09.12.14 Gov’t Mule Guitarist Brings Jam Band to Lincoln via Ground Zero
Warren Haynes might just be the hardest-working man in show business.
Guitarist in the Allman Brothers for 25 years, leader of Gov’t Mule and the Warren Haynes Band and a performer in the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration, Haynes is constantly working -- in the studio and especially on the road.
He’ll be bringing Gov’t Mule, his long-running jam band, to the Bourbon Theatre on Tuesday.
Last week, Ground Zero called Haynes for a short talk about the show, Gov’t Mule’s latest record and his seemingly never-ending work:
GZ: Do you ever get any time off?
Haynes: My schedule the last 20 years has been very busy, but I do manage to strategically take time off every now and then. I’m fortunate I love my job.
GZ: So why do you do so many things?
Haynes: I think each project I’m involved with allows me to express myself a little differently and exposes different parts of my musical personality, which I really enjoy. I think most musicians, if they had a complaint, it would be that they don’t have a way to express the different parts of themselves. I don’t have that complaint.
GZ: Is that expression determined by the songs or the group you’re with or a combination of both?
Haynes: The songs kind of determine the way I’m going to interpret the music. I’m very influenced by the people around me. I’m mostly listening to what everyone else is doing and trying to be part of a tapestry, which gets at all the facets of the music.
For example, in each situation I do, not only do I have a different mindset but different equipment -- different guitars, different amps, different effects I’m using. So everything is different.
GZ: Let’s talk about “Shout.” I don’t know of any other record like it, where you have the record recorded by the band, then the whole record again with guest singers.
Haynes: We didn’t come up with the concept until we’d already begun recording. We were going to bring in Elvis Costello for "Funny Little Tragedy," Dr. John for "Stoop So Low" and Toots Hibbert (of Toots and the Maytals) for "Scared to Live." We were thinking we’d have those three singers come in and do a cameo appearance on some pieces of the song.
But it seemed like a waste to have singers of that stature come in and sing a small part. So we decided to have them do their versions of the whole song. Then it turned into finding somebody to do it with every song. As soon as that happened, I sat down and made up a list of singers and started making phone calls.
They were all singers that are friends, people who I’ve worked with and people who I really respect. The conversation would start with "Here’s the idea." Then, I know as a singer, I only want to do songs I’m comfortable with. So I’d tell them I’d send them the song and ask if they wanted to do it, if they felt comfortable with it. It didn’t take long to get the whole record.