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Lzzy Hale To Pharrell Williams: 15 Great Quotes By Rock And Roll Stars
The rock 'n roll attitude pushes the boundaries of what's acceptable, seeking to establish new levels of self-expression and authenticity. This collection of quotes represents rock's spirit and the quest for truth through valuable advice, from veterans of life and music. We've stretched the genre boundaries of who is a 'rock' star here, to favor including artists from many corners of the music world who embody a rebelliously creative attitude. And now, let's go right to the source…
1. Lzzy Hale of Halestorm:
The Strange Case Of… was the band Halestorm's 2012 sophomore studio album. It's first track "Love Bites (So Do I)" won Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance at the 55th GRAMMY Awards. As lead vocalist for her band, a featured collaborator with other artists, and even as an advice columnist, the extraordinary Lzzy Hale personifies our favorite quote of hers, which began as a Tweet on July 25, 2012. With a new album, Vicious, due out July 27, we can expect more wicked wisdom from Hale very soon.
2. Herbie Hancock:
"I think risk-taking is a great adventure. And life should be full of adventures."
The winner of 14 GRAMMY Awards as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, Herbie Hancock embodies jazz's willingness to throw out the rulebook and improvise from the gut. Speaking to Time Out Beijing in 2013, the conclusion of the answer his quote began is, "Do things that you believe in, even if nobody else does. Figure out a way to make it work — that's how you become a winner."
3. Jessie J:
"I'm glad I've had to struggle. It's made me the artist I am now."
"I'm an artist, but I'm also a businesswoman," said Jessie J, at the end of the 2011 interview in Interview where she had earlier endorsed her personal struggle. "Sometimes you have to play hard." She was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 57th GRAMMY Awards for "Bang Bang" off her 2014 album Sweet Talker. In addition to her success as a recording artist and vocalist, Jessie J has been a performing artist since childhood. Born Jessica Cornish in London, her songwriting includes a co-write on Miley Cyrus' hit "Party In The U.S.A."
"I believe love is the most powerful energy we have in this life. Everything is about love."
In March 2014 Latin Post wrote up a Billboard video interview with Juanes, just as his album Loco De Amor was being released. It was nominated for Best Latin Pop Album at the 57th GRAMMY Awards. His albums have won two GRAMMY Awards and Juanes is one of the top Latin GRAMMY winners of all time. The artist compared his work to "putting a ray of love through a prism."
5. Alicia Keys
"You've got to have a good spirit on the inside. That's what's really going to make you look like you're ready to rock the world."
This quote was used by Glamour in a 2011 piece by Krystin Arneson and Megan Gustashaw titled "25 of the Best Fashion Quotes of All Time," appearing alongside a charming photo of Alicia Keys in a bold pink dress, captioned, "Alicia Keys at a Giorgio Armani party in New York, 2009." Sanctified by this cite, many have quoted it since, often along with other of Keys' beauty insights such as the benefits of cleansing and moisturizing versus using make-up.
6. Ziggy Marley
"There is always a way and always hope in the next sunrise, and in the next second, and in the next minute."
Speaking to Origin Magazine as excerpted at Huffington Post in 2013, Ziggy Marley expressed his spirituality and how he deals with times of personal pain. This quote from that interview proves that hope rocks. "What inspires me is the universe," said Marley. He also described love as "an action thing more than a word thing" that can be tested by "the effect" because Marley insists love always leaves "a positive effect."
7. Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac
"I am pretty fearless, and you know why? Because I don't handle fear very well; I'm not a good terrified person."
The quote's source is an Interview Magazine article that is online now only at tribute sites. Its May 2001 issue featured Sheryl Crow's revealing interview with her friend Stevie Nicks, best known for her singing with Fleetwood Mac. For example, Nicks describes her sixteenth birthday party, where she received a Goya classical guitar from her parents. She went in her room and sat on the bed and wrote a song called "I've Loved And I've Lost" about her first love. "I absolutely knew I was going to be famous," Nicks said. "I knew from when I … sat there on my bed and watched myself play it in the mirror with tears running down my face."
8. Kimberly Perry of Band Perry
"There are few things in life really worth arguing over, however creativity I think is one of those."
The 2013 interview with Taste Of Country that was the source of this quote appeared just as the band's second album Pioneer was released. It presents an epic vantage point on the Band Perry and their family songwriting process, regarding how they fight all the time, lovingly. Although Kimberly throws her weight around hardest among the Perrys, the battle expands when they co-write with the Henningsens especially when Kimberly and their patriarch Brian Henningsen go at it. "Iron sharpens iron" is how the GRAMMY winners put it.
9. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones
"If you're going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet."
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards' autobiography Life was released in 2010, and in 2013, George Rajna reviewed it at Huffington Post tying Richards' rebellious rock attitude to his unusual open-G guitar tuning. The quote concludes the first paragraph describing the expected "antics" in the book, before contrasting these with its unexpected details, such as Richards' modification to make his guitar more like a banjo. Instead of tuning it conventionally E-A-D-G-B-E, he removes the sixth string and tunes two strings down a whole step as X-G-D-G-B-D. This has made Richards' playing harder to imitate. Now that's the way to "use two feet."
"I don't like hype cluttering art."
The New York Times took notice of Skrillex on Jan. 26, 2012 as a Peter Pan figure whose 2010 album Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites drew him five GRAMMY nominations. Skrillex's album Bangarang was released two days earlier and he was about to give some New York local performances. About two weeks later on Feb. 12, 2012 at the 54th GRAMMY Awards, Skrillex won three GRAMMY Awards. In the article he attributes his decision to become a DJ to a 2007 Daft Punk concert at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
"Self-love is really a foundation for everything, and however you practice or express that is so, so important."
All you need is love, right? British newspaper The Telegraph covered a Kiehl's skin-care series of birthday events and tapped participating performer Solange on her beauty regimen and philosophy, more than a year before the singer/songwriter's A Seat At The Table was released. The Solange quote follows on her discussion of how taking care of your skin and feeling better can help. "When you feel good about yourself, you treat others better," said Solange. "As a mother and a wife and a friend, when you practice self-love, you are able to love better."
12. Bruce Springsteen
"You can go from doing something quite silly to something dead serious in the blink of an eye, and if you're making those connections with your audience then they're going to go right along with it."
An in-depth 2005 interview in The Guardian by writer Nick Hornby explored the musical outlooks of Bruce Springsteen. In a discussion of showmanship that covered "clowning" and Little Richard, the GRAMMY winner led up to the quoted segment while speaking about entertaining fans and having fun. "I never thought that seriousness and clowning were exclusive," said Springsteen, "so I've approached my work and my stagecraft with the idea that they are not."
13. Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine
"Music is my way out. I keep things locked up and never say anything. I guess in order to say something to one person, I have to sing it to a couple thousand."
In 2011 timed with the release of the Florence & The Machine album Ceremonials, Florence Welch spoke with USA Today about the liberation of performing — a core tenet of rock 'n roll — and also about how her father's CDs became her gateway to music and sounds. "I can't wait to get on stage, because there you don't worry about whether you'll ever get married because your life is insane, or whether you'll ever have another boyfriend again, you don't worry about the typical boundaries of how your life has to be," said Welch. "It's the hallelujah moment. You know what you've been living for." Ceremonials went on to be nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 55th GRAMMY Awards.
14. Jack White
"I also believe personally you let the music tell you what to do.
In 2017 at the 10th annual Producers & Engineers Wing GRAMMY Week celebration honoring Jack White, at L.A.'s Village Studios, he spoke about Les Paul, recording under constrictions, and that ultimately it is the producer's job to bring something special out in the studio. Billboard has details. "It's not an ego trip. You're not in control. You sit there and you set up a scenario and the music tells you what your actions should be," White continued, following his quoted passage. "Especially when you're helping other people, producers are not supposed to just tell people what to do, you're supposed to bring out the best in them."
15. Pharrell Williams
"We never go backward. That's the plight of the human species, but also our privilege. So as always, a new equation will emerge, and that will be led by the artists and likely powered by them as well."
Fast Company's late 2013 interview with Pharrell Williams emphasized his unconstrained thinking and creativity. His quote came after criticism of historic record labels for firing creatives while being bought out by venture capitalists. This was the year Williams helped the world "Get Lucky" with Daft Punk's Random Access Memories. He listed creative visionaries and companies he admires including Adidas, Zaha Hadid and Anna Wintour, praising the business of putting "taste first [so] the aesthetic matches the acumen." The most recent of his 11 GRAMMY wins was at the 58th GRAMMY Awards, as one of the collaborating songwriters with Kendrick Lamar on Best Rap Song "Alright."