Robert Plant: Legacy Bands Playing Decades Into Their Careers Can Look “Sadly Decrepit”

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Robert Plant is a man of integrity.

It’s that integrity over the years, as well as commitment to his contemporary musical creativity, that has made the vocalist long resist the allure of reconvening with his Led Zeppelin colleagues for a full-on reunion (save for that one-off O2 Arena event in 2007).

Recent news has Plant and Alison Krauss teaming up once more for Raise the Roof, a new collaborative album due out in November that is a sequel of sorts to the pair’s acclaimed, Grammy-winning 2007 record Raising Sand. As he told Mojo Magazine in a new interview geared around the new music with Krauss, he’s very much content where he is right now — and, in fact, he commented on the trend of some “legacy acts” to remain in action well past their prime, so to speak.

A quote from the interview, as captured by Consequence:

“The good thing about Alison and I is that we’re a couple of kindred spirits,” he told the magazine. “Most musicians form a band, then they stay in the band until it’s over — 20 years, 30 years, 50 years, whatever it is — and it starts to look sadly decrepit. It’s like people hanging onto a life raft, or staying in a comfortable place.”

Based on that quote, it’s no wonder he’s long avoided regular Led Zeppelin reunion activities. It’s worth pointing out, though, that Plant often incorporates Zeppelin classics into his solo performances, making them his own with his backing band the Sensational Space Shifters:

Back in 2018, Plant spoke with Rock Cellar’s Jeff Slate about his solo record Carry Fire — and how his new material and musical expression has his full focus (consistent with the above comments regarding legacy acts):

“Well, there’s an essence, I think, that moves through everything that I’m involved with, and that is stimulation. If you’re going to be a mug all your life, asking people to tune in to your inner sanctum of creative whatever, it’s not always going to be consistent work or consistent quality, even. But that’s important. It’s important that there should always be a limber approach to what we do, which when we go out and twist and reshape everything — and that was prevalent right away for Led Zeppelin, and it remains that way for me – keeps everything interesting, for me as well as the audience, whether it’s working with T-Bone or Buddy and Patty or the Afro Celt System or going to Northern Valley to play with the Sensational Space Shifters.”

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