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Published: 2008/08/08

Mike Gordon, Les Claypool and Steve Winwood Anticipate Outside Lands

There are just two weeks until Outside Lands, the first music event at San Franciscos famed Golden Gate Park that will extend into the evening. The lineup for the initial incarnation of the festival runs the gamut, with Radiohead, Tom Petty and Jack Johnson headlining the three days of the festival (August 22-24). Mike Gordon, Steve Winwood and Les Claypool are among the artists also on the bill, each of whom commented on the upcoming first go-around of the Outside Lands Festival.

Gordon spoke briefly about the dovetailing of Phish festivals into the current festival scene. I think if people are willing to take risks, then they can trust their creativity, and it takes extra time and extra consideration not just thinking about what will make money, but what will make something an event, and special in a way where it is going to be clearly different from any other event in peoples lives. From my history, thinking in both of those ways is what worked for us. Take the extra time to put the concertgoer first, try to think about what would make them feel incredible rather than herded around, and then make it unlike any other event thats ever happened by just getting creative.
Then he commented on the nature of the festival and the impact of sharing the bill with so many artists.

This might sound idealistic but if youre one band and youre improvising, youre hoping to tap into the muse, or the universal consciousness that people who are creative turn to, or surrender to. Then you imagine a festival with 50 bands, and a lot of the bands are doing that, maybe there is this cross pollination tends to happen. Even if musicians arent sitting in with other bands, theyre getting inspired. For that to be in Golden Gate Park, just seems like a pretty amazing situation.
Fellow bassist and mainstay in the ever-expanding festival scene, Primus Les Claypool was excited for a Van Halen sit-in as well as the prospect of a festival in his home state. Alas, Van Halen will not be participating.
Even if San Francisco wasnt in my backyard, its not too terribly close, but, its good to play the ole home town where we first sowed our seeds and stomped around. San Francisco is just a fantastic city. Its my favorite city in the US, I think the notion that this event is happening is a fabulous thing for the city. Is Van Halen playing? Because I kind of want to sit in with Eddie Van Halen. I think we might play mainly songs from Van Halen I. I think that will be a safe bet.
With Primus playing only its second date of the summer, (the first being a late night slot at ROTHBURY,) Claypool reflected on returning to form with Primus.

Its like your high school haircut, you go through a period where its obviously a wonderful thing. Then all of the sudden its not, but some time goes by, and you realize, Hey that was kind of a cool haircut I used to have. With Primus, our approach to it these days is very similar to our early approach.
Steve Winwood added his thoughts on the decline of the record industry while live music and festival scenes thrive today.
Although its bad for the record industry, I dont think its bad for music. I think that the decline of the record industry in many ways is quite good for the health of music. It gives people other roots and other avenues to get their music across such as festivals and live music. I think that there is something exciting about seeing bands live.
Outside Lands will take place at San Franciscos Golden Gate Park from August 22-24. Report by Pietro C. Truba

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