Warren explains why some of us hate the current Mule output:
MG- Looking back, are you surprised at the path Gov’t Mule has taken since Allen Woody passed away?
WH- It was never our intention to remain a power trio, not that we had thought of adding a fourth or fifth member early on. When we formed Gov’t Mule, we explored this improv-trio format based on the fact that nobody was doing it. It was a dying art and a void that needed to be filled. And we had fun filling that void. We never had it in our minds that it’s what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives.
It started as a project and we knew it would change and evolve through the years. Woody and I talked constantly about how the first record should be very raw, live and improv-based and that the second record should be a little more produced, but still improv-based. But, we always felt the third record should be much more of a studio album. Woody was always pushing us to explore directions that we hadn’t explored and utilize different instrumentations. He actually played a bunch of different instruments and he wanted to utilize that in the music. By the time we got to Life Before Insanity, we were writing songs which reflected that. All the bands which have some longevity in the improv world---and let’s take the Dead and the Allman Brothers as two shining examples---are successful because they have a cool, collective improv which is combined with great songs. That’s why they are still here. Just the ability to jam is not going to get you very far. So, it’s always been in our mind that song-craft needs to become more front-and-center. But we always want to be more improvisational and I think every record is going to showcase something different from us.
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