Articles review on the net, revue d'articles sur la toile

Inscription : feeds, flux :
(Atom) Gabriel Real World News

26 mai 2008

Daniel Lanois on his passion for music

U2 and Bob Dylan producer Daniel Lanois on his passion for music

When Daniel Lanois speaks about making music, it is with the reverence and awe of a religious mystic. His passion for music consumes him and in turn his guidance and production helped Bob Dylan create Time Out Of Mind and U2 make Achtung Baby.

Daniel Lanois will be in the Town Hall Theatre (Galway) on Sunday June 1 at 10pm where he will give a 45 minute performance, accompanied by drummer Brian Blade. The concert will be followed by the Galway premiere of Daniel’s 90 minute movie/documentary Here Is What Is.

“I was in Galway a long time ago, about 1990,” Lanois tells me over the phone from Dublin, where he is currently working with U2 on their new album. “It’s so long back that this show will feel like the first time.”

On the night Lanois will perform songs from his various solo albums on a guitar recently given to him by a member of U2. “I’ll be playing a brand new Les Paul The Edge gave me,” says Lanois. “It’s from his Music Rising Foundation. It’s beautiful but I will also have my old Telecasters with me and a Pedal Steel Guitar as well.”

Lanois owns a range of Fender Telecasters from the 1950s and 1960s as well as numerous vintage acoustic guitars, but his prize axe is his 1956 Gold Top Les Paul. “It’s the one I get the deepest sound from and it seems a reliable friend,” he says. “I play it with fat strings so it has an acoustic feel to the hands.”

Lanois was born in 1951 in Québec, and is a proud French Canadian. “Being French Canadian plays a part in my songwriting,” he says. “I have written songs in French, grew up speaking French and English. I appreciate melody as my dad and grandfather were violinists and they used to play country classics and the melodies got under my skin.”

While Lanois is a songwriter and musician of the highest calibre, he is best known and most acclaimed for his work as the producer of albums by U2, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel, etc. His present status as one of the greatest of all record producers began in the mid-1970s with his brother, in the basement of their mother’s house.

“It started out as a cottage industry and was born out of passion and love for music,” he says. “We operated outside the formal training and what might have been a disadvantage was an advantage as we were pushed to create our own distinct sound. Word of mouth got around that the Lanois brothers had developed a sound of their own and from then I get up each morning and try to work out how to do something innovative today.”

Yet the man who has produced Emmylou HarrisWrecking Ball and Bob Dylan’s Time Out Of Mind is not keen on being called a ‘producer’. “It’s a banner placed on me by the business,” he says. “I like helping people and I understand harmony so I can give someone a hand.”
In a sense, Ireland made Lanois’ name as a producer and he is happy to acknowledge that his production - along with Brian Eno - of U2’s The Unforgettable Fire in 1984, catapulted him into the major league.

“I was working with Brian Eno in Canada and I got this tape from Ireland,” recalls Lanois. “Brian listened to it, thought it was good and something could be done with it, but he said he wasn’t producing anymore. I said I’d like to produce it and would he make an introduction? I flew over to Ireland and met the guys and we hit it off.”

The Unforgettable Fire was an artistic and commercial success. It was the start of U2 truly spreading their wings creatively and began a long association with Lanois who would also produce The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. Each of those Lanois produced albums was marked by a surge of artistic ambition and daring and became major turning points in U2’s evolution.

“The room was always filled with innovative hearts,” Lanois says of the making of the albums. “I like to make records I would like to listen to so I don’t operate by the guidelines of the market place. I try to access the dreams of the people in the recording room and so make records that are special for all of us. When I was working with someone like Bob Dylan on Oh Mercy, I was elevated to a place of quality. Put it like this, I play better snooker when I play against Alex Higgins!

Of which of the three U2 albums he has produced is he proudest? “I’d have to say Achtung Baby,” he replies. “It was a tour de force and broke new ground sonically with its expression of innovation and commitment.”

Lanois is currently back in the recording studio with U2 working on the band’s 12th studio album.

“We’re just about done,” he says. “It’s going pretty good, Bono is singing like a bird. Again the content is very much driven by the aspirations and dreams people have. At the core it is the same U2 but the tones and textures sometimes take a slight different turn sonically to provide a slant on the song and a complexity that listeners will keep coming back to. That’s what we as human beings appreciate in art, the hidden corners that reveal themselves over time.”

At his Town Hall show, Lanois will screen the feature length documentary Here Is What Is which should provide a fascinating insight into his working methods and approach to music.
“The idea for the film came from the invitation of a friend to bring a camera into the recording studio as I’d never filmed any sessions before,” he says. “We tried it on one session and it worked. I want to show how it was done and present the filming of songs by the greats. It opens with Garth Hudson, one of our great Canadian piano players. Brian Blade is there and we take a trip to his father’s Baptist church. We’ve tried to remain loyal to long shots and no fast editing. So we leave the camera on a person singing at the piano looking at them just as a human eye would if you were there in front of them.”

By Kernan Andrews

Aucun commentaire: