Bob Dylan’s injured son reveals his scars in new album
The brutal and temperamental music industry has left scars on Jakob Dylan, the son of a man who has sold over 125 million records worldwide – Bob Dylan, of course.
These metaphorical marks are tenderly laid bare on his debut album Wallflowers in nearly a decade, and the seventh since 1989, Exit injuries. Its lyrical themes address the personal and the deep. And Dylan, 51 – in his Buddha-meets-rockstar verbal meanders – likes to speak in deep terms.
“If you have exit injuries, that suggests to me that you survived,” he explains from his home in Los Angeles. “It’s not like a wound site, but it feels like survival to me, and it feels like a change. These songs are vignettes that discuss change and evolution. Wherever you go, whether it’s a better place or a worse place, you take exit wounds with you and distribute them too. This is your life, you are just an accumulated heap of exit wounds and gifts that you give and receive.
Evolution and change have defined The Wallflowers. Rotation of band members from album to album has not seen critical or commercial success since. Bring down the horse in 1996, featuring the catchy hook-filled singles a lighthouse and 6th avenue heartache.
The Wallflowers rebirth might not have happened without Dylan’s creation and storytelling Echo in the canyon, a 2018 documentary exploring the music that excites him most – the Laurel Canyon folk-roots and blues scene of the mid-60s – that sowed the seeds to reassemble The Wallflowers rather than make another solo album afterwards Woman + Country in 2010.
“I spent time doing Echo in the canyon, which had a lot of guitars and bands, and I hadn’t done a record with a band and electric guitars in a while, and wanted to hear that sound after working on it [with The Wallflowers] for 30 years, ”he explains. “Once the songs start popping up I’m trying to figure out which ones are, Solo or Wallflowers, but to be honest there’s not much of a difference. “
Artists such as The Byrds, The Beach Boys and Neil Young were the focus of the documentary, pioneering artists who merged folk music with the electric guitar, creating a hive of creativity in Laurel Canyon, California. In 2019, he released an album of duets inspired by the documentary, with Fiona Apple, Beck, Cat Power and Josh Homme. Homme, too, is a one-man-band who manages to channel vintage sounds of blues, punk and prog-rock into his Queens of the stone age and Desert sessions albums, avoiding the nostalgia of staying fresh and modern.
“[Queens Of The Stone Age] have a really good view of something you know well, and I do the same, ”recalls Dylan. “Truly expansive musicians relate to each other; we are not looking for people who play the same music as us. You identify something in a different artist, and although your music may sound different, you are basically coming from the same place. “