Music

Billy Talbot Talks Garage Rock, Religion and Crazy Horse

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Billy Talbot on stage with Willie Nelson and Neil Young at Farm Aid 2012 (Maria Ives for Radio.com)

Billy Talbot on stage with Willie Nelson and Neil Young at Farm Aid 2012 (Maria Ives for Radio.com)

“What’s so difficult? Three or four guys get together and start playing, all they have to have is good instruments and good songs.” 

Crazy Horse bassist Billy Talbot could be talking about his own band — famously fronted by Neil Young. Their latest album, 2012’s Psychedelic Pill, is nominated for the Best Rock Album GRAMMY Award – up against LPs by Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin (!) as well as relative newcomers Kings of Leon and Queens of the Stone Age. 

In fact, Talbot was talking to Radio.com about the endurance of garage rock. In a conversation promoting his own solo album, On The Road To Spearfish, the conversation veered towards the art form that Crazy Horse has perfected over their 45 years as a band. He also discussed some of the band’s disciples: “I think of Pearl Jam as being a garage band. I think that they carry on that way. I love Eddie Vedder, I love the band. I loved Nirvana. That era was garage bands, and that’s really cool. I think there will be more of that in the future. That thing can come back, it can re-emerge.” 

On On The Road To Spearfish, Talbot doesn’t play bass at all: instead he focuses on guitar and lead vocals, and also unlike in Crazy Horse, he’s the songwriter. One of the highlights of the album is “God and Me,” which he discussed in the interview (watch the video above, where he goes into more detail about the record). “I have my own relationship with God and I figure everybody does. it might be part of an organized religion, and even if you are part of an organized religion, you probably have your own ideas and your own relationship with God, despite the organized religion and despite what you think you think, or feel, or believe. You’ve still got your own idea of your relationship with God. I have a relationship with a higher power, I don’t know what it is, and I don’t ever even want to know, to tell you the truth.”

Moving back to the topic of Crazy Horse, fans are wondering when they’ll ride again: if ever.  They spent most of 2012 together, releasing two new albums, Americana and the GRAMMY nominated Psychedelic Pill, and toured for much of the year. That ended abruptly when guitarist Frank “Pancho” Sampdero injured his hand, leading to a number of concert cancellations. That led Young to perform solo acoustic at last September’s Farm Aid, instead of with Crazy Horse as planned. In October, he performed at his annual Bridge School Benefit concert with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, leading some fans to believe that that would be his next project, although he’s currently in the midst of another solo acoustic tour. So does Billy think that Crazy Horse has met the end of their road? 

“No, I don’t. I think it’s impossible for us to live without it.  I don’t think so. I’m never gonna think it’s the end until after I passed away.” 

Brian Ives, Radio.com 

 

 

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