was I think was Ď99. But the musicís tremendous, itís with Allen Woody and our friend Dr. Dan Matrazzo plays keyboards and Iím really happy with it, so Iím looking forward to it coming out.





Now THAT'S exciting news!


I've got a couple of those shows. They played Athens and Atlanta on back-to-back nights with Scofield and Jimmy Herring sitting in. Amazing stuff.

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 05:19 PM
Quite a few exciting nuggets in this interview. Thanks Angela.

 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 06:00 PM
thanks Angela....some good stuff
 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 08:07 PM
This is MINT!!! THANKS!!!
 

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  posted on 7/23/2008 at 08:51 PM
That is one of the most amazing interviews I have ever read. Thank you very much!

 

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