Neil Young is not happy.
While at Utah’s Slamdance, where he’s promoting the upcoming concert film Neil Young Journeys, the 66-year-old got to talking about what he believes is the problem with modern music: sound quality.
“I’m finding that I have a little bit of trouble with the quality of the sound of music today,” Young said. “I don’t like it. It just makes me angry. Not the quality of the music, but we’re in the 21st century and we have the worst sound that we’ve ever had. It’s worse than a 78 [rpm record].”
“Where are our geniuses?” he asked. “What happened?”
The “Old Man” singer went on to explain what he feels music fans have lost in the MP3 age.
“If you’re an artist and you created something and you knew the master was 100 percent great, but the consumer got 5 percent, would you be feeling good? I like to point that out to artists. That’s why people listen to music differently today. It’s all about the bottom and the beat driving everything, and that’s because in the resolution of the music, there’s nothing else you can really hear. The warmth and the depth at the high end is gone.”
“It’s like Occupy Music,” the folk-rock legend added. “The 5 percent, that’s who we are now. We used to be the 100 percent!”
Still, Young does see some bright spots in today’s sonic landscape. “Mumford and Sons and My Morning Jacket are great bands,” he said. “I love them both, and I know them well. I feel good about saying that.”
What about you, digital denizen? Has music has lost more than it’s gained, as Young suggests? Should we Occupy iTunes?
And while we’ve got Neil on the mind, EW’s own Adam B. Vary sat down with the man and Neil Young Journeys director Jonathan Demme to discuss the documentary.
“We’re both artists,” Young tells Vary of the collaboration. “He plays the camera in the editing room like I play the guitar.”
Watch the sit-down, as well as a clip of Young commandeering a 1956 Crown Vic across Canada, in the video below:
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