Q: How do you explain the proliferation of "unplugged" performances by rock stars lately?
A: I think I can sympathize with what it is reacting against. Because a lot of music in the last 10 or 15 years has been made on computer-driven sequencers, it has a certain flavor to it. Sometimes that flavor's all right. But I'll tell you what the main effect of sequencers has been: Everybody thinks that when new technologies come along that they're transparent and you can just do your job well on it. But technologies always import a whole new set of values with them. And one of the values that sequencers imported was everything's got to be exactly right.
It's so easy because a computer is basically a nerd-designed, screwdriver addict's machine. It's a machine that's perfect for making small adjustments and not very good for making bold strokes. I think people just got sick of sitting in studios for hours while some bloke in front of a screen kind of tightened everything up, so that every kick drum beat fell exactly on the one.
If you've been around that way of composing and you pick up an acoustic instrument and hit it, you think, "Jesus, it's so full of life. There's so much going on in here." So I think people are really reacting to what has been rather an unimaginative use of computer technology so far. What I think is, of course, that there'll be a new generation of people who'll use computers with the same freedom that Pete Townshend uses an acoustic guitar. But those people are just starting to emerge, I think. The computer brings out the worst in some people.
Elvis is not available right now - *When I shared an Elvis cover recently, it was part of a couple of other conversations about the late singer.* My friend Dave recommended another song, whi...