Monday, December 10, 2001

John Paul Jones explains his inspiration to sing, write lyrics (interview part 20 of 22)

This is the 20th part of the transcript of my interview with John Paul Jones, conducted Dec. 10, 2001.

SPS: What made you want to include vocals on The Thunderthief, the album?

Well, as you probably know, I’ve always said that I didn’t want a person on lead vocals, all of it. And I didn’t want to rewrite Zooma. I had this idea that instead of having the riffs as the melody, which was …, I thought I would have the riff and the melody on top. … Then I suddenly thought, "I’m missing…" I really wanted the sound of the voice. I even made the sound of the voice in "Grind" on Zooma, just sampled, because I like the sound of it. So I thought as if I was cheating myself, not using the voice. I still believed I didn’t want a guest singer because suddenly the singer … It’s like walking a dog. All of a sudden, he becomes the producer and I’d end up … So I thought, I can do it. [laughing] So in fact, Peter Blegvad came to me, the singer-songwriter who also did the artwork. And he also handed me lyrics that he hadn’t set to music. And he gave me two, one called "The Thunderthief" and one called "Ice Fishing at Night." And I put them to music and just tried to experiment to sing on them, and if I liked it, I’d put it on. And I thought it was OK. ... And I thought, "I’ve tried singing, now I’ll try lyric writing!" [laughs] So I tried it, and it was great fun! Got the word processor going, and "Ah, this isn’t so bad!" You look up, and you’ve written three verses. "Oh, OK, that’s all right!" ...

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