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Warren Haynes Says the Bar is Set Too High For Young Rock Bands

Warren Haynes
Cory Schwartz, Getty Images

The problem with modern rock ‘n’ roll bands isn’t that there isn’t enough of them, or that they aren’t any good. It’s that fans expect too much. Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes says newcomers are expected to compare themselves to legends like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.

The guitarist doesn’t go as far as to suggest these bands shouldn’t draw that comparison, however. In an interview with Billboard he says he sees plenty of young bands “doing it the right way,” that is, focusing on the music before the fame.

“I believe for really amazing music to come about in the modern day similar to that movement it will have to happen organically and not by second-guessing what they think people want to hear,” he says.

Haynes admits he’s never considered how one of his albums — including his work with Gov’t Mule — will be received by rock radio, and until his recent solo album ‘Man in Motion’ he hasn’t gotten much attention at all.

“I’ve built my whole career making decisions based on what I thought was best for me and never trying to second-guess the public, which is a really dangerous thing because by the time you think you’ve figured out what the marketplace wants, it’s ready to change again. I’ve been very fortunate, and I don’t know if that’s good advice for somebody else, but it’s worked for me.”

‘Man in Motion’ is nominated for Best Blues Album at the 54th Grammy Awards in February. According to his website, he’ll begin a run of dates with the Allman Brothers Band on March 9 in New York City.

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