Robert Plant Became ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Cliche at a Very Early Age’
Robert Plant said he’d started becoming a “rock ’n’ roll cliche” at an early stage in his life, and hailed Alison Krauss for helping him move away from that position by teaching him about “strict melodies” and harmonies.
The pair’s second album, Raise the Roof – released on Nov. 19 – followed their acclaimed 2007 debut Raising Sand. Both LPs see them exploring music that’s some distance from Plant’s Led Zeppelin catalog.
“As an English singer, I usually reach for the normal pop/rock stuff that I might have done with Zep on ‘Thank You’ or ‘Little Drops Of Rain,” he told Uncut in a recent interview. “But Alison comes from a different world. She is always at pains to tell me that while I was flying my kite in the back of a van she was seven years into fiddle competitions. She never went to prom because she was in the corner harmonizing when I was already becoming a rock ‘n’ roll cliche at a very early age.”
He continued: “She coaches me and gives me alternatives to bolster her vocal. She hears the way you can embellish a melody. I was learning all that [African American] Chitlin’ Circuit phrasing in the mid ‘60s, so I never knew about strict melodies. I was very happy to put myself into the position of being a student to see if I could do it.”
Earlier this year Plant discussed his work with Krauss and his recent solo releases, saying: “None of this music is rock, it’s not about power and posture. How remarkable for me to be able to jump ship so long ago now. But I have a jetpack on my back in case I want to go back.” Referring to the lyrics of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” he added: “If I come from the land of the ice and snow, I’ll be OK.”
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