David Crosby Says He’s the ‘Child’ in His Band of Younger Musicians
David Crosby described himself as the “child” in his current band, despite being four decades older than its three other members.
Their album Here If You Listen will be released on Oct. 26, and although it’s sold as a Crosby solo album, his colleagues Becca Stevens, Michelle Willis and Michael League are given second billing. They previously worked with him on 2016 album Lighthouse.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the veteran artist said that while he behaved like the youngest member, Stevens and Willis were the “big sisters” and producer League was “the adult” among them. “I thought I would be in charge and have my own band,” Crosby said. “No, not a chance. They kick my ass regularly.”
He added that they "encourage some of the weirdest stuff. They accept my wandering around the landscape. They encourage it.” Crosby also admitted his generation had been “wrong” about their notions of interaction with female artists. “Having women in bands is a great idea," he said.
League revealed he received some valuable advice from Crosby’s wife. “Jan sent me an email once and it said, ‘David functions best while simultaneously praised and abused,’" he recalled. "But it’s really true. He loves playfulness. It hits him in the right place. ... If this guy’s gone through what he has in life and chooses not to be comfortable or go on vacation but to create new things, that’s inspiring,. It says to me, ‘You have no excuse, motherfucker!’”
Crosby compared the new band to the best periods of his time with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. “That kind of chemistry is a joy," he explained. "I miss it and I remember it from the early days of my other band, where we were still very much loved each other’s writing. I remember how good that felt. And that’s what this is.”
He admitted a reunion was unlikely, and also said he was disappointed to have been left out of the current reunion between fellow Byrds members Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman.
“Not rattled, but jealous,” he said of his reaction. “What they’re doing now is something I was never a part of. I understand that. They made that very clear and that’s absolutely fair. I’ve wanted to do a Byrds thing with Roger and Chris for a long time and that’s reasonable. But I don’t think Roger wants to do it. He’s been pretty consistent about that. I gotta respect that. But I understand what they’re doing now and it’s fine with me. It’s not the same Byrds.”