Beck immediately went to work when Paul McCartney sent him “Find My Way,” transforming the cool-crooned track—off McCartney’s 2020 release, McCartney III—the third installation in the McCartney series that started in 1970 and followed up with a second incarnation, 1980’s McCartney II—into some funkadelic Beck-ness.
The remixed version appears on McCartney III Reimagined, out April 16, which also features remixes of McCartney III tracks by St. Vincent, Phoebe Bridgers, the Gorillaz’s Damon Albarn, Anderson .Paak, and Dominic Fike, who recently released his version of “The Kiss of Venus.”
On “Find My Way,” Beck says that he took the vocal and started from scratch. “I’ll just build a whole new song, and that particular song, I actually changed it from major to minor, so I had to do a little bit of altering, but I think it served the groove a bit,” says Beck during a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music. “Paul did the album himself as well, playing on the instruments, so it’s sort of done in the spirit of the record that he made. I think that’s what is great about remixes. It completely takes liberties and takes the song somewhere unexpected.”
Beck says they first met in the early 2000s while he was hanging out with Radiohead producer Nigel Goodrich, who was working on McCartney’s 2001 release Driving Rain. Always influenced by The Beatles, Becks considers the band a “collage.”
“So much of that post-war music… rock and roll, R&B, blues, all of it is a mashup,” says Beck. “At the time, I think it was a shock. We take The Beatles for granted. We take a lot of those artists from that era for granted. They really built the world that we live in musically and what they were doing was pulling these disparate things together that nobody had ever put together.”
Creating during quarantine in 2020, Beck says having to do nothing has been an adjustment for him, but things are steadily getting busier.
“That was the quietest year I think I’ve ever had since my entire adult life,” says Beck. “We had big tours planned, a lot of travel, and I was really in that mindset, but to let it go has been really interesting and to find my way back to some creative stuff has been interesting. This remix, though, really was great, and… I have a couple other ones coming down the road, so if anybody need remixes I’m available.”
What Beck is crafting for himself at the moment, a follow up to his fourteenth album Hyperspace in 2019, has some life to it.
“It has a consciousness, the things I’m working on now,” says Beck. “It’s a bit gritty, but it’s fun. I think the last few records have a little bit more electronic, a bit more modern-sounding, so this stuff’s just a little bit more guitars out of tune and really loud drums—just loosened and mean.”