Last week, In addition to talking about Bob Dylan, Fleet Foxes, and a botched album with Rick Rubin, David Crosby told me about his forthcoming solo record, Marcus Eaton, and starting a record label with Graham Nash.
David Crosby, left, and Graham Nash play WaMu Theater on Wednesday.
Here's a bit more from our chat:
SW: What are you up to today?
Crosby: I just finished a good omelet, and am now doing my homework.
Nervous about the first show of the tour tonight?
Not at all.
You ever get nervous when you perform?
I have sometimes. But usually it's for something really huge like opening for Paul McCartney or something like that where you're being compared, and you know you're going to come off as second-best.
You and Graham Nash just launched your own label, Blue Castle Records. Why did you decide to get into the record business?Well, it's something that you're going to find most artists are doing now. They're realizing that since we're not really selling CDs anymore, we're selling downloads, you don't really need a record company to do it. You can do CDs, you can even do vinyl, easily, there are companies that will provide that for you. But there really isn't a reason to go sign with another company unless you need their money to make the record.
Record companies for quite a while now have been pretty much banks. They loan you the money to make the record and then charge you an exorbitant amount for the money. I think you'll find an awful lot of artists who are just being their own record companies. It works pretty well.
How would that digital option have changed what you guys were doing in 1970?
Well, I don't know how it would have affected us then. We really enjoyed putting out albums. We enjoyed the experience of pulling the shrink-wrap off and reading words that were written big enough for human beings and not mice. And seeing what kind of artwork there was. There was a feel to it that was really pretty joyful.
You can do that now, but I can't tell you how because it's what I'm going to do with my solo record that I'm making right now and I don't want everybody to know ahead of time.
Have you been writing any music?
I've been writing a ton. It's very unusual for somebody my age to be writing this much. My son and I--James Raymond--have both been having a run of writing separately and together. Also, a young man who I'm going to see in Seattle, a fantastic guitar player/singer-songwriter named Marcus Eaton--who, if you haven't seen him, go see him live, don't miss it, you will not regret it. They are helping me make a, quote, David Crosby album.
Of course, there is really no such thing as a solo record. But this one is gonna have my name on it, anyway. It might well be some of the best stuff I've ever done in my life.
Why is that?
Well, 'cause the songs are good. Songs are always the key to the whole thing. Too much of pop music is just sort of manufactured crud that they then polish a whole lot, and it's still crud. If you don't start out with a song that makes you feel something in the first place, you're just not really doing it.
What's sparked the sudden burst of inspiration? Is it what you're putting in your omelets in the morning?
I wish it was. If it were something we could control, writers of all kinds--songwriters and book writers and poets--we'd all be cranking out stuff every day.
We all have to be patient, make a space for it, and wait for the muse to come.