Jeff Tweedy On Wilco’s ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ Reissue
Jeff Tweedy has spoken to MOJO about the upcoming box set reissue of Wilco’s classic album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, due on Nonesuch on 30 September.
When asked what it was like revisiting the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot recording sessions for the box set, Tweedy said, “The thing that I’ve discovered from all of these archival reissues is that my memory of my musical past, in terms of honesty and accuracy, is much better than my memory of my biological past [laughs]. What I hear sounds like how I remember it. I can her myself trying to push past the limits of what I thought of as a really good rock’n’roll combo – of that not being good enough for me, as much as I love really good rock’n’roll combos. I also hear myself wishing I could do something as artistic as the modern composers I was listening to at the time, having that musical theory background and the permission to use other ‘sounds’.”
Tweedy went on to discuss the contributions of Jay Bennett to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the multi-instrumentalist who left Wilco after the recording of the album and died in 2009, “Jay and I were very sympathetic collaborators when it came to the song part – our vocabulary, the music we were drawing from. I went farther afield than Jay in my listening habits. But Jay was enamoured with the mythology – of having a story to tell about how a record was made. I wanted weirdness, but I wanted the music to do that… He had so much to offer. He was so talented and beautiful in so many ways. But that side of it had done a number on him. Rock’n’roll has done a lot of damage. And I love rock’n’roll music. But it has distorted people’s ideas of what the important parts are.”