“I think the more I sing, the better my voice gets,” says Plant, who recorded with his new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, after road-testing the material — Zeppelin-esque rock, occasionally drawing on Celtic and African influences — for the past couple years.Most of the other artists who have been at this for 40-plus years seem to have run out of gas.What is it that you’re doing right, and why have the other guys lost it? The company I keep is very empowered, humorous, creative, and energetic, and there’s an enjoyment in stretching the parameters of what we do.Well that’s a really provocative question, young man, and you must go stand on the naughty step. We’ve been on the road for a year, just playing around the planet, which gave us the opportunity to be quite selective about the ideas that we pursued [on this album]. Oh, yeah, I wouldn’t do six weeks of festivals in Europe if I didn’t like it.It’s been 45 years since Robert Plant made his recording debut with Led Zeppelin, though you’d never guess that from his new solo album, Lullabye ...and the Ceaseless Roar, on which his vocal cords still seem to be in mint condition.
I’m coming to the greater New York area soon, actually.
The Capitol Theater [in Port Chester, on September 25], and then the Brooklyn Academy of Music [on September 27 and 28].
I love touring — especially now that we have Juldeh Camara, our West African guy in the band. It’s all confusing when he keeps calling me “uncle.” A term of endearment, apparently.
You’ve said the song “Turn It Up” was inspired by taking long drives through the American South. As a kid in England, I was really drawn to the music of Mississippi.
Culturally and socially, I’m sure it’s just a very pale reflection of what it might have been. There are so many Americas, and I didn’t really know which America I was in.The album opens and closes with your versions of “Little Maggie,” a Stanley Brothers song from the '40s. It helped cement the friendship that Alison and I share, but it was very funny and very bad and very wrong. You know, Whole Foods is more of a dating agency than a shop.