It’s not exactly been completely under wraps for along time, but Super Heavy, the super group comprising Dave Stewart, Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damien Marley, AR Rahman have confirmed they have recorded an album, 18 tracks in fact, and that they are in the process of finding a record company with an aim to release in September. Dave Stewart, no stranger to Super Groups, the Travelling Wilburys formed and recorded in his house in Los Angeles after all, has been working with this incredible eclectic mix of talented people. I’m sure reading the following interviews, the music will not be able to be pigeonholed into any category!
After featuring in the New York Times yesterday, an official announcement was made via Rolling Stone, both featured below, however this is not the first time the project has been mentioned in the press. Dave Stewart also gave an interview to Beatweek. In the interview, Dave also revealed that the songwriting process included all five participants and that the songs were born out of extended jams which lasted as long as forty minutes apiece, and includes vocal contributions across the board: “It was like a huge long jam session that went on for months that then slowly turned into structure.” Again, some of these sessions have appeared in tweets by Dave Stewart over the last 18 months.
In September 2009 in an interview with Dave Stewart and Cindy Gomez for Macleans.CA , the details of the band were mentioned, as well as the possibility of working with Nokia. With Nokia’s currently shift in focus, this is less likely to happen now.
So exciting times in the world of Dave Stewart, this must be such an amazing year for him, Ghost The Musical, Stevie Nicks – In your Dreams album, The Blackbird Diaries, his first solo album for 15 years and now Super Heavy, what more is there still to come?
Rolling Stone : Mick Jagger Forms Supergroup with Dave Stewart, Joss Stone and Damian Marley
For the first time since the Rolling Stones formed nearly 50 years ago, Mick Jagger is part of a new band: Super Heavy – featuring Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damian Marley and Indian film composer A.R. Rahman. The band has quietly been recording together over the past 18 months, with their debut LP planned for sometime around September. “It’s different from anything else I’ve ever been involved in,” Jagger tells Rolling Stone. “The music is very wide-ranging – from reggae to ballads to Indian songs in Urdu.”
The group got its start two years ago when Dave Stewart called Jagger from his home in Jamaica. “I live in Lime Hall right above St. Ann’s Bay,” says Stewart. “It’s kind of the jungle, and sometimes I’d hear three sound systems all playing different things. I always love that, along with Indian orchestras. I said to Mick, ‘How could we make a fusion?’ We were talking about an experiment, and then we started talking about voices. It was all born from that conversation.”
Jagger loved the idea, and after lots of brainstorming and phone calls around the world, they settled on Stone, A.R. Rahman and Marley – whose rhythm section helped flesh out the band. “We wanted a convergence of different musical styles,” says Jagger. “We were always overlapping styles, but they were nevertheless separate.”
About 18 months ago, the band gathered in a Los Angeles studio. None of them had prepared any music. “We didn’t know what the hell we were doing,” says Stewart. “We were just jamming and making a noise. It was like when a band first starts up in your garage. Sometimes Damien would kick it off and then Joss would sing something on top of it. We might have a 22 minute jam, and it would become a six minute song.”
The loose method was inspiring for Jagger. “One of the beauties is that, just speaking as a vocalist, I did other things,” Jagger says. “I played guitar and harmonica, but there’s four vocalist on the album. Not everything was reliant on me.” The band’s name came from some improvised vocals by Marley. “He was just singing ‘Heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, super heavy,'” says Stewart. “We thought that sounded good and it sort of stuck with us.”
Jagger is confident that Stones fans will embrace the group. “It is a different kind of record that what people would expect,” he says. “It’s not all weird and strange though. I think Stones fans will think it’s a bit odd, but they’ll find most of it accessible. They’ve heard me play harmonica before and a lot of it is pretty high energy.”
As of now, there are no plans to bring Super Heavy on the road. “We’re experimenting at the moment and just taking it day by day,” says Stewart. “I think if we’re rehearsing and it sounds great and people love the idea then nobody would rule out the possibility of it.”
Might Jagger’s other group be hitting the road at some point in the future? In an interview with USA Today, Keith Richards said he was optimistic. “Something’s blowing in the wind,”he said. “The idea’s there. We kind of know we should do it, but nobody’s put their finger on the moment yet. This is what we want to ask each other: Do we want to go out in a blaze of glory? We can, if Mick and Charlie feel like I do, that we can still turn people on. We don’t have to prove nothing anymore. I just love playing, and I miss the crowd.”
When asked if the Stones are going to tour next year, Jagger just chuckles. “I don’t have any announcement to make at the moment,” he says. “I’m just, uh, ya know…just doing this right now.”
Beatweek.COM : Dave Stewart Interview
Dave Stewart is gearing up for the release of his new blues-leaning solo album The Blackbird Diaries next month, but in the mean time news has leaked out about a previously secret supergroup he’s formed called “Super Heavy” with the likes of Mick Jagger and Joss Stone. Speaking with Beatweek today about his solo record just hours after the Super Heavy news happened to have leaked out, Dave peeled back the curtains on the Super Heavy collaboration which also features Damian Marley and AR Rahman.
“It’s unfortunate,” Stewart told Beatweek about the fact that the news of the secret project managed to leak. “We’ve kept this quiet for two years. We have eighteen songs recorded and mixed. We have all the staff and we’re working on cradling this.”
He went on to explain the nature of the music itself. “It’s funny because it’s a world mixture of musicians, England, Jamaica, rock, blues, whatever, but it doesn’t sound anything like world music. When somebody says ‘world music’ I always imagine people knitting yogurt sweaters, if you know what I mean. I love loads of ethnic music, but this sounds kind of tough and sort of edgy and bluesy, with Indian and Jamaican beats. I haven’t heard anything like it so it’s hard to explain it, but I think people from all different walks of life will like it.”
Dave also revealed that the songwriting process included all five participants and that the songs were born out of extended jams which lasted as long as forty minutes apiece, and includes vocal contributions across the board: “It was like a huge long jam session that went on for months that then slowly turned into structure.”
He also shared that he’s expecting the Super Heavy album to come out in “September, most likely.” And on the subject of whether his former Eurythmics collaborator Annie Lennox might be joining the fray at any point, he says that it’s not likely because she’s focused on her AIDS Foundation work and she’s on a “different parallel track, if you know what I mean.”
Dave Stewart fans who don’t want to wait until September to get their hands on the Super Heavy album can partake in his solo record entitled The Blackbird Diaries on June 28th, a blues-fueled record which includes guest spots from the likes of Stevie Nicks, Colbie Caillat, and Martina McBride. For much more on Stewart’s solo record as well as more details on Super Heavy, check out Beatweek Magazine and Beatweek.com in June.
Macleans.CA : 2009 mention of Super Heavy
Source : Macleans.CA “Nokia is working on deals to offer movie and TV downloads as well as on collaborations with Spike Lee and Heroes creator Tim Kring. Stewart has been a key point man, bringing Nokia together with record and studio executives, as well as directors like Baz Luhrmann, and established performers like Jagger. Jagger is part of Stewart’s “stealth” band Super Heavy, a collaboration between Stewart, Jagger, Joss Stone, A. R. Rahman, and Bob Marley’s son Damian, expected to premiere on the Nokia network.”