Robert Plant says heritage bands who stay together are “hanging onto a life raft”

Robert Plant has commented on heritage bands who stay together for decades, likening them to “hanging onto a life raft”.

The musician is best known as the former frontman of Led Zeppelin, who split up in 1980 following the death of John Bonham. The band has reunited several times since, most recently in 2007, but only for one-off gigs.

Speaking to MOJO about his new album with Alison Krauss – called ‘Raise The Roof’ – Plant said: “The good thing about Alison and I is that we’re a couple of kindred spirits. 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.”

He went on to discuss his musical partnership with Krauss, saying they had “nothing written in blood”. “We were ready to do something new, and we knew how good it was before, so we can just join up again and see where we go. We’ve got nothing to lose.”

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant performing in 2008 CREDIT: Getty Images

‘Raise The Roof’ is the pair’s second collaborative record and will be released on November 19. They previously worked on ‘Raising Sand’, which was released in 2007. The new album was produced by T Bone Burnett and features contributions from drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarists Marc Ribot, David Hidalgo, Bill Frisell and Buddy Miller, bassists Dennis Crouch and Viktor Krauss, pedal steel guitarist Russ Pahl and more.

The record will be comprised of 12 new recordings of songs by the likes of Merle Haggard, Allen Toussaint, The Everly Brothers, Anne Briggs, Geeshie Wiley and Bert Jansch, as well as the original song ‘High And Lonesome’, which was penned by Plant and Burnett.

Meanwhile, earlier this year Plant said he had assembled a massive personal archive over lockdown that will be released when he dies. “All the adventures that I’ve ever had with music and tours, album releases, projects that didn’t actually get finished or whatever it is — I just put them, itemised them all, and put everything into some semblance of order,” he said.

“I’ve told the kids when I kick the bucket, open it to the public free of charge — just to see how many silly things there were down the line from 1966 to now. It’s a journey.”