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Gov't Mule are back: Warren Haynes interview
The Mule are back with a live album and a tour to celebrate 25 years in music. Band leader Warren Haynes tells all.
By Michael Burland
We last spoke with blue rock titan Warren Haynes, the lead guitarist with The Allman Brothers Band and The Grateful dead among others, when his own regular band Gov't Mule released their latest studio album Revolution Come...Revolution Go. Now the Mule are back, with a live album and a string of UK and European dates so you can catch them in their natural environment – on stage.
Hey Warren, it's good to catch up with you. Gov't Mule are celebrating a quarter century as a band. You've said that “it's no easy task keeping a band together for 25 years… with any band that's stayed around that long, it's all about relationships.” What's special about yours?
If a band is lucky enough to be based on a unique musical chemistry I believe that's probably the most important thing. If you're lucky enough to also share a personal chemistry that's probably the second most important thing in the way that it is key to having any longevity. Gov't Mule is extremely lucky to still have both of those things all these years later. It's extremely rare in the world of music for the members to still get along after decades together.
What does Gov't Mule give you that's different to other bands you play with?
Gov't Mule's music is a blend of all our influences – rock, blues, jazz, folk, soul, reggae, and psychedelic music – mixed together and filtered through our individual and collective personalities. We're basically a combination of our chemistry and our influences as are most of our favorite bands. We see Gov't Mule as a laboratory to create whatever we feel.
It's a couple of years since we interviewed you, what's happened since 2017 for you and the band?
A lot! Gov't Mule has done a lot of touring and I've done quite a bit myself outside of Gov't Mule. We're preparing now for the next recording project although it's still in the beginning stages, figuring out what we want to do, musically speaking, on the other side of our 25th Anniversary.
Back then we talked about the 2016 Presidential election, which inspired your song ‘Stone Cold Rage'. As you tour out on the road in the States, how do you think people are feeling about politics now?
I think most people are even angrier- the divide is widening. I look forward, hopefully, to a time when we can come closer together.
You're releasing Bring on the Music – Live at the Capitol Theatre, an album, concert DVD and documentary, on 28th June. It was recorded on April 27 and 28, 2018 at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. Why those particular nights and that venue?
The Capitol is one of our favorite venues. It looks and sounds great and the audience there is always made up of big music fans. I think all that comes through in the film/ recordings.
You're touring the UK 27 May to 2 June – will you get the chance to see anything outside of airplanes, tour buses and concert halls?
Our work schedule is pretty rigorous but I try to see some cool stuff, especially in places I've never been.
What's your favorite experience of the UK so far?
Seeing the Led Zeppelin reunion at the 02 in 2007.
Is there one thing that you absolutely have to take on tour – outside of musical equipment?
An open mind.
What do you miss about the United States when you're abroad?
Finally, what's the best thing about being Warren Haynes?
Doing what I love – I have the best job in the world.
Gov't Mule release Bring On The Music – Live At The Capitol Theatre on June 28 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group.
UK & Europe Tour Dates: May 27 O2 Academy Glasgow; May 28 Boiler Shop Newcastle; May 29 Stylus Leeds; May 31 Town Hall Birmingham; June 1 O2 Forum Kentish Town London; June 2 Academy 2 Manchester; June 4 La Cigale Paris, France; June 5 AB Brussels, Belgium; June 6 Batschkapp Frankfurt, Germany; June 6 to 10 Ribs & Blues Raalte, Netherlands; June 9 Victorie Alkmaar, Netherlands.
For tickets visit http://mule.net