Warren Haynes Talks Covering Pink Floyd, Reveals His Dream Mountain Jam Headliner: Exclusive Video
It takes a lot of moxie to get up onstage and cover a band as beloved as Pink Floyd, particularly when you're putting together a set that draws heavily from the classic Dark Side of the Moon. But when you've logged as many concert miles as Warren Haynes, even the most daunting gigs can seem manageable.
Haynes and his bandmates in Gov't Mule offered a late-night live performance of their Dark Side cover set, Dark Side of the Mule, when they showed up for Mountain Jam 2015 — and as he tells Ultimate Classic Rock in an exclusive backstage interview, there was very little stage fright involved.
"I thought it went good," says Haynes. "We didn't get a sound check, which is what happens at festivals, so it was an odd show to do with no sound check, but I thought it turned out really good. It felt great on the stage, and the crowd was wonderful. It's the only time we've done a Floyd set since 2008, when we first did Dark Side of the Mule, and we changed it up. We added a few new songs, and I had a blast — I thought it was really fun."
That being said, Haynes admits there's a certain amount of preparation required for a show of this nature, even for a band as road-tested as Gov't Mule. "It takes more rehearsal than we would normally put into something like one show," he concedes. "But I feel like it's worth it, and it's very gratifying. But also, people aren't expecting us to be copying it, they're expecting us to be interpreting it. So we're paying tribute to it, we're paying homage to it, but we're also kind of making it our own thing, and letting it be loose and part of the Gov't Mule spirit as well."
Now in its 11th year, Mountain Jam has come a long way, as evidenced by Robert Plant's headliner status at the 2015 edition. So who's still on Haynes' wish list for performers in future years? "It'd probably be cool to have Neil Young here," he suggests with a grin. "That'd be great. There's a bunch — I could make a list."
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