You’re quite a prolific songwriter. Did you
write the songs on Man in Motion specifically for this project, or have you been collecting them over the years?
It was a combination of both. The majority
were probably written with the project in
mind or at least within a short window of
time in the last two or three years. There
are a couple of songs that go back further,
like “Real Lonely Night” and “Your Wildest
Dream,” that I’ve just needed an outlet for.
Most of the other stuff is pretty new.
FEATURE > WARREN HAYNES
What was your songwriting process?
I’ve been a lyrics-first type of guy, but in
the last few years I have been trying to do
the opposite just to shake things up and
not fall into a pattern. I often tend to write
when I am lyrically inspired and then somewhere during the process of putting the
lyric together I get some sort of cadence or
melody in my head, which will eventually
lead to the music. But that’s not always the
case. Some of the songs on this record were
written with the music first. I guess I don’t
have a set way to write.
How did you choose the band for the album?
They were all exactly who I would prefer to
interpret the songs for this kind of project and
this type of music. George Porter, Jr., Ivan
Neville, Raymond Weber, Ron Holloway, and
even Ruthie Foster had all worked with me
on previous projects. The only person I had
not worked with before was [Faces keyboard-ist] Ian McLagan who was kind of brought
in at the last minute. Gordie Johnson, the
co-producer and engineer on this project, had
been working with Ian on some other stuff.
Ian lives in Austin, where we were recording,
so Gordie thought it would be nice to have a
dual-keyboard setup, similar to The Band with
Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel, where
there are two keyboardists playing all the time.
Ivan knew Ian from when they worked together on a Keith Richards project. I met Ian in
the studio for the first time and things just fell
in place very quickly and organically.
version, which was what we showed the
band, had those time-signature changes.
Haynes digs into a Gibson non-reverse Firebird with three P-90s during a gig in Negril, Jamaica, on January 27, 2011. Photo by Dino Perrucci
hollowbody guitars like Gibson ES-335s and
345s. On a couple of tracks, I played my Les
Paul and on a couple I played my D’Angelico
New Yorker. The intent was to go for a completely different thing. The vibe was to take
the soul music of the late ’60s and combine
that with early-’70s blues—right when they
were making that transition more towards
soul music. We didn’t go in wanting to copy
anything directly. We just wanted to take a
cue from two worlds we felt would best represent the songs we’d chosen.
Did any songs develop in something differ- ent once you were in the studio? “A Friend to You” originally was all one time signature. Right before I showed the songs to the band, Gordie and I were messing with the arrangement and I came up with the idea to make the intro and the bridge in 6/8 instead of 4/4. The final
Your guitar tone on this album is much
cleaner than your usual tone with
Yeah. The music itself dictated a change in
my approach. I went for a much cleaner,
more old-school blues and R&B sound.
Most of the sounds on the record are what
I consider to be “pre-rock” with lower gain.
For the most part, I am playing vintage