Throwback Thursday. I'm in the mood for a little "Sermon" today. How about you?
June 4, 2015
Throwing it back to "The Sermon" today and an interview I gave in May 2012.
Original interview posted here: http://bit.ly/1cACUKd
You can also see a piece of art I made for my Drum Ki collection with inspiration from this song here: http://bit.ly/1BMYOka
Let's talk about "The Sermon":
Interviewer: There are a lot of strange digital effects in the intro. What is that?
Well that's the magic wand. It's really a theremin that a beam is processed through. I'm manipulating the sound using hand motion. So I don't touch anything, it's just processing the movement of my hand.
Interviewer: How long have you been playing the magic wand?
We've played it just a few times on the last tour. So it's a new thing we're taking on the road with all this (Grateful Dead member Robert) Hunter material and we're coming back and making a recording of it. But it's been in the making since the Grateful Dead. It was primitive back then, but now it's very sophisticated. Those first primitive steps were the first exploration of that world of electronics.
Interviewer: What does Hunter bring to the table?
Hunter is at the top of his game in many ways now. The lyrics that he's writing are up there with the best. The music will speak for itself. You can talk all you want about it, but Hunter has the ability to explain things and illuminate things that are meaningful to you somewhere down the line. You might not understand what he's saying right now, but all of a sudden you'll be at a place in life and his lyric will explain the unexplainable. That's the way I think of Hunter. He's like Dylan. Those guys are in the same same category. We both joined the Grateful Dead at the same time in 1967.
How long is that? 46 years.
That's right. He kind of reads my mind and I read his to get the juices going and write an amazing song. That's mayonnaise. Grease. Whatever you call it. After all these years we have a much more fluid relationship. He likes his words to be how they are. He doesn't like changes to be made. He writes it and it's written. It's like when you get words from Dylan: are you going to change a few lines here or there and not tell him?