What does Bob Dylan think of today’s music? | Rolling Stone Italy

To be 80 and be Bob Dylan these are two conditions that allow you to express decidedly trenchant judgments without any concern about possible retaliation or replies. And the American singer-songwriter knows this well. Not that he had to wait for the arrival of 80 to show us his temper, but every comment from him has the value of someone who has made great music for 60 years, even winning a Nobel prize for literature.

Last month Dylan posted Philosophy of modern songhis latest book that tells a few selected songs, one per chapter. You may recall that the marketing around the operation hasn’t gone so wellbut nevertheless the artist continued with the promotion of the work, granting a long interview to Wall Street Journal in which he shared various of his ideas about today’s music.

«I listen to music on CD, on the radio and via streaming. But what I love is hearing the sound of vinyl, I still have the same system that I bought in a shop in Oregon thirty years ago,” said the singer-songwriter. «Songs were easy at the time, but they came to you and allowed you to see the future. Now streaming has made music too easy and without depth. It’s all too easy, too democratic. You need x-ray goggles to find the heart of someone who’s making music today, if that’s the case at all.’

Dylan then spoke of the difficulty, today, of finding songs capable of becoming standards: «Who will write standards today? A rapper? A hip hop player or a rock star? A raver, a sampling producer, a singer? That is institutional music, easy listening. It is music that parodies life, a fiction. The standard has to be of another level to become a model for the other songs».

Dylan then recounted how he becomes aware of new music, often “by chance” or thanks to artists and authors who recommend it to him and who direct him in this chaotic personal search. But are there contemporary artists appreciated by the singer-songwriter? “The Gallagher brothers, Julian Casablancas, the Klaxons, Grace Potter. I’ve seen Metallica twice. I also made it a point to see Jack White and Alex Turner. I recently discovered Zac Deputy, one who does everything by himself like Ed Sheeran but sits while he plays. I’m also a fan of Royal Blood, Celeste, Rag’n’Bone Man, Wu-Tang, Eminem, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and anyone who brings feelings and emotions through words and language, anyone who has a parallel view to mine.

Finally speaking of his creative process, Dylan explained that to write songs he doesn’t have a fixed routine, preferring instead to be surprised by an emotion that strikes him. And if he has never been a nice person, it was only to make us listen to good music: «To be creative you have to be unsociable and rigid. Not necessarily violent and terrible, but just unfriendly and aloof. Being self-sufficient helps you stay focused.”

What does Bob Dylan think of today’s music? | Rolling Stone Italy