Van Morrison says he spent much of his career making albums “under duress,” only recently rediscovering his love of recording new music.
His latest release, October’s Three Chords & the Truth, is Morrison’s sixth title in three years, and he credited this creative resurgence to finding a better way of working.
“I didn’t just start as a songwriter and know everything,” Morrison tells Uncut. “I didn’t know what the hell I was doing for quite a while; I had to work it out and, like anything, I had to evolve.” Asked if he was “on a roll,” Morrison replied: “It just is what it is, and it feels like there is momentum at this time. I don’t really like to question what I do. … I don’t have to, you know. It’s not necessary for me to question it. It’s probably just momentum.”
He said he began enjoying making LPs again in 2017: “I did two albums with Joey [DeFrancesco], working really fast – like the way we used to work in the old days,” Morrison said. “Well, it wasn’t seen as ‘fast’ in the old days; it was just how it was. I haven’t been used to working that way since the ’60s and early ’70s, but getting back to working that way, I got on a roll and I’m enjoying it more now.
“Also, there is a difference when you are doing it under duress. In the old days, I was doing it under duress,” he added. “The way things were worked out, I was doing it in between gigs, and it was very pressurized. Now it’s not, because I manage it and produce it myself. I’m not going through a record company. I deliver the product to the record company. In the old days, it was a very different thing.”
Morrison has accepted that he probably won’t break any sales records with these releases: “There is a certain core audience. It’s probably not as big as it was before, but I don’t think anyone’s is, the way things are going with streaming and all that,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me. As long as I have a platform for releasing my product, it suits me fine. We know it’s not going to be Top 10, but that’s okay. I’m not really trying to get on the record company’s Valentine’s list, know what I mean? I never was!”