Rock Candy

Bob Dylan doesn’t talk to the press often, so when he does, he often says something fans wouldn’t expect. That was definitely the case with his new interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Dylan took part in the outlet’s “20 Odd Questions” series to promote his latest book, The Philosophy of Modern Song. One of the questions asked was how the iconic singer-songwriter discovers new music today. Dylan said, “Mostly by accident, by chance … Performers and songwriters recommend things to me. Others I just wake up and they’re there. Some I’ve seen live.”

He then lists a surprising variety of artists he enjoys saying, “The Oasis Brothers, I like them both, Julian Casablancas, the Klaxons, Grace Potter. I’ve seen Metallica twice. I’ve made special efforts to see Jack White and Alex Turner. Zac Deputy, I’ve discovered him lately. He’s a one-man show like Ed Sheeran, but he sits down when he plays. I’m a fan of Royal Blood, Celeste, Rag and Bone Man, Wu-Tang, Eminem, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, anybody with a feeling for words and language, anybody whose vision parallels mine.”

Dylan goes on to shout out Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and one of his solo songs. He said, “There’s a Duff McKagan song called ‘Chip Away,’ that has profound meaning for me. It’s a graphic song. Chip away, chip away, like Michelangelo, breaking up solid marble stone to discover the form of King David inside. He didn’t build him from the ground up, he chipped away the stone until he discovered the king. It’s like my own songwriting, I overwrite something, then I chip away lines and phrases until I get to the real thing. Shooter Jennings produced that record. It’s a great song.”

The whole Dylan interview is well worth the read, but it’s behind a paywall on the WSJ’s website. Fortunately, it’s available for free on

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights