Huey Lewis on replacing band members
Cris Cohen: Over the years occasionally you brought in new band members. What were you looking for in musicians? What made for a good member of The News?
Huey Lewis: Well, obviously they have to be good musicians. But it's a good question, because the hardest part about being in a touring band is the other 22 hours, right? You want somebody who is going to be fully committed, improve every night, and fit in the band as a good band member. They need to travel well, not complain, and be a good road soldier. That's very important.
And you don't necessarily want the guy who auditions the best. It's the guy who is going to eventually be the best.
Let's face it, rock and roll is not brain surgery. Most people can learn the music. But you want somebody who really cares about it and is going to improve all the time.
It's always tough replacing somebody. But what's nice about it is that a new member brings a new sensibility to the songs. And that's always been the thing I've cared about most: That our catalog stays current, that our songs live for a long time. And what's interesting is that a new member of the band gives the song a completely different setting somehow. And I really enjoy that. They sound differently in different hands.
Cris Cohen: So it kind of it makes it more of a living, breathing entity.
Huey Lewis: That's it. And it's fun to see the song that you wrote now take on these different versions.
Cris Cohen: And then I find it interesting… I have never heard that before, that you don't necessarily want the guy or girl who auditions the best.
Huey Lewis: There are session musicians who can come in and can get 90% of it on the first take. But that might be all they're going to get, because they don't care enough maybe or they're bored with it after a while. You want somebody who might only audition at 70%, but he's going to get to a hundred percent. It's a tough thing to judge, but that's what you're looking for I think.
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