Bob Dylan likes modern music so much that he literally wrote the book on it — or, at least, a book on it: the contentious The Philosophy of Modern Song. The legendary musician went into further detail about his own personal listening habits, however, in a new Q&A with The Wall Street Journal, revealing that his roster of favorite artists includes Eminem, Metallica, Wu-Tang Clan, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and more.
Firstly in the interview, Dylan talked about how he first fell in love with music in the 1950s, turning to new-at-the-time sources like the radio, portable turntables, and jukeboxes: “Without postwar technology these songs may have dissipated and been overlooked,” he said. “The recording process brought the right people to the top, the most innovative, the ones with the greatest talent.”
But the times, they are a-changin’, and Dylan has slightly updated his methods of music listening. He spins CDs, tunes in to satellite radio, and even indulges in streaming. (Drop the Spotify profile, Bob!) He still does have an affinity for the sound of old vinyl, however, so he makes sure to get his fix.
“I bought three [tube record players] in an antique store in Oregon about 30 years ago,” Dylan said. “They’re just little, but the tone quality is so powerful and miraculous, has so much depth, it always takes me back to the days when life was different and unpredictable. You had no idea what was coming down the road, and it didn’t matter. The laws of time didn’t apply to you.”
Interviewer Jeff Slate then asked Dylan about how he discovers music these days. The musician revealed he mostly comes across new artists by accident, through recommendations, or by just checking out a show: “The Oasis brothers, I like them both,” he said, which we can only assume is a reference to Liam and Noel Gallagher, before mentioning his admiration of Julian Casablancas.
“I’ve seen Metallica twice,” Dylan went on. “I’ve made special efforts to see Jack White and Alex Turner [of Arctic Monkeys]… 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.”
So, now, we have adequate source material to envision Bob Dylan hyping himself up in the morning with “Lose Yourself” or “Enter Sandman” or, heck, maybe even “C.R.E.A.M.” if he’s feeling extra ambitious.
Dylan had a lot to gush over in this Q&A, but he wasn’t so flattering towards everybody in his new book: Chris Frantz told him to “suck a dick” in response to a passage where Dylan opined that Elvis Costello and The Attractions were better than “any of their contemporaries,” perhaps a dig at Frantz’s band Talking Heads.
Dylan’s publisher Simon & Schuster also caught some heat, too, having to issue refunds for the limited autographed edition of the book because fans found out they were only “penned replicas.”