Robert Plant explained in a new interview why he chooses to listen to local radio stations whenever he travels around the world.
Plant spoke to American Songwriter magazine for its March/April 2018 issue, and spoke about how he gains musical inspiration. One way he does that is by listening to local radio.
Plant said that radio “amasses various peoples. You can have local radio that really leans into the culture, which is remarkable to me.”
Plant gave the example of listening to a local radio station while driving through the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. He heard the local station playing Berber music, so “immediately I switch on my phone and record some of it, so I can bore the pants off everybody back home,” he said.
One local song surprised Plant. “In the middle of it all, this girl is singing. She’s singing like she’s bringing all the angels down from the sky. An absolutely amazing voice. And then there’s a huge warble. She starts using that vocoder sound that was made popular by Cher.”
“I thought, man, that’s so good,” Plant said. “Everybody’s into it in the mountains, people on their donkeys listening on a transistor radio to a girl who’s the keeper of the keys for me. And then suddenly [Plant mimes an autotune sound] it’s enough to make me fall over.”
“It’s a funny thing how technology makes its way slowly to the outer reaches of the musical world. It’s amazing how people pick that stuff up. And it was considered to be a good idea in Morocco. I would love Cher to hear that.”
Here’s the cover of the new issue: