A Band Is The Space Between Members

Everybody is familiar with the concept that something is more than just the sum of the parts (John+Paul+George+Ringo=The Beatles) but Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones has a unique twist on that

I think the problem with most modern bands is that all the band members listen to the same music, which makes for a very one-dimensional sound. We never listened to the same music.

[Logic suggests that a band in which everyone goes in different directions is a band ripe for conflict -]

No not at all. We considered it valuable. I’ve always maintained that Led Zeppelin was the spaces between us. Bonzo was into soul music and Motown ballads; I was into jazz and classical music; Jimmy was into rockabilly, blues and folk; and Robert was into blues and Elvis Presley. None of us had the same record collection. Nobody on the outside of the band could understand this.

But it was very clear to me why it worked. We all loved music and liked learning about new things. Each of our individual record collections was interesting to everyone else.

John Paul Jones in Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page – Brad Tolinski (p.103)

If you recruit a band who all share your love for Nirvana, you will sound like Nirvana. But if you bassist is into Primus and your drummer digs Mumford & Sons, you won’t sound like any of them. You will sound like something new.

And isn’t that the point?

About mattblick

Songwriter & Musical Educator from Nottingham, UK. New album Fifty Five Stories Down is out now. Blogging through the entire Beatles catalogue at Beatles Songwriting Academy.
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