Lenny Kravitz Explains Accidental One-Man Band Recording Sessions
Lenny Kravitz's recently released 11th album, Raise Vibration, features instruments that were mostly all played by Kravitz himself.
That’s the way he’s worked since his 1989 debut LP, Let Love Rule – but he said he never wanted to work as a one-man band.
“When I did the first record, I never intended on playing all the instruments and doing all that,” Kravitz told Billboard in a new interview. “I couldn't afford to pay anybody. I was trying to get these guys I knew to come play and it wasn't sounding right, and I didn't have the money to get the real guys that I wanted. So my engineer at the time was, like, ‘I heard you play the drums, the guitar, keyboards and percussion. You know how to play all this stuff, so why don't you do it yourself?’ And I kept thinking, ‘Yeah but that's no fun.’”
Kravitz said he "envisioned a recording session like the stuff I watched as a teenager, like watching the Rolling Stones in the studio with Godard’s Sympathy for the Devil. That's what I wanted to be doing. I wanted to be hanging out and then partying in the studio. But that didn't happen, and I wound up doing most of the work myself and it just became my thing. From Let Love Rule to Raise Vibration, it's been the way I operate, and I love it.”
He also revealed that “It’s Enough,” the soft-spoken but hard-hitting lead track from Raise Vibration, had started life as a completely different kind of song, until his daughter Zoe expressed her opinions on the early version.
“What's funny is that when I first wrote the song, it was a punk rock song, believe it or not,” he said. “It came out like the Ramones, and it was very angry. Same lyrics, though. Then my daughter heard it [and] she was like, ‘I don't really dig it.’
“She said, ‘Nah, I don't really like the punk rock thing.’ She thought it was cliche somewhat; I don't want to put words in her mouth. So I thought about it, and it got re-imagined doing it with this funky groove and driving bass line, but me singing the lyrics very softly. I feel it made the message even more powerful. So Zoe was 100 percent right. It was cool. I took advice from my kid and she pointed me in the right direction.”
You can watch the NSFW “It’s Enough” video below.