Live & Direct with Gov't Mule
Warren Haynes joined Joey Spehar for a Live & Direct session at WYEP in honor of their performance in Pittsburgh and for their new album, Shout!.
The new album, called Shout!, is a two-disc package, and the Mule's first album in 4 years. The first disc is 11 brand new Gov't Mule songs, and the second disc is those same 11 songs, with guest vocals coming from artists like Dave Matthews, Elvis Costello, Jim James, Grace Potter, Ben Harper, Steve Winwood, and others.
Joey asked Warren where the inspiration for doing this sort of double album came from, and Warren answered that it wasn’t supposed to be this way from the start. “I cant say we had the idea going into the studio, because we didn’t. It was somewhere in the middle of the recording process. It started with Elvis [Costello]. I had written this song called "Funny Little Tragedy" that sounded different than anything we had ever done. It was more like the Attractions or the Clash or something from that era.” Warren and Elvis had sent emails back and forth so that Warren could make it have a much more garage rock feel, to which Elvis said, “Use a very cheap microphone.” Gov't Mule first thought they would bring in these elite artists for only a verse, but at that point Warren said, “It seemed a bit of a waste to have singers of that stature and that magnitude to sing only a small part of the song.” From there, they decided to have their guests sing the whole song, and then they decided to do alternate versions of all the tracks on the album.
“What makes a Gov't Mule song a Gov't Mule song?” That was Joey's next big question for Haynes. Joey’s theory was that Mule has darker overtones to their songs. “I don’t want to say there’s a sense of paranoia, but it's like there’s something coming, and you have to watch out for it.” Warren laughed and responded, “Well a wise man once said, ‘Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean I’m not being followed.” So what makes a Mule song different from an Allman Brothers song or a solo song? Warren believes that all three entities write depressing lyrics, but he knows when he writes a song that it belongs with a particular one of his bands.
Joey complimented the album by saying that it does a great job of observing the band’s past, while also looking to the future. “I think if we had made this record ten years ago, it might have surprised some people. This record is more of a culmination of all we’ve done and all our influences.”
There is much more to this interview, so have a listen and get a few laughs with Joey Spehar and Warren Haynes.
Warren Haynes Setlist:
Alison (Elvis Costello Cover)
When The World Gets Small