by Casey Rea
...In an Onion AV Club interview:
AVC: Going back to the idea of the album as an art form, it seemed that for a time, especially in the '70s, artists recording for major labels had access to the best songwriters, the top session players, and the hottest producers, and they'd put albums together with a lot of variety and overall flow. Albums were designed to make a lot of money, but artistically, they also seemed so generous.
JT: I know exactly what you're talking about. I love that type of record. Something that's been said a lot about Sky Blue Sky is that it sounds like it's from that time period, probably because that's a common ground we all have as six separate musicians, that era from around 1966 to 1974. It was part of our collective formative years.
It reminds me of how much was lost with the gains of punk rock. Punk rock messed up a lot of shit. As much as I love it and as much as it's probably the main reason I'm making records today, it really threw out a lot of stuff that wasn't so bad. It wasn't such a bad thing to have people working hard at making up songs. It wasn't all just rock-star excess, and it didn't all need to be torn down. I understand why punk was seen as a necessity then, but I don't know why there's still some sort of idea that musicianship is uncool.
AVC: We had a debate on our website recently about whether guitar solos are lame. Judging by Sky Blue Sky, you seem to be very much pro-guitar-solo.
JT: I'm pro music. Guitar solos in general aren't one way or the other. There's good ones and there's bad ones. There are reasons for them that are legitimate, and reasons that aren't legitimate. I mean, it's just some fucking dude making sound with his fucking hands. [Laughs.] I don't really see how there could be a debate. And not just guitar solos, but all solos, dating back a long, long time. It's just a way for people to express themselves with an instrument. How could I argue with it?
Man, my thoughts exactly. I'm gonna have to memorize this text in advance of my next argument about '70s guitar rock.
Read the rest of the interview here.