From the Vault: Bob Dylan, 1981

Music Features Bob Dylan
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As a member of the Wolfgang’s Vault family, Paste has access to a rich archive of historic audio interviews from a variety of sources. Many of these interviews have never existed in text form. Our new From the Vault series will publish a different interview each week from our favorite rock ’n’ roll icons. This week, we have an interview Bob Dylan from July 2, 1981.

David Herman: ...The part that makes people presume that you have somehow a lot of answers that they might not have to larger questions.

Bob Dylan: Well, the answers to those questions, they’ve got to be in some of the songs I’ve written someplace, if you know where to look. I think you’ll find the answer to those questions is right there in the songs. Performers feel that, they feel a lot of the times that their points are not taken the right way or they feel imposed upon to answer questions that have really little to do with why they fill halls or sell records.

Bob Dylan: My first record that I learned how to make records when I started recording when I recorded for John Hammond. And we worked the same way, which is going into the studio and making a record right then and there. I know the other way and I know a lot of people do it the other way and it’s successful for them, but I’m not interested in that aspect of recording—laying down tracks and then coming back and perfecting those tracks and then perfecting lyrics which seem to wanna go to those tracks and songs are created in the recording studio. Where for me, see, I’m a live performer, I have to play songs which are gonna relate to the faces that I’m singing to and I can’t do that if I’m spending a year in the studio working on a track. It’s not that important to me. I mean, no record is that important.