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Thread: Jimi Hendrix - Unit Magazine Interview 1968

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    Jimi Hendrix - Unit Magazine Interview 1968

    UNIT MAGAZINE - ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 1968

    +The blurb on your first LP says you are trying to create, create, create. Are you satisfied with what you are creating?

    We like to have our own sound, but were not satisfied, not yet. You might be pleased with what you're doing once in a while, but never really satisfied. We're pleased with the LP we've just finished for instance. But the ideas we got out of it could go on to our next one.

    +How does the Experience get such fusion when you are basically a blues man, Noel a rock man and Mitch a jazzman?

    I don't know! Actually this is more like a freestyle thing. We know what song were going to play and what key it's in, and the chord sequence and we just take it from there

    +How far can you go with the music you're playing now?

    'I don't know. You can go on until you bore yourself to death I guess. You got to try something else. I think I'll start all over again and come back as a king bee.

    +You write all your own material, where does it come from?

    Just from me. We go to clubs a lot and go all around in taxis and you happen to see a lot of things. You see everything, experience everything as you live. Even if you're living in a little room, you see a lot of things if you have imagination. The songs just come.

    +Loneliness is each a drag?

    That's what it is really sometimes. That was the song I liked best of all we did. I'm glad it didn't get big and get thrown around.

    +Does this mean you're an introvert?

    Well sometimes. Right then when I wrote "Midnight Lamp" I was feeling kind of down like that. But really I have to catch myself and find out. So you go into different moods, and when you write your mood comes through. So you can go back and listen to your records and know how you were feeling then and how your moods change at different times.

    +But loneliness is such a drag is a whispery quiet thing. How come you put these words in among powerful extrovert stuff?

    I like to play loud. I always did like to play loud. The worlds of the song just come. I don't know how it comes about, it starts off quiet until we get into it.'

    +How much do you owe to a blues background?

    Not necessarily anything! I went south and just listened to the way the people played blues guitar and I dug it. But then I like a lot of other things too. That's why we try to do our own stuff, make something new.

    +There's a lot of controversy over the responsibilities of pop stars. Do you you yourself feel any?

    That's silly. Whatever a cat does in his private life should be his own business. Everybody knows this, but you can say it a million times and it still won't get through to some people. I don't really feel responsible too much to myself.
    Maybe that's all.

    +Do you ever feel like going away and sorting yourself out like maybe Dylan did?

    I think that's going to have to happen soon anyway because everyone's getting so tired and you work so hard sometimes and it gets to be really frustrating'

    +How come you got caught up in the hippy scene?

    lt just happened to come about that we were around at the time of psychedelia and all the in-clothes. I dug that scene, but not necessarily what you call the hippy scene, because I don't like classification anyway. Regardless of the scene, we just happened to be playing freak out and psychedelic things, but it does bother us because psychedelia only means mind expansion anyway. I can't hear a single word the Pink Floyd are saying. There's so many other types of music. We just happened to be in that groove, that bag right then.'

    +Do you try to communicate by words or sound when you're on stage or both? Because the words never usually come out.

    Most of the songs were doing now, people know the words, I think, but it probably doesn't mean much to them. They just want somebody to break their neck on stage.

    +Does that mean that you write primarily for yourself?

    Oh definitely. One song we did called 'I Don't Live Today" was dedicated to the American Indian and all minority depression groups. All I did was just use a few words and they said "what does that mean"? That doesn't mean anything because there was only three or four lines in there anyway.'

    +How about Donovan and his little scene!

    He's nice, kinda sweet! He's a nice little cat in his own groove, all about flowers and people wearing golden underwear. I like Donovan as a person, but nobody is going to listen to this "love" bit. I like Dylan's music better because it's more earthy and live. "Mellow Yellow" is slang in the States for really groovy. "Sunshine Superman" means that he can get his girl. Anyway that's my interpretation. I'd like to play some sessions with Dylan, his group ought to be more creative. These days people think that everyone else ought to have trips and everyone is singing about trips.

    +How about straight piss taking like the Mothers?

    I like to listen to them, but we do our own thing. You know we had a chance to go into that bag because everybody's mind is still open. But we decided that we didn't want to go that way completely towards strict freak out.

    +Are there any pressures on you as to what material you record?

    No, none at all. We're just writing and playing what we want. But our moods change, like once we wanted to do a Dylan song as one of our singles. Than we wanted this and that, but we always wind up doing our own regardless whether they flop or not. At least we're doing our own thing. If you do someone else's song every fifth single, it shows something is missing. But you just don't throw anything out on record. I like to be involved and I like music. The same old story. All that goody goody stuff. Music is a love to me. The money's great too!

    +What level are you aiming for when you make a record, the kids?

    No, not necessarily. We quite naturally want people to like it. That's the reason for putting the record out. You see I have no taste. I couldn't say what's a good record and what's a bad one really. I don't have no feelings about commercial records. I don't know what a commerical record really is. So what we do is write and try to get it together the best as possible for anybody who'd really dig it. It doesn't make any difference who.

    +How big a part do visuals take in your stage act?

    I get a kick out of playing. It's the best part of the whole thing. You just do it when you feel like it sometimes. I used to feel like it. But not anymore man, you would have a heart attack if you were doing it every night like we were doing three or four months ago. We'd be dead by this time. You can't do it right unless you feel it. Half of the things I do I don't even know it because I just felt like it at the time. If you have everything planned out and one little thing does wrong you think, "Oh, what am I supposed to be doing now?" "Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be going like this... Hi everybody, I'm doing it."

    +At this point a young lady from the 'Manchester Independent' asked Mr. Hendrix as to whether there was anything he wanted materially. This question was slightly distorted by an outburst of primitive laughter from the male section of the gathered assembly. She asked if there was anything left?

    There's a whole lot of things left. Thousands of them. I see them downtown everyday. Millions of them! Marvellous!

    +What about the Beatles and the things they're doing now?

    I think it's good. They're one group you really can't put down because they're just to much and it's so embarrassing man, when America is sending over The Monkees. I'm so embarrassed that America could be so stupid as to make somebody like that. They could have at least done it with a group that has something to offer. They've got groups in the States that are starving to death, trying to get breaks and then these fairies come up.

    +Do you ever think of going back to the States?

    I think about it every single day, really miss it. Like the west coast. Nothing has to happen to me. I just like to be out there. I like the weather, the scenery and some of the people. You can have a chocolate milkshake In a drug store, chewing gum at a gas station and soup from little machines on the road. It's great, it's beautiful. It's all screwed up and nasty and prejudiced. And it has everything!

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