Legendary LED ZEPPELIN bassist John Paul Jones (THEM CROOKED VULTURES) spoke with John Jurgensen from the Wall Street Journal recently about a number of topics. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Wall Street Journal: You have long been creatively involved with artists from later generations, from R.E.M. to THE BUTTHOLE SURFERS to bluegrass musician SARA WATKINS. How do you stay connected to younger circles of musicians?
Jones: "I just tend to pursue the music I like. The whole thing with Sara was that I really liked her band NICKEL CREEK. In fact I toured with them a bit with Mutual Appreciation Society (including members of Nickel Creek and TOAD THE WET SPROCKET’s Glen Phillips). I just really liked what she was doing. Sara is the first musician I’ve gone and asked, can I work with you? I have a great interest in Americana and roots music and fiddle music. UNCLE EARL (a female old-timey group whose album Waterloo, Tennessee he produced) also came out of that. The Butthole Surfers was entirely different. I don’t know how that came about, now that you mention it."
Wall Street Journal: How do you defuse the hero worship you encounter from young acts? Or do you just bask in it?
Jones: "Yes. All of that. It’s always nice when people say nice things about you, isn’t it? With Josh (Homme) and Dave (Grohl), we always joked that they’d have to leave my presence in reverse and bowing. It’s great that people appreciate what we did."
Wall Street Journal: Has your taste for hard rock changed as you’ve gotten older?
Jones: "I was never a huge fan of rock in the Zeppelin days. I was always much more into jazz and soul, as it was called in those days, and classical. It was only when I discovered HENDRIX that I got into rock. My tastes haven’t really changed. I suppose I’ve picked up on bands over the years. RADIOHEAD, for instance. Josh played me the Mark Lanegan album Bubblegum. It’s beautiful. Rock has never been that much of a spectator sport for me, but playing it is another story."
Wall Street Journal: Will there be a second Them Crooked Vultures album?
vI’m pretty happy with this band. It’a good music with good people. We’ve started to talk about another record. We had so many songs for the first that we didn’t include. We said, we can’t have a debut double album. We’re keen to keep going. Eventually their bands will want them back, but they’ll have to get past me first."
Wall Street Journal: Here’s the obligatory Led Zeppelin reunion question: Will the band play together again?
Jones: "I shouldn’t think so. Robert (Plant) has stated that he doesn’t want to do it anymore, and that’s it really. At the 02 show (a 2007 tribute concert in London for late record executive Ahmet Ertegun), I remember thinking while I was playing something, 'I’ll change that for tomorrow night. Oh, there is no tomorrow night.'”
Read the entire interview here.