Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes Talks “Preparing To Shout” & More At House Of Blues Atlantic City

Last updated: May 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm. Posted by in Uncategorized. No Comments on Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes Talks “Preparing To Shout” & More At House Of Blues Atlantic City.

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“Music is not about statistics. It’s about what makes you feel good.” You like that? We do! So true! It’s a quote we just got from Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule who are coincidentally playing at House Of Blues Atlantic City at Showboat this Saturday.

Haynes and original bassist Allen Woody spawned from the 1989 formation of The Allman Brothers Band which started as a 20th anniversary gig. Gov’t Mule first formed as a side project during breaks, but has been kicking it for about 19 years now and produced awesome hits such as “Soulshine”, “Banks of the Deep End”, and “Thorazine Shuffle”.

These multi-dimensional rockers are set to release their first album in four years in the upcoming months and are currently giving their fans a sneak peek of this and more on the road. We sat down to talk (obvs) with frontman Warren Haynes about all this and more! Check it out, below.

gov't mule

TAC: You became the lead guitarist for the Allman Brothers in 1989. How did that opportunity come about?

Warren Haynes: I had been playing with Dickey Bets who was one of the two original, founding guitar members of The Allman Brothers in the ‘80’s when The Allman Brothers Band was broken up. Starting around ’86 or ’87, I played in Dickey’s band and did one record with him and did a lot of touring with him. We wrote a lot of music together and we really kind of honed in our two-guitar relationship to the extent that when The Allman Brothers decided to reform in ’89, they asked me to join the band. Initially it was just for a reunion tour for the 20th anniversary, but the tour went so well that everybody decided to do it again and then the next year do it again. Here it is 44 years into the band’s career and 24 years since I joined the band.

TAC: Crazy! Allen Woody kind of went on this Allman Brothers Journey with you as well as the beginning of Gov’t Mule. How were you able to continue on without him after his death in 2000 and still keep the authenticity of the band?

Warren Haynes: It was very tough continuing without Woody. He was not only a close friend to both myself and Matt Abts the drummer of Gov’t Mule, but in a trio, each member really has to be hitting on all cylinders all the time and it’s really important in a trio to have the right chemistry more than it is in probably any other configuration or any other ensemble. When Woody passed away, our first inclination was to call it quits and thankfully a lot of our friends and people in the music business especially musicians who have lost band members and continued on and managed to not only keep their careers alive, but in some ways move onto bigger and better things, I got a lot of encouragement from a lot of those folks and I’m glad I did because you’re not thinking clearly when something like this happens and so for me to say we’re going to stop Gov’t Mule in the middle of all this  momentum would have been the wrong decision and here it is almost 13 years later, the band has grown so much. I know that Woody would have been proud of what we’ve done.

TAC: Do you have a favorite memory from the beginning days with Woody?

Warren Haynes: Oh, there are so many. In addition to being a wonderful musician, he was one of the funniest people that I’ve ever known and so most of the times when we think about Woody these days it’s things that make us laugh. Those memories are everywhere.

TAC: And now looking back over what Gov’t Mule has accomplished so far, what is your favorite memory?

Warren  Haynes: I think the thing that I’m most proud of is that we’ve been able to build an audience and build a career that’s continually grown and expanded without chasing commercial trends in any way and without compromising our music. Every record we’ve made and every tour we’ve done is all about what’s in our heart and what makes us happy, and thankfully there’s an audience to support that. I don’t think we could have been happy trying to second guess what the public wants, especially the mainstream public because that’s not where we’re coming from and so the fact that we’ve been able to do this and sell over two million songs as downloads on our website while doing exactly what we love to do is pretty amazing and not something I take for granted.

TAC: What can fans expect from your show here at House Of Blues on Saturday?

Warren Haynes: Most of our hardcore fans or fans that have been following us awhile know that every show is different. Every set list is different. What we play tonight in Portland, ME will be completely different from what we play tomorrow night in Boston, and what we play in Boston will be completely different from what we play in Atlantic City. For the most part, we always do two sets with a set break in the middle. Our shows are about three hours long and they consist of running the gamut of our entire career, not that we think of it that way as making sure that there’s something from every album or something like that. We don’t look at it that way, we just make sure there’s a lot of old, a lot of new, a little in between and that it’s different every time we go back. We keep a log of every show we’ve ever played, so when we go back to Atlantic City, we’ll look and see what we played last time and the time before and make sure that it’s different.

TAC: Is there a track that you pulled out recently that you haven’t done in a while?

Warren Haynes: There are several songs that we pulled out recently that we haven’t done in a long time. One is this song called “Slow Happy Boys” that we originally recorded on the Deep End series with our friend Jack Cassady from Hot Tuna and another one that we’ve been working off at rehearsal is this instrumental song called “Sun Dance” that we haven’t played since we recorded it. We recorded it on the Deep End series with Chris Squire playing bass and the band has never performed it live. On this tour, it’s gonna be the first time we ever have.

TAC: Very cool! You were named #23 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time! How does that feel?

Warren Haynes: Well, that was quite a surprise. It’s not something I would ever expect. I was very honored to be included on that list, especially so high up. I think my list would be different and any music fan or any guitar player you talk to, their list would be different too because music is not about statistics. It’s about what makes you feel good. My list of favorite guitar players would be different than another guitar player’s list of favorite guitar players. At the same time, for all the hard work you put into something, it’s nice to be acknowledged whether it’s winning a Grammy or being on a list like that or any award. I used to think that they were cheesy, but now I just look at it like recognition for something you put a lot of hard work into.

TAC: Who would be on  your list?

Warren Haynes: Most of the lists tend to start with Jimi Hendrix at number one. I can’t really argue with that. There are so many people who I look at in the same light, but at the same time I don’t know of anyone I would put above Hendrix. There are people like Albert King, a great blues guitar player, that influenced Hendrix very deeply and influenced Stevie Ray Vaughan very deeply and influenced Eric Clapton and Duane Allman very deeply and obviously myself. Some of the blues guys like that didn’t sell as many records and didn’t get as much recognition, but they are so important in the family tree of rock guitar. Without people like Albert King and Freddie King and B.B. King, there would have been none of us.

TAC: You also just recently appeared on the latest release from Big Al & The Heavyweights. How did that collaboration come about?

Warren Haynes: Big Al’s an old friend. We played together back in the ‘80s. I heard he was doing a new CD and he asked me to play on a song. A lot of times, I don’t have time to do all of that kind of stuff that I would like to, so I’m glad it worked out that I had the time.

TAC: What’s next for you and Gov’t Mule?

Warren Haynes: We have a new CD coming out that’s hopefully going to come out in the middle or end of September and it’s called Shout. It’s our first CD since By A Thread which was in 2009. It’s something we’re extremely proud of. We’ve been working long and hard on it and we’re going to tour a lot behind that record. Even to the extent that we’re touring now which we’re calling the Prepared To Shout Tour which is starting several months before the record even comes out and once it comes out, we’ll have another year or so of touring behind it. We’re very excited. We’ve been playing a lot of new material and writing a lot of new material. It’s a very creative period right now.

 

So get yourselves prepared this Saturday at House Of Blues at Showboat Atlantic City! The show starts at 8 p.m.! Be sure to grab your last minute tickets here!

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About The Author

A music junkie and pop culture nerd, Jackie has been storytelling and producing exclusive content through various forms of media since she was a teenager running online fan clubs on Yahoo Groups. Remember those? A Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College took her to the City of Angels where she scored bylines in The Hollywood Reporter and dabbled in music PR. An East Coast girl at heart, she circled back to her home state of New Jersey where she penned Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City’s Atlantic City Blog and hasn’t looked back since.

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