Bob Dylan Talks TV, Modern Artists and Social Media

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Bob Dylan is constantly touring but he rarely gives interviews. Nevertheless, he did chat recently with The Wall Street Journal as he’s promoting his new book, The Philosophy Of Modern Song.

Throughout the rare interview, the singer/songwriter discussed TV shows he’s currently binging, modern artists he’s been listening to, and the positives and negatives of social media.

Coronation StreetFather Brown, and some early Twilight Zones,” he said of the TV shows he binge-watches. “I know they’re old-fashioned, but they make me feel at home. I’m no fan of packaged programs or news shows. I never watch anything foul-smelling or evil. Nothing disgusting, nothing dog ass.”

Speaking about social media, he said the platforms “bring happiness to a lot of people.” He also notes that some people even find love through social media. “It’s fantastic if you’re a sociable person; the communication lines are wide open,” he added. “You can refashion anything, blot out memories and change history. But they can divide and separate us, as well.”

When asked how he stays in shape these days, he said it was about boxing and sparring. “It’s functional and detached from trends,” he said. “It’s a limitless playground, and you don’t need an app.” He says that he keeps touring because “it is a perfect way to stay anonymous and still be a member of the social order. You’re the master of your fate. But it’s not an easy path to take, not fun and games.”

The singer also explained why he thanked “the crew from Dunkin Donuts” in his new book: “They were compassionate, supportive, and they went the extra mile.”

There is an expanded version of the interview on his website. In that version, Dylan talks about which modern artists he enjoys, including Klaxons and Julian Casablancas.

“Performers and songwriters recommend things to me,” he said. “Others I just wake up and they’re there. Some I’ve seen live. The Oasis Brothers, I like them both, Julian Casablancas, the Klaxons, Grace Potter. I’ve seen Metallica twice. I’ve made special efforts to see Jack White and Alex Turner. Zach Deputy, I’ve discovered him lately.

“He’s a one man show like Ed Sheeran, but he sits down when he plays. I’m a fan of Royal Blood, Celeste, Rag’n’Bone Man, Wu-Tang, Eminem, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, anybody with a feeling for words and language, anybody whose vision parallels mine.”

Photo credit FRED TANNEAU/AFP/GettyImages

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