JEFFERSON STARSHIP INTERVIEW
Twinmusix got to speak to Donny Baldwin from Jefferson Starship about their new EP Mother of the Sun and more.
TM - What can fans expect from your new album Mother of the Sun?
JS - We lost Paul in 2016, paul was the leader and he goes way back to the Jefferson Aeroplane. We didn't know what we were going to do one. We lost paul and we got together with grace. I joined the band in early 82, Grace was in the band at that time. When Paul passed in 2016 the band had morphed from Jefferson Starship to Starship. We call it the band of many faces. We wanted to carry the fire and we had a meeting with Grace, she was in for the band staying together and still playing the historical music from the early days. Grace helped with the newer tracks we were thinking about recording, She also co-wrote one of the songs with Jude Gold our guitar player and Cathy Richardson our lead singer. It is a great ep and there are 7 songs, you've heard them.
TM - yes, it is a really good album.
JS - It is ironic that we did this record and finished this record before all this craziness happened. It is a good thing because we have our EP to push. There is a couple of songs on there that relate to what's going on right now. We are excited about the new record and we just want to get out there and play some of the songs and get back on the road. We want to play some of the new music with Grace's blessing. Grace is a part of this, she doesn't go on the road anymore though.
I left the band in 89 and came back in 06 and she left the band in 87 and just basically retired. She has written some books, does painting and it is nice that we have her part of this whole thing. We love Grace, it's nice to know that she is part of this and co-wrote one of the songs "It's about time". It is about the time that Cathy went down to LA and Malibu and I guess at that time they were watching the women's March. Cathy had played her a couple of little things and long story short she has had actually written some lyrics to one of these songs and sent it to Cathy which is called "It's about time". The song is about women not really being a part of leadership in the country. It is amazing that the song speaks to a lot of people. The song relates to right now.
The second single that is coming out is "what are we waiting for". This song is kind of the same thing. Early Jefferson Starship with Paul always had a lot of tendencies to write about protests, so when we lost Paul we wanted to do something everyone could dedicate to Paul. We wanted to create a song that had the same soul and spirit that the band had back then in the early days. We are really proud of this new project and the new album. It is going to be released today.
TM - I noticed you have some upbeat tempo songs and some slower tempo songs on your album, what inspired that?
JS - Marty Balin was in the band years ago. Marty writes love songs and he collaborated with Chris as our keyboard player. Chris has been in the band since 1998. It is really nice, we have a song called " Don't Be Sad Anymore". David Freiberg sings it, so they finished that after we lost Marty. We lost Marty, I think a year after we lost paul.
TM - I'm sorry for your loss.
JS - We have the original Bass player from Jefferson Starship, Pete Sears on the album. We have Cathy and Jude co-writing one of the songs. We have Marty and Chris Smith finishing off a song. It's too bad he isn't here but Marty was a great songwriter. We are proud to have a song he wrote for this record and we are really proud of it. There is a song on the record that Jorma Kaukonen wrote, who was the original guitar player for Jefferson Airplane called Embryonic Journey and Jude kind of put his own little stamp on.
There is that flavour of the older band in the early days, except it still has that Jefferson Starship feel. We are really proud of the music that we have put together after Paul passed away. We dedicated this album to Paul, we are carrying the fire, we have Alice and with Graces blessing and we love playing together, which is good but we can't tour which is frustrating.
TM - What can fans expect from your 2021 tour?
JS - We have so much to pick from. We have music from back in the Aeroplane days, The Jefferson Starship days and even when it got pumping with the Starship band. We do songs that people grew up with from The Aeroplane, we do songs that people remember from Jefferson Starship, like Jane and we do songs from the Starship era, we built this city on rock and roll, Sarah and nothing's going to stop us now. We incorporate that into our shows, so people get the history of this band till today. The one thing we love to do is play live and anyone who comes to this shows seems to enjoy it. We have a great time playing together and we look forward to it.
TM - You are playing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, can you tell us about that?
JS - We are letting everyone know that we are still out there and creating new music. Our manager Eric Baker got a hold of The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and they were kind enough to do a segment on our band.
TM - I love the Rock and Roll hall of fame, it was so cool when I went there.
JS - Years ago and I love it there. Jefferson Airplane is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame so it's an honour to be a part of it and to have them interested in the band. We are still creating beautiful music and writing great songs. The songs still have the same colour they had some the beginning.
TM - You've released Freedom at Point Zero on vinyl, what's the inspiration behind that?
JS - People seem to want the vinyl track, everything seems to go full circle.
TM - People also want tapes.
JS - Exactly.
TM - If you could have any band play one of your songs, what band would it, what song would it be and would it be in your style or their style?
JS - That is a tough question. The first thing that comes to mind is Queen. Even though they lost their singer it would still be an honour to have them do one of our songs. I'm not sure which song I would want them to do as our band has so many great songs. Any song Queen did of ours would be an honour. Adam Lambert is a great singer. It is hard to take the place of Freddie Mercury, so he is pretty amazing.
TM - What's your favourite memory of watching someone else perform live?
JS - When I was younger the San Francisco music scene was so prevalent and there were so many great bands to come out of San Francisco. Probably early Carlos Santana when he had the Santana Blues Band, they were amazing.
I got to see early Led Zeppelin, which blew my mind and as a drummer. Watching John Bonham was amazing. There are too many shows to mention that I saw when I was younger that put a stamp on me and made me want to keep playing. A lot of good bands that came out of the San Francisco area.
TM - Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?
JS - Be patient and check out our new album "Mother of the Sun". If you hear about us playing, come to the show and see us, it is a great band. We have Cathy Richardson and she is an amazing singer. She was a big fan of Jefferson Starship and Starship when she was younger. She reminds me of young Grace Slick. We play a lot of music from the band's career, that's what makes it exciting for us. We have so much to choose from and there are always so many songs that people want to hear, unfortunately, we only have so much time when we are playing shows, so we try and give people a taste of the 60'S to now.
TM - Thank You for having this interview with us today, we really appreciate it. We cannot wait to see you on the road again.