Neil Young Greendale Interviews

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There has been a great deal of discussion concerning the themes of Neil Young's Greendale.

Here is a collection of interviews with Neil Young discussing the making and meaning of Greendale.

  • From Australia's 7.30 Report an interview by Kerry O'Brien on Greendale:

  • From Australia's ABC 20/11/2003 interview with Neil Young by Richard Kingsmill:

  • From Australia's The an interview by Patrick Donovan (November 21, 2003) where the interviewer explains that with the current Howard Government, many Australians can relate to Greendale's themes: the erosion of personal freedoms, trial by media and the destruction of the environment. Young responds:

  • Rolling Stone's David Fricke interviews Neil on Greendale CD, 8/21/03. Neil's angry with Bush and American Idol:

  • For the record interview By JANE STEVENSON -- Toronto Sun at a Film Festival press conference for Greendale, September 7, 2003,when asked about whether he ever considered moving back to Canada:

    Asked about promoting Greendale film:

    Neil Young on cover of Relix mag, 08/03

  • In an interview in Relix magazine "NEIL YOUNG:INTO THE SOURCE BY JEFF WAFUL" on fans reaction to Greendale:

  • Chicago Tribune Interview - 5/23/03- Comments on Greendale development
  • London Times Interview - 5/23/03- Comments on Greendale characters
  • The Guardian - 5/22/03 - Remarks on Nixon & Bush
  • Oslo, Norway Interview - 4/03- Thoughts on Patriot Act

    The Times of London 5/23/03

    At what point during the writing of Greendale did he think that it would become a cohesive story? "It came song by song. I didn't really know what I was doing when I started. I just started writing the songs and after two songs I realised the same characters were in the two songs. So I just continued to explore it. I just wrote one song at a time. Kinda like an alcoholic. One day at a time. I thought if they stop coming with these characters then I'm finished. If they don't then I keep going."

    "They're all speaking for me," Young says. "When Sun Green is talking, I can get away with saying a lot of ideas that are young and naive. But when Grandpa Green is speaking, you have the clutter of time behind everything he says. So I can be all of these people and I don't have to deal with it myself. I'm liberated."

    So we know what the Greens think. But what are his own views on the war in Iraq?

    "I don't like war. That was my number one feeling," he says, choosing his words carefully. "I particularly don't like the celebration of war, which I think the administration is a little bit guilty of, and the American media -particularly Fox.

    Complete interview on Bad News Beat

    From The Guardian, 5/22/03 by Adam Sweeting on the Iraq War, Patriot Act, and George Bush:

    Oslo Interview - April 2003

    aspekte: Do you feel so much rage? Everyone, who saw your film to your new, American-critical songs, had the impression that this was your impression of the state of the nation.

    Young: You know, there is this thing there, called "Patriot Act", through which we abdicated a lot of our civil rights to defend the country against terrorism and all that. And that was primarily the promise. That's a big thing. A few people think this way about it, a few that way. Some people think it's a good thing, some count the days, 'til they think, it's a four year story. It has to be renewed after four years. Basically I think it's a divisive and polarizing phase. The country is strongly divided.

    aspekte: There are a lot of different things, that you address in your film what disturbs you most strongly?

    Young: Well, I worry about a few things. Hopefully we're starting to deal with the cultures as cultures. We have to understand, that people are different. I don't know, if we really understand, who we're dealing with over there. I think, to be rid of Saddam, was a good thing for the Iraqi people. But the manner, in which it took place I don't know, if there wasn't a better way to do it. But we didn't get a chance & But we lost patience. Our leaders also lost patience, in dealing with things differently. If I think about it, what they think and know I mean, I don't have the information that they do or don't have, to second guess them. These cultures have to be drawn out of their Culture of Doubt. They have to try and realize what happened. I try to do that, and I think, it's going to take a few more months before we can say what's going on.

    The way in which the USA and Great Britain delivered Iraq to the Iraqis, the way and means that this played out, that is, the endgame. That could be a good thing on one hand, a bad thing on the other. It's just happened. I really don't know. I just observe, like everybody else. Nobody likes war. Of course you have to support the troops. I mean, they're just kids, some just 19, 20 years old. You can't say: "These troops are evil." They aren't evil. They're doing for their country what's expected of them. But the politics you know, I don't understand it, I'm not of one mind with it. I don't know what I should say. I'm not happy, don't feel good about everything that happened. I'm curious as to what's going to happen next. Possibly some of our companies can help with the reconstruction, because we have the resources for this.

    But the Arabic states have to be integrated into the Iraqi reconstruction we can't do it from the outside. We need the help of the Arabic community, which understands its culture. The Americans try this and that. They arrive, invade, occupy. We could reverse all that if we would speak more directly with the Arabic states. Especially those with which we understand ourselves the best and those with which we already have a relationship. We need to try, that they take the responsibility to help themselves instead of us helping them. I think, if we give them that, if we can help them like that, we'll have a substantially bigger result.

    Complete interview on Bad News Beat


    "You can make a difference if you really try." - Be The Rain

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