Neil Young And Rick Rubin Discuss New Crazy Horse Album In Apple Music Interview
Apple Music’s Zane Lowe travelled to the iconic Shangri-La recording studio owned by Rick Rubin in Malibu for a conversation with Neil Young and Rick about Young’s new album with Crazy Horse entitled World Record, which Rick produced.
Young discusses the reason for his prolific musical output (“I’d be crazy to stop”), the origin of the project and what he loves about working with Rick Rubin, why he avoids social media (“it scares the s**t out of me”), why he decided to sell the rights to his catalogue and much more in the new interview. You can watch the interview below, but if you scroll down, you can sample some of the discussion in advance.
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Neil Young on The Origin of New Album World Record and Reuniting with Rick Rubin…
Neil Young: “So all these songs started like that. 8 out of 10 of them started with the melody, with no instrument. No words, no instrument, no chord changes. That is significantly, completely in another zone, and not thought of or sitting down to feel anything…just walking. So then I started thinking maybe four, five months later it might be nice to go to do some stuff. I’d written a couple of other songs and one of them was Chevrolet.
“I just finished that and I was back here and I said, “God, it’d be nice to get in the studio and do some stuff.” Checked it out and the Horse was ready to go. And so I called and I booked the studio and I said, “God that was easy. Usually you can’t get in this place.” I mean, I’m going, I got it, it’s three days later. I was very, very lucky to get this place again. So, here I am and then I said, “Well, I’m going to call Rick Rubin now,” because I thought of Rick right away. I’m going, “Who’s going to help me do this?” And so, I thought of Rick because he’s here, it’s his place. So, there we did. We’ve done things before, but we’ve never completed a record before, which doesn’t mean anything because the things we did, we remember. And we remember what they felt like, so that’s our history. It’s not about what records came out. So, musically we are very similar… it just seemed like the right thing. So, I told him the story of whistling and doing this stuff, and then writing the songs in two days, all of the songs were finished in two days… It’s so weird, it was the weirdest project.
Neil Young on What He Loves About Working with Rick Rubin…
“He was the closest I have been to working with David Briggs, who was my first producer. Rick loves music. I love music. Rick loves music. Rick knows how to make records. I know how to make records. We have fun hanging out together. What’s the problem? It’s what we do.”
Rick Rubin on The Early Stages of Making The Album…
“Super exciting, had no idea what to expect because Neil does different things at different times. So, excited and curious. And then we sat in the living room here and Neil played me the whistling versions, and then read to me the words. I don’t think you sang me the words, I think you read to me. That’s what I think you did. So, it was the idea of, I still had no idea what the songs were like. I had an idea of a melody, none of it sounded like Neil, historically. It sounded foreign but it sounded really good. And it was interesting because mm-hmm, I haven’t heard this before, that’s interesting. And had no idea what it would be like when Crazy Horse played on it.
“And I remember, I may have even said, “Are you sure you want to do this with them?” Because based on what we were listening to, it was not clear that this was going to play the Crazy Horse’s strong suit. No, honestly, during the process, it made no sense. We were just laughing every day. It’s like, “What is happening?” You listen to it one day, you know what’s wrong, we’re going to fix it tomorrow. You come in tomorrow, you listen, it’s completely different. I hope people get out it of what we got. If they did, it’s a home run.”
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