One of the highlights of the Live Earth special was your collaboration with Keith Urban on “Gimme Shelter.” It was a really fiery version of that and I think it really picked up the whole thing that day and I was just wondering, are there any other dream collaborations you’d like to do that might startle people or surprise your fans?
I’ve already said for a little bit that I’d like to do something with the White Stripes. And I don’t know if that would startle people, but I’d definitely like to do that. And, you know, just something interesting like even with the Queens of the Stone Age, or do something fly with like a Linkin Park or a Green Day or U2 or something like that. Or Coldplay! I’d love to do that. Just things that are not quite of the same world, but when you put them together, it’d be really interesting.
What is it about the White Stripes that thrills you so, and do you think your fans would follow with a Queens of the Stone Age, White Stripes kind of production?
Well I love the White Stripes ’cause they’re very, very raw. It’s very cut-and-dry. It’s drums, and it’s guitar or it’s a little drums and piano or it’s a little drums and bass and it’s just that simple and I just love that. But it’s still raw and it’s still intense and it’s still fun and it’s still edgy. And I just think that combining that style with mine, which already has got a kind of raw feel to it and my voice is that kind of thing, and I think we could do something really, really interesting that mixes rock and soul together with blues and just emotion in a way that would be really, really touching.
How about African music? When you traveled to Africa, did you find after that did you find any African rhythms sneaking into some music that you were tinkering with?
Definitely. Well, it was more kind of the Egyptian rhythms that kind of got to me from my trip. It was the pentatonic scales and the way that the rhythms and the use of the drums and the sound that really got me going.
Have you ever given any thought to doing a straight jazz album? Has that ever crossed your mind? Do you think it was take hold like what Norah Jones did for jazz in 2002?
Yes! I have given that thought actually. I’ve always thought of doing my own version of — kind of creating new standards, so to speak, and really taking those beautiful, beautiful, classic feelings and just translating it into something brand new and intimate and personal.
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