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Neil Young On Why He Always Records Under The Full Moon: ‘You Can Feel The Energy’

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Neil Young On Why He Always Records Under The Full Moon: ‘You Can Feel The Energy’


Neil Young, definitely not a werewolf, does seem highly sensitive to lunar activity.

In a Rolling Stone interview published Tuesday, the 76-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer explained why he and his longtime band Crazy Horse decided to cut his latest album, “Barn,” under the Strawberry Moon, a name for the full moon in June.

Daryl Hannah and Neil Young attend the "Paradox" premiere at SXSW in 2018.
Daryl Hannah and Neil Young attend the “Paradox” premiere at SXSW in 2018.

Matt Winkelmeyer via Getty Images

Young’s response was that working under a full moon simply eclipses all other creative processes for him.

“I like to do it because it works for me. I don’t know if it works for everybody, but it works for me because you can feel the energy when the moon cycles change,” Young explained.

Appropriately, the musician and his band recorded the album in a barn. Its accompanying documentary, below, is directed by Young’s wife, Daryl Hannah.

Noting that harvesting verve from Earth’s natural satellite is something that certain cultures “have been aware of for years and years,” the songwriter elaborated on how the coming of a new moon affects him and his art.

“You feel different that day, like when you turn the page,” he said. “You just feel an energy. And then maybe a week later, you really start to feel something, and it’s usually really positive and creative, real good. So that’s why we choose the moon as the main date for ending the sessions.”

Young in 2014.
Young in 2014.

Chelsea Lauren via Getty Images

Young’s need for this celestial jolt while making music seems so important to him that The Guardian noted in 2010 that he recorded his album Le Noise over three successive full moons.

Hey, well, if recording in this highly specific way can produce songs akin to “Harvest Moon,” then we say howl away, Neil.





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