Transcript: Daniel Lanois: Creating Timeless Music | Sep 30, 2021

Nam Kiwanuka sits at the Agenda news desk. She wears a dark green blazer over a blue and white striped shirt. A monitor behind her shows a lowercase ‘a’. Nam holds a pen between her fingers as she rests her hands on the desk. Papers, a cell phone, and a glass of water sit in front of her.

Text reads, “Creating Timeless Music”

Nam begins,
PLENTY OF CANADIAN
MUSICIANS CONNECT WITH GLOBAL
AUDIENCES TO GREAT ACCLAIM.
BUT FEW REACH AS FAR INTO THE
SONIC UNIVERSE AS DANIEL LANOIS.
HIS FINGERPRINTS ARE ALL OVER
MUSIC YOU KNOW AND VERY LIKELY
LOVE.
FROM U2 TO BOB DYLAN, HIS WORK
AS A PRODUCER, COMPOSER, AND ON
HIS OWN RECORDS, PUTS DANIEL
LANOIS IN A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN,
WITH MULTIPLE JUNO AND GRAMMY
AWARDS, AND A PLACE IN THE
CANADIAN MUSIC HALL OF FAME.
HE'S GOT A NEW RECORD OUT.
IT'S CALLED "HEAVY SUN," AND
WE'RE PLEASED IT BRINGS HIM TO
OUR VIRTUAL STUDIO FROM TORONTO.
IT'S SUCH AN HONOUR TO MEET YOU.
EN CHANTE.

Daniel replies,
THANK YOU, NAM.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO
DRAG ME OUT OF BED.

(Laughing)

Nam says,
WELL, EXCELLENT.
BEFORE WE START CHATTING, I JUST
WANTED TO PLAY A SHORT CLIP FROM
THE TITLE TRACK CALLED "UNDER
THE "HEAVY SUN"."
SHELDON, PLEASE ROLL.

A burlesque dancer dances in a music video.

Daniel sings,
I KNOW A PLACE
THE SPIRIT RISES FROM THE
GROUND
SINGING IN THE NIGHT
WE'RE GONNA SHAKE 'EM SHAKE
'EM SHAKE 'EM ON DOWN
AND YOU CAN CALL YOUR FRIENDS
TELL ‘EM COME ON IN

Nam states,
BOB MARLEY ONCE SANG,
ONE GOOD THING ABOUT MUSIC, WHEN
IT HITS, YOU FEEL NO PAIN.
AND LISTENING TO THIS RECORD, IT
MADE ME FEEL THAT WAY.
I REALLY LOVE THE TRACK
"TUMBLING STONE."
IS THAT THE FEELING THAT YOU
WANTED PEOPLE TO HAVE FROM THIS
RECORD?

Daniel Lanois sits at a mixing board in his studio. Tall indoor plants and speakers fill the room. Daniel wears white headphones over a black baseball cap, and a sleeveless grey shirt.

Text reads, “Daniel Lanois, Musician and Producer”

Daniel says,
I LIKE THE TRACK "TUMBLING
STONE" BECAUSE IT SUGGESTS A
JOURNEY AND LEAVING ONE THING
BEHIND TO FIND ANOTHER.
AND I THINK IN THESE TIMES, I'VE
NOTICED THAT PEOPLE ARE
SEARCHING, AND THAT'S OKAY.
MAYBE IT'S ALWAYS BEEN THE CASE.
BUT FOR ANYONE WHO IS SEARCHING,
THEY MIGHT FIND A LITTLE
SOMETHING IN THE "HEAVY SUN"
RECORD, AND CERTAINLY IN
"TUMBLING STONE."

Text reads, “Creating Timeless Music. Making of the New Album”

Nam adds,
AND THE ORGAN IN THAT
TRACK, I KNOW THIS IS KIND OF
LIKE ASKING YOU TO PICK YOUR
FAVOURITE CHILD, BUT IS THERE
ONE INSTRUMENT THAT MAYBE
CONVEYS EMOTION BETTER THAN
OTHERS?

Daniel states,
WELL, I FIND -- I GUESS
THAT'S THE JOB WE HAVE, REALLY,
IS TO FIND THE EMOTION IN AN
INSTRUMENT, IN AN APPROACH,
BECAUSE TOOLS ARE EASY TO COME
BY, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN BUY AN
ORGAN, BUT YOU MAY NOT PLAY IT
YET.
SO I THINK DEVOTION IS A LONG
JOURNEY, ESPECIALLY WITH A
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.
SO I FIND EMOTION IN THE ORGAN,
IF THE RIGHT PLAYER SITS AT IT,
AND I CERTAINLY FIND IT IN MY
STEEL GUITAR.
I'VE BEEN PLAYING THAT SINCE I
WAS A CHILD, SO WHEN IT SPEAKS
TO ME IT SPEAKS TO ME ON A LEVEL
OF EMOTION. THERE YOU GO.

Nam replies,
AND WHILE THE SONG ON
THE ALBUM HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS
HAVING -- IT FEELS LIKE IT'S
TAKING YOU TO CHURCH.
IT HAS THAT FEELING OF NOT ONLY
COMMUNITY BUT JUST THE ENERGY
AND THE JOY.
DOES THAT CARRY OVER TO OTHER
SONGS ON THE ALBUM?

Daniel answers,
WELL, THE ALBUM HAS A LOT OF
SPIRIT IN IT. YOU KNOW, WHEN WE
RELEASED IT, SOMEBODY SAID,
WELL, IT FEELS AS THOUGH IT COULD
BE IN RESPONSE TO BEING CLOSED
UP BY THE PANDEMIC AND SORT OF
SOME KIND OF KEY TO JOY IN IT.
BUT I THINK THAT FEELING LARGELY
COMES FROM HARMONY SINGING
BECAUSE HARMONY SINGING SUGGESTS
COOPERATION AND BEING AT ONE
WITH YOUR MATES, AND IF WE GO
BEYOND THE QUARTETS THINGS, WE
GO TO THE COMMUNITY, IT'S NICE
TO BE ALIGNED WITH OUR
COMMUNITY.
SO I THINK MAYBE THAT'S WHERE
THE SPIRIT LIVES, IS IN
GATHERING AND COMMUNITY.

Nam asks,
IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN TO
PARTS OF AFRICA, THERE'S THIS
GREAT TREE, THE BAOBAB TREE.
IT'S MAGNIFICENT AND IT USUALLY
SERVES AS A PLACE FOR COMMUNITY.
AND YOU'VE SAID THAT THIS ALBUM
WAS INFLUENCED BY A
THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD TREE.
IN WHAT WAYS?

Daniel replies,
WELL, THE THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD
TREE LIVES IN TULE, WHICH IS IN
MEXICO, AND I CAME UPON IT ON AN
OFF-CHANCE WHEN I WAS DRIVING
THROUGH MEXICO SOME TIME BACK,
AND I VISITED THE
THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD TREE, AND
THERE WERE PEOPLE UNDER THE TREE
AND THEY WERE -- SOME WERE
HAVING PICNICS, SOME WERE
PRAYING, SOME WERE JUST HAVING A
MOMENT OF SOLITUDE.
AND I THOUGHT THE TREE WAS A
GREAT GATHERING PLACE.
THEY WEREN'T WORSHIPING THE
TREE.
THEY WERE THANKING THE TREE FOR
BEING STABLE FOR THAT MUCH TIME.
AND I THINK WE ALL NEED
SANCTUARY SOMEHOW.
SOME PEOPLE FIND IT HAVING A
MOMENT ALONE, VISITING A MANTRA,
THAT WOULD DO IT, SOMEONE ELSE
EXERCISES, SOMEONE ELSE RIDES A
BICYCLE, SO IT'S JUST A NICE
REMINDER ABOUT THE SANCTUARY AND
THE TREE IN TULE HAD THAT FOR
ME, IT WAS JUST A REALLY LOVELY
PLACE OF GATHERING.

Nam adds,
I WAS GOING TO FOLLOW
UP ON THAT BECAUSE YOU SAID THAT
THE TREE OFFERED SANCTUARY.
DOES THIS RECORD OFFER YOU
SANCTUARY?

Daniel responds,
WELL, I MADE THE RECORD AND
WE ALWAYS FIND -- WE GO INTO THE
DEPTHS OF RECORD-MAKING.
AND TO GO INTO THE DEPTHS OF
HARMONY SINGING, I SUPPOSE IS
SANCTUARY IN ITSELF.
JUST TO HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF
HOW THE PARTS INTERLOCKED AND --
SO YOU CAN'T BE THINKING ABOUT
YOURSELF TOO MUCH.
YOU HAVE TO BE THINKING ABOUT
THE OTHERS.
AND MAYBE THAT'S THE GIFT OF IT,
YOU KNOW, THAT IT FEELS SELFLESS
SOMEHOW.

Nam states,
WELL, YOU WEAR MANY HATS.
YOU'RE A PRODUCER AND YOU'RE A
MUSICIAN.
WHERE DO YOU FEEL MOST AT HOME,
PRODUCING OR AS AN ARTIST?

Daniel says,
WELL, THERE USED TO BE A
DIFFERENCE BACK IN THE DAY, YOU
KNOW, WHEN I WAS A KID DOING
THAT.
I WAS EITHER WORKING FOR
SOMEBODY ELSE OR I WAS WRITING A
SONG OF MY OWN.
BUT IN THE MODERN WORLD, THE
MORE WE TRAVEL, THE MORE WE FIND
IT ALL BLEEDS TOGETHER.
WE JUST CAME OFF THE ROAD.
WE DID THREE LOVELY SHOWS, WE
CALLED IT THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER
TOUR.
WE PLAYED MONTREAL, QUEBEC CITY,
AND TROIS-RIVIERES.
THERE WAS SOMETHING REALLY
LOVELY ABOUT THE POWER OF THOSE
THREE SHOWS AND BRINGING PEOPLE
TOGETHER AND WE WERE ABLE TO
TAKE THOSE RECORDINGS BACK TO
THE STUDIO HERE AND SO IF
THERE'S ANYTHING IN THERE THAT I
WANT TO VISIT, THEN IT COULD
BECOME PART OF A RECORD.
SO, I THINK IN MODERN TIMES,
EVERYTHING IS BLEEDING TOGETHER.
YOU CAN EVEN HAVE YOUR OWN RADIO
STATION.

(Laughing)

Nam responds,
THIS IS TRUE. IT MUST HAVE BEEN
SUCH AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE TO
BE ABLE TO SHARE THAT MUSIC AGAIN
WITH AN AUDIENCE. HOW DID IT FEEL?

Daniel says,
WELL, WE HADN'T PLAYED A SHOW
IN A WHILE, A COUPLE YEARS, AND
TO BE COMMUNICATING TO AN
AUDIENCE REALLY, THERE WAS
SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL ABOUT IT,
AND I'M GLAD YOU BROUGHT IT UP
BECAUSE IT PLAYS ON OUR SKILLS
OR OUR TALENT TO COMMUNICATE AND
WE HEAR OUR MUSIC THROUGH THE
EARS OF THE AUDIENCE AND WE
MODIFY THE SHOW ACCORDINGLY.
I MIGHT PLAY MY GUITAR A LITTLE
LONGER THAN I MIGHT OTHERWISE,
AND THEY MIGHT EGG ME ON.
IF I GET A CHEER FROM ONE GUITAR
PASSAGE, I'LL PLAY A SECOND ONE.
AND SO ON.
SO WE ALWAYS LEAVE OURSELVES A
WINDOW OF IMPROV WITHIN AN
ARRANGEMENT AND A SET AND
SOMETIMES SOMEONE WILL YELL OUT
A REQUEST AND WE'LL FULFIL THAT
REQUEST BECAUSE IT GIVES US A
CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING THAT
BELONGS TO THAT VERY MOMENT.
BUT IT WAS NICE TO SEE PEOPLE --
YOU'LL SAY IT ONE MORE TIME --
CONGREGATION NEVER GOES OUT OF
FASHION.

Nam adds,
IT DOESN'T. THERE'S NOTHING LIKE
LISTENING TO MUSIC LIVE, WITH AN
AUDIENCE, WITH OTHER PEOPLE,
EVEN THE SWEAT, THE FUNNY SMELLS,
I WILL NEVER, EVER COMPLAIN ABOUT
THAT, OR THE STICKY FLOORS, I REALLY
JUST WANT TO BE AROUND PEOPLE
AND LISTENING TO MUSIC.
BUT YOU JUST CELEBRATED A
BIRTHDAY. YOU TURNED SEVENTY
YEARS YOUNG.

Daniel argues,
THAT'S NOT TRUE. I'M FIFTY-TWO

Text reads, “Creating Timeless Music. From Hamilton to the World Stage”

(Laughing)

Nam replies,
YOU LOOK GREAT FOR FORTY-FIVE.
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY. BUT I
WANTED TO GO BACK A LITTLE BIT.
HOW DID A KID FROM HAMILTON END
UP ON THE WORLD STAGE THAT
YOU'RE ON NOW?

Daniel answers,
WELL, I'M A FRENCH CANADIAN
KID FOR STARTERS.
MY MOM RELOCATED THE FAMILY TO
HAMILTON WHEN I WAS ABOUT NINE
YEARS OLD.
I JUST GOT VERY EXCITED ABOUT
MUSIC AND I WASN'T ABOUT TO MAKE
A THREE-POINTER, SO I THOUGHT,
OKAY, I'LL PURSUE WHAT SEEMS TO
BE AN INCLINATION AND A TALENT
AND I JUST NEVER STOPPED.
AND THEN I BUMPED INTO THE
RECORDING MEDIUM AND I GOT
EXCITED ABOUT THAT. I ONLY EVER
STUCK TO MY STORY AND KEPT
GETTING BETTER AND BETTER AND
ONE DAY SOMEBODY CALLED ME A
NAME: HEY, YOU?
I SAID WHAT?
YOU'RE A PRODUCER.
OKAY. THAT'S WHAT I AM.

Nam states,
YOU'RE INCREDIBLY
HUMBLE BECAUSE ONCE UPON A TIME
YOU AND YOUR BROTHER WERE
RECORDING IN THE BASEMENT OF
YOUR HOME.
YOU HAD ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE COME
THROUGH THAT BASEMENT AND YOU
WERE A VERY YOUNG MAN AT THE
TIME, INCLUDING RICK JAMES EVEN
CAME TO HAMILTON TO RECORD WITH
YOU.
BUT YOU SAID SOMETHING IN A
PREVIOUS INTERVIEW THAT I FOUND
SO FASCINATING AND I THINK I
FOUND IT FASCINATING BECAUSE I'M
A MOM OF TWO SMALL KIDS.
BUT YOUR MOM WAS VERY
SUPPORTIVE.
AND YOU SAID SOMETHING ABOUT HOW
SHE ALLOWED YOU KIND OF LIKE THE
FREEDOM TO DISCOVER WHAT IT WAS
THAT MADE YOU HAPPY.
AND I KNOW YOUR MOM PASSED AWAY
LAST YEAR -- OUR CONDOLENCES.
WHEN YOU LOOK BACK ON YOUR
MUSICAL CAREER, WHAT WOULD YOU
SAY HAS BEEN THE BRAVEST THING
THAT YOU HAVE DONE TO GET YOU TO
THE POINT WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

Daniel says,
WELL, TO BE BRAVE, THAT'S EVERY DAY.
TO GET UP IN THE MORNING AND
MAYBE NOT FEEL TOO GOOD AND GO
IN THE STUDIO, MAYBE IT'S NOT
HAPPENING, BUT WE STICK TO IT
AND WE'RE BRAVE ENOUGH TO WAIT
FOR SOMETHING TO COME BY.
BRAVE ENOUGH TO HAND THE BALL
OVER TO WAYNE LORENZ WHO IS
SITTING ON THE COUCH HERE.
HE'S MY CO-PRODUCER AND IS A
BRILLIANT MIND.
AND SO I MAY NOT FEEL VERY GOOD
ON ONE DAY AND I'LL TALK TO
WAYNE AND HE WILL EXPLAIN THE
POSITION THAT WE HAVE.
WE'RE ALWAYS IN OWNERSHIP OF
SOMETHING.
WE'RE ALWAYS IN OWNERSHIP OF AN
APPROACH THAT BELONGS TO US AND
WE JUST NEED TO BE REMINDED THAT
THE RESET BUTTONS ARE AVAILABLE
TO US.
SO IT'S NICE TO HAVE A FRIEND TO
DRAG US THROUGH THE DOWN TIMES.
BUT BRAVE?
I DON'T THINK -- IT LIVES OUT
SOMEWHERE, IT LIVES INSIDE AND
EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY YOU'VE
GOT TO BE BRAVE.

Nam adds,
AND MUSIC IS SOMETHING
THAT HELPS PEOPLE THROUGH THOSE
MOMENTS WHEN YOU KIND OF JUST
WANT TO SIT ON THE COUCH, EAT
THOSE BON-BONS, AND MUSIC HAS A
WAY OF PULLING YOU OFF THAT
COUCH.
YOU KNOW, GROWING UP, WHO WERE
YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES?

Daniel responds,
I LIKE THE WAY YOU SAID
BON-BONS.
THAT'S ACTUALLY PRONOUNCED
BON-BON.

Nam laughs.

She replies,
BON-BON. I'LL PUT ON MY FRENCH
ACCENT, BON-BON.

Daniel states,
WELL, THE MOMENTS OF
INSPIRATION COME ALL KIND OF
WAYS.
BUT I WILL TELL YOU A SECRET.
WE DO KEEP SOME JELLYBEANS ON
HAND, AND IF I GET A LITTLE
DEPRESSED, I JUST GO DOWN AND
DROP A FEW OF THOSE AND COME
BACK IN A GOOD MOOD.

Nam says,
WELL AFTER YOU CAN GIVE ME
YOUR ADDRESS AND I CAN COME BY
AND GET SOME.

Daniel adds,
BUT INSPIRATION COMES IN ALL
KINDS OF WAYS.
SOMETIMES I'LL HEAR A PIECE OF
MUSIC AND THINK, OH, MY
GOODNESS, I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY
DID IT QUITE THAT WAY, WHETHER
IT BE SOMETHING FROM THE PAST OR
SOMETHING BRAND NEW.
USUALLY IN AN UNEXPECTED WAY IS
THE WAY IT HAPPENS FOR ME.
I'LL GO TO THE THAI RESTAURANT
ACROSS THE STREET AND THE GIRLS
ARE ALWAYS BLASTING SOMETHING OR
OTHER OFF THE STEREO, THINGS
THAT I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING
ABOUT. I SAY “WOW, THAT'S PRETTY
COOL. LET'S GO AND DO SOME
OF THAT.”
SO I TALK TO FRIENDS AND THEY'RE
FOREVER INSPIRING.
I GOT A CALL FROM NEIL YOUNG ON
MY BIRTHDAY.
IT WAS LOVELY TO HEAR HIS VOICE.
AND I THOUGHT ABOUT ALL THE
LOVELY THINGS WE HAD DONE
TOGETHER.
HIS HUMOUR, HIS CANADIAN
PERSPECTIVE, HIS COMMITMENT.
I THOUGHT ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS
JUST FROM ONE LITTLE PHONE CALL
FROM AN OLD FRIEND.

Nam replies,
WELL, YOU'VE SAID IN A
PREVIOUS INTERVIEW THAT I SAW,
YOU SAID THAT YOU GET IDEAS ALL
THE TIME AND SOMETIMES IT'S A
GIFT AND A CURSE.
WHY IS IT A CURSE?

Daniel responds,
WELL, IDEAS ARE ONLY IDEAS
UNTIL THEY GET PUT INTO PLAY.
SO THE CURSE MIGHT BE THAT WE
DON'T GET AROUND TO DOING
SOMETHING ABOUT EVERY ONE OF
THEM. I'M AN INVENTOR.
YOU KNOW, I HAVE BEAUTIFUL IDEAS
THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH
MUSIC, BUT I DON'T HAVE THE TIME
TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEM, YOU
KNOW?
BUT I CAME UP WITH ONE I'LL TELL
YOU ABOUT.
JOB CREATION PROGRAM THAT
ALSO -- IT'S A NICE CONTRIBUTION
TO INNER PEACE.
WE DO AWAY WITH THE BACKUP
BEEPER AND NOW YOU HAVE TO HAVE
A PERSON THAT REPLACES THE
BEEPER.
A LITTLE BIT LIKE THE CROSS-GUARDS,
YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU GO TO WORK,
THERE'S PEOPLE HELPING THE KIDS
TO CROSS. SO THIS IS THE SAME
CROSS GUARD GETS A JOB RIDING
SHOTGUN BUT THEY JUMP OUT
AND THEY DIRECT TRAFFIC FOR THE
BACKING OF A TRUCK AND NO MORE
BEEPING.

Nam adds,
NO MORE BEEPING.
ALL THAT FOR BEEPING!
I LOVE IT.

(Laughing)

Daniel says,
OH MY GOODNESS.
IF WE EVER WONDERED WHY
PEOPLE ARE JUMPING OFF BRIDGES,
IT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE BEING
TORTURED BY BEEPS.

Nam replies,
WITH THE BEEPS.
SOMETIMES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
NIGHT I ACTUALLY WAKE UP AND
HEAR IT IN MY HEAD.
THERE IS ANOTHER SONG ON THE
ALBUM THAT I WANTED TO TALK TO
YOU ABOUT, IT'S CALLED POWER,
AND THAT APPARENTLY INSPIRED BY
A MESSAGE FROM YOUR LONG-TIME
COLLABORATOR BRIAN ENO ABOUT THE
INJUSTICES OCCURRING IN UGANDA,
THE COUNTRY THAT I WAS BORN IN.
YOU AND BRIAN FIRST MET IN
HAMILTON.
WHAT WAS IT ABOUT I GUESS YOUR
CHEMISTRY, YOUR -- THE WAY YOU
UNDERSTOOD EACH OTHER THAT
FOSTERED THIS RELATIONSHIP?

Daniel states,
WELL, I APPRECIATED THAT
BRIAN ENO CAME IN WITH A VISION
AND HE WAS GOING AFTER SOMETHING
THAT HE HAD PUT A LOT OF THOUGHT
INTO.
BUT IT WAS VERY -- QUITE FAR OUT
AND, LET'S SAY, NON-COMMERCIAL
AT THAT TIME.
BUT WE DOVE INTO THE PROCESSING
OF SOUND AND IT REALLY OPENED UP
A LOT OF DOORS FOR ME IN MY OWN
MIND, YOU KNOW.
IF NOT BUSINESS DOORS
A WAY OF LOOKING AT
MUSIC AND THAT WAS PRETTY
MUCH -- FROM THAT EXPERIENCE, I
DECIDED THAT I WOULD ALWAYS WORK
ON THINGS THAT I LOVE THE MOST
AND I CAME UP POOR SO WE HAD TO
RECORD A LOT OF THINGS TO MAKE
SOME CASH TO BUY EQUIPMENT.
I HAVE NO REGRETS ABOUT IT.
I DID REACH THAT CROSSROADS
WHERE I THOUGHT FROM HERE ON
I'M GOING TO STICK WITH WHAT I
LOVE THE MOST. I HOPE
EVERYONE HAS A CHANCE TO
GET THERE WITHIN THEIR OWN
COMMITMENTS.

Nam responds,
DO YOU THINK, YOU SAID SOMETHING
REALLY INTERESTING THERE BECAUSE
I GREW UP ALSO POOR, NEW
IMMIGRANT TO THE COUNTRY, AND
THAT SHAPED THE WAY THAT I SEE
THE WORLD.
HOW DO YOU THINK THAT HELPED YOU
SEE THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY AFTER
YOU REACHED SUCH ASTRONOMICAL
SUCCESS?

Daniel says,
WELL, WHEN YOU -- WHEN IT'S A
REALISTIC SITUATION, YOU KNOW,
IN MY CASE, WE DIDN'T HAVE A
DADDY AROUND AND MY MOM HAD FOUR
KIDS. SHE WAS PRETTY YOUNG.
I KNEW THAT I HAD TO WORK OR
ELSE, YOU KNOW, IT WASN'T JUST
GOING TO FALL OUT OF THE SKY.
SO IT CREATED -- IT WAS
DEFINITELY A REAL ENVIRONMENT
WHERE I HAD TO MAKE A GO OF
THINGS, AND I THINK THAT SETS A
STANDARD, YOU KNOW, SOMEBODY
MIGHT CALL IT A WORK ETHIC.
BUT I THINK IN MY CASE I LEARNED
VERY YOUNG THAT IF I WASN'T
ABOUT TO DO IT -- IF I DIDN'T DO
IT MYSELF, THEN SOMEONE ELSE WAS
NOT GOING TO DO IT FOR ME.

Nam adds,
YOU HAVE A NEW SINGLE
OUT CALLED "TORN AGAIN" AND IT'S
ANOTHER PROJECT THAT YOU'RE
WORKING ON AND THIS ONE FEATURES
A RECORDING OF LEONARD COHEN
RECITING A POEM.
I WANTED TO PLAY A SHORT CLIP
FOR OUR VIEWERS.
SHELDON, PLEASE ROLL.

Daniel says, THANK YOU, NAM.

Black and white footage shows a child fishing with a basket.

Leonard Cohen recites,
YOU SMILE AT YOUR SUFFERING
THE SWEETEST REPRIEVE
WHY DID YOU LEAVE US?
WHY DID YOU LEAVE?
YOU KICKED OFF YOUR SANDALS
AND SHAKE OUT YOUR HAIR
IT'S TORN WHERE YOU'RE DANCING
IT'S TORN EVERYWHERE.

Text reads, “Creating Timeless Music, Torn Again”

Nam asks,
WHEN YOU'RE WORKING
WITH A VOICE AS SACRED AS
LEONARD COHEN, BECAUSE WATCHING
THAT AND HEARING HIS VOICE, YOUR
WHOLE BODY IS PRESENT WHEN
YOU'RE WATCHING AND LISTENING TO
THAT.
HOW DO YOU FIND THE BALANCE
BETWEEN KEEPING ITS AUTHENTICITY
LIKE MR. COHEN'S VOICE AND THEN
TRYING TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT
WITH IT, AS YOU'VE DONE HERE?

Daniel replies,
WELL, WE HAD A JOB WHICH WAS
TO FRAME LEONARD'S VOICE AND HIS
WORDS AND PAY A COMPLIMENT.
SO WE WERE -- BUT THAT'S OFTEN
THE CASE WITH THE CENTRE OF ANY
MUSICAL PICTURE, BE IT A MELODY,
WHAT IS THE CENTRE AND HOW WILL
YOU BEST COMPLIMENT THAT?
IF YOU THINK OF IT AS A PICTURE,
THEN SOME THINGS NEED TO BE IN
THE SHADOWS A LITTLE BIT AND
THERE MIGHT BE A MOON IN THE
DISTANCE, AND THE FOREGROUND
WILL BE BETTER FOR HAVING A MOON
IN THE DISTANCE.
YOU DON'T WANT THE MOON RIGHT
NEXT TO THE FRONT OF THE
PICTURE.
SO WE THINK OF IT -- WE THINK IN
VISUAL TERMS.
I SUPPOSE THAT'S WHERE, YOU
KNOW, THE POWER OF INSTINCT
COMES INTO PLAY.
YOU KNOW, WE DO WHAT WE CAN TO
COMPLIMENT THE CENTRE OF THE
ATTRACTION AND TO HAVE A CHANCE
TO DO THAT FOR LEONARD WAS A --
C'EST UN GRAND PLASIR, AS THEY
SAY IN TROIS-RIVIERES.

Nam responds,
I WANTED TO TRANSLATE
THAT, BUT MY FRENCH IS NOT THAT
GREAT.

Daniel adds,
WELL, YOU GET THE IDEA.

Nam says,
I DO GET THE IDEA.
I JUST WANTED TO CIRCLE BACK TO
HOW WE STARTED THE CONVERSATION
AND WE WERE TALKING ABOUT HOW
THIS NEW ALBUM MAKES YOU FEEL AS
IF YOU'RE IN CHURCH.
AND I'M CURIOUS: WHAT ROLE DOES
RELIGION PLAY IN YOUR MUSIC?

Text reads, “Creating Timeless Music. The Maker”

Daniel answers,
I DON'T THINK RELIGION PLAYS
MUCH OF A ROLE IN MY MUSIC NOW.
I GREW UP CATHOLIC AND I SERVED
AT THE ALTAR, AND SO I HAVE THAT
IN MY PAST.
BUT WE TRY AND RAISE THE SPIRIT,
IF WE CAN, AND MY LATEST SLOGAN
IS WE TRY AND WAKE UP SOMETHING
INSIDE A LISTENER THAT MIGHT BE
DORMANT IN THERE BUT WE HAVE THE
RESPONSIBILITY TO PUSH THAT
LITTLE BUTTON THAT MAY MAKE
SOMEONE WANT TO BE A BETTER
PERSON OR THINK A CERTAIN WAY,
AND I THINK THAT'S THE JOB OF
ART.
IT SHOULDN'T BE -- WE SHOULDN'T
BE IN AWE OF ART.
WE SHOULD BE IN AWE OF ITS
EFFECT.

Nam replies,
AND YOU WORKED WITH SO
MANY DIFFERENT ARTISTS, LIKE
PETER GABRIEL, U2, BOB DYLAN,
EMMYLOU HARRIS, THE NEVILLE
BROTHERS, WILLIE NELSON, THE
LIST GOES ON AND ON AND ON.
I'M CURIOUS, WHAT DOES A
COLLABORATION WITH YOU LOOK
LIKE?
DO YOU JUST PICK UP THE PHONE
AND CALL BONO AND SAY, YOU KNOW,
"I WANT TO DO SOMETHING NEXT
THURSDAY"?

Daniel says,
OH, NO, NO.
I CALL BONO, WHO IS MY AGENT, I
SAY, "CAN YOU HOOK ME UP WITH
DYLAN?"AND HE DID.

(Laughing)

Daniel continues,
NO, I'VE NEVER BEEN GOOD AT
HUSTLING FOR WORK.
THE WORK ITSELF HAS OPENED THE
DOORS, YOU KNOW, AND IT SPEAKS
LOUDER THAN ME.
SO IF YOU MANAGE TO DO SOMETHING
GOOD ALONG THE WAY AND
SOMEBODY HEARS, THEN MAYBE YOU
MIGHT GET A PHONE CALL.
THAT'S PRETTY MUCH BEEN THE
PROCESS.

Nam states,
WE KNOW WE LIVE IN A TIME AND
DAY WHERE PEOPLE ARE THINKING
ABOUT THE LEGACY THAT THEY'VE
CREATED, THE WORK THAT THEY'VE
DONE, AND I KNOW THE WORK YOU'VE
DONE IS VERY IMPORTANT.
FROM ALL THE THINGS I'VE READ
ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH YOU,
THEY'VE ALWAYS SAID THAT YOU'RE
A STANDUP INDIVIDUAL.
YOU'RE NOT ONLY TALENTED, BUT
YOU'RE A GOOD PERSON.
WHAT DO YOU SEE YOUR LEGACY AS
BEING?

Daniel responds,
WELL, THE MORE WE DO THIS,
THE MORE WE THINK ABOUT, YOU
KNOW, THE EFFECT -- THAT THE
MUSIC MIGHT LIVE ON, IS A NICE
WAY TO LOOK AT IT.
IF YOU KEEP TOUCHING HEARTS WITH
SOMETHING THAT YOU PUT A LOT OF
WORK INTO, THEN I THINK THAT'S
PROBABLY A GOOD JOB DONE.
LEGACY?
WELL, WHAT I SAID A MINUTE AGO
STILL APPLIES, THAT WE TRY AND
PUSH THAT BUTTON THAT MIGHT
CAUSE SOMEONE TO CHANGE A LITTLE
SOMETHING ABOUT HOW THEY SEE
LIFE OR LOOK AT THEMSELVES.
SO THAT'S IT.
WE’RE WAKER-UPPERS.
WE TRY TO WAKE UP SOMETHING
INSIDE A LISTENER.

Nam says,
WELL, THIS HAS BEEN
ABSOLUTELY, LIKE, A HIGHLIGHT
FOR ME, AND I JUST WANTED TO
GIVE A SHOUTOUT TO COLIN KISH,
WHO IS EDITOR FOR THIS SHOW, AND
HE'S A BIG FAN AND I WAS JOKING
WITH HIM THAT HE SHOULD HAVE
DONE THE INTERVIEW, BUT I JUST
WANTED YOU TO KNOW HOW MUCH
COLIN APPRECIATES YOUR WORK AND
HOW MUCH WE ALL APPRECIATE YOUR
WORK.
AND AS I SHOWED YOU BEFORE WHEN
WE WERE OFF-CAMERA, THE LEGACY.
THIS IS, YOU KNOW, MY HIGH
SCHOOL SOUNDTRACK.
SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Nam holds up a vinyl copy of U2’s “The Joshua Tree” album.

Daniel replies,
WELL, YOU'VE HEARD OF THE NAM
SHOW?

Nam responds,
WELL, NOW I HAVE, YES.

Daniel says,
THE NAM SHOW IS A BIG, YOU
KNOW, ELECTRONIC SHOW, IT SHOWS
UP IN LA, ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Nam states, I HAD NO IDEA.

Daniel adds,
NOW WE'RE ON THE REAL NAM
SHOW. VERY NICE TO MEET YOU,
NAM.

Nam responds,
IT WAS A PLEASURE.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
AND CONTINUED SUCCESS.

Text reads, “Creating Timeless Music. Produced by: Preeti Bhuyan @PreetiBhuyan”

Watch: Daniel Lanois: Creating Timeless Music