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Neil Young's Low-Tech New Album 'A Letter Home' Due in March

"It's one of the lowest-tech experiences I've ever had," he tells Rolling Stone

Neil Young performs in Toronto, Canada.
Sonia Recchia/WireImage
January 22, 2014 1:50 PM ET

Last night, Rolling Stone caught up with Neil Young on his way into the Village recording studio, where he was accepting the President's Merit award at the Grammy Event of the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy. We chatted for a couple of minutes on the red carpet about producers, studio technology and his next album.

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What are some of your favorite pieces of technology?
Well, for a long time, I really liked the old microphones. I like old Neve boards. I liked Pacific Microsonics when they first came out, they were ahead of the curve. I think we're entering a very good period for recorded sound. Technology is just too much fun. It's so rewarding – it's what we do. What's next after digital?

Are there any other producers you admire?
I love them all. They all make music, okay? Some producers make great-sounding records, but it's not about the producer – it's the combination of the producer and the artist. So when there's chemistry, there's great music, and that makes great records.

Your next record's coming out in March?
Yeah, it's one of the lowest-tech experiences I've ever had.

How come?
You'll hear it. It's called A Letter Home.

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“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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