Earlier this month, Led Zeppelin’s I, II & III all got the deluxe and remastered treatment and once again we were reminded of what incredible albums they are, not to mention how important the guys are to the history of rock and roll.
Let’s be honest, calling them the most influential band of all-time is probably an understatement.
We caught up with Jay Watson AKA Gum AKA the synth playing, backing vocalist and occasional additional guitar guy in Tame Impala AKA the dude responsible for guitar, keys, bass & backing vocals in Pond and asked him to tell us what Led Zeppelin means to him and how they’ve helped shape him as an artist.
Led Zeppelin to me is like an old friend that you don’t see very often, and you feel guilty because of that, but when you do see them again it’s incredibly nostalgic and you’ve had a great time. They’re like the ultimate teenage band. Visceral and sexy, but also by far the cleverest heavy band ever as well.
Before I got into the Led Zeppelin, I didn’t like rock music. I thought distortion was for losers and all I wanted to listen to was my Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire. I was a pretty weird kid at 12. Everyone else was listening to screamo and metal in my little country town, and I just hated it. But then my friend played me “Bring It On Home” off Led Zeppelin II and it actually changed my life. Because it was heavy, but more importantly it was groovy, something that can’t be said for almost any other rock music. When I listened to that song in my headphones, I thought I was the biggest bad-ass on the planet walking home from school.
I genuinely believe Jimmy Page is one of the greatest producers of all time, up there with Joe Meek and Phil Spector. He’s a master of atmosphere and space. That’s probably the biggest mark they left on me, and all the Tame Impala and Pond crew.
The LZ influence can be heard in all of Watson’s endeavors, both Tame Impala and Pond as well as his latest solo release Delorean Highway under the Gum moniker. You can stream a taste of the latter below and head over to the Spinning Top Music website for a free download.
As for the band that started it all, You can cop the deluxe editions of I, II & III in all good record stores on both CD & vinyl and they are loaded to the hilt with bonus content such as live concerts, studio outtakes and the like plus Jimmy Page was responsible for the remastering so you can rest assured they’ve never sounded better.