Mick Jagger has teamed up with Eurythmics founder Dave Stewart, soul singer Joss Stone, Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack composer A.R.Rahman and reggae star Damian Marley to form a band cooperative project called SuperHeavy. This diverse and eclectic line up who share eleven Grammy Awards between them, have been recording together in various studios around the world, with the majority of the tracks on the project laid down over three weeks in Los Angeles earlier this year.
It’s little wonder that Stewart refers to SuperHeavy as, “A mad alchemist type experiment”. Fusing the talents of one of the greatest front-men of all time, a two time Academy award winning Indian composer, a soul vocal prodigy, a three time Grammy winning reggae star, and one of the most sought after producers in the world, you would expect the explosive results to defy categorisation.
SuperHeavy came together after Jagger and Stewart considered what a band comprising of musicians from different genres would sound like. Jagger explains, “Dave really wanted to make a record with a different group of musicians, in other words, with different backgrounds of music. Instead of everyone being a rock musician, or a blues musician, or some other genre, he wanted to get as many genres together that would fit. I said it sounds like a good idea, I never thought it would actually happen.”
Despite their disparate backgrounds, they instantly connected and hit the ground running, writing twenty-two songs in the first six days. Stone was thrilled with the results, “That’s what you need, all these opinionated people who have been brilliant in their own field, shove them together and see what comes out. It’s really unexpected, it’s mind blowing,” she enthuses.
However, despite the free flow of creative juices and the easy rapport they established, getting the band together in one place became very difficult, as Stewart explains, “It’s the most complicated record ever made. Imagine, some of it’s recorded in LA, some of it’s recorded in the South of France, some of it’s recorded off the coast of Cyprus, some of it’s recorded in Turkey, some of it’s recorded in Miami, some of it’s recorded in the Caribbean, and some of it’s recorded in Chennai, in India.”
The project needed a name. Marley had been riffing the term “SuperHeavy”, inspired by Muhammad Ali being the super heavy weight champion of the world and the phrase became the band’s catchphrase, “It was Mick who said, ‘Why don’t we call it SuperHeavy?”, recalls Stewart, “We all thought about it for ages and then it sort of stuck.”
Back to that alchemical experiment, Jagger, Stewart, Marley, Rahman and Stone appear to have created a new genre. It’s a new kind of music, it’s a new genre, one that cannot be placed” says Stone. Yet, Jagger is keen to point out the music is accessible, “It’s very approachable. If you’re a Rolling Stones fan there’s definitely stuff you can relate to.”
As far as the future of SuperHeavy goes, “We haven’t planned to do a tour or anything, but if people really like it maybe we will. We’d love to get out and play some of it live,” says Jagger humbly. “As soon as we started playing together in the studio it gelled, and all these different styles didn’t seem to be a problem to make them fit together… I hope people will like it….”
I know I like what I’ve heard so far…and can’t wait to hear the rest! The band’s self-titled album will be in stores September 20, 2011.
- Miracle Worker
- Satyameva Jayathe
- One Day One Night
- Never Gonna Change
- Beautiful People
- Rock Me Gently
- I Can’t Take It No More
- I Don’t Mind
- World Keeps Turning
- Warring People
- Common Ground
- Hey Captain
- Miracle Worker (Ashley Beedle’s Warbox Remix)