Andre 3000 is a hot topic right now, garnering praise from his recent performance in Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side and talks of a new album, 3000 has no intention of slowing down. Currently on tour with Big Boi, 3 stacks took time to discuss his post-tour studio plans, the key to Hendrix’s success and buzz surrounding newcomer Raury.
Andre opened up to us during a recent phone conference as we discussed:
Which one of his own songs he’d perform for the rock legend and why
“Bombs Over Baghdad because he inspired parts of that song, in particular the guitar solo played by David Wild. I was so much into guitar at that time and I’d never heard a guitar solo in a rap song and I thought it was cool.”
Working with Imogen Poots and Hendrix’s relationship with women
“Before we started filming, one of the greatest things that John Ridley, the director, did was have me and the female actresses, including Imogen, sit and go out and get to know each other so on screen we would be a little bit more natural. In real life (Jimi) wouldn’t be the Hendrix that we know now if it weren’t for these women and probably more women to be honest, but these were the ones we were focusing on. A lot of people did not know that (Linda Keith) was Keith Richards girlfriend at the time, so she was in this rock world. She goes and see this guy playing and she plucks him and helps him get to where he is and when he gets to London he meets Cathy. Cathy takes him around to all these shops, he didn’t come like that. He only had one shirt when he went to London, the cool Hendrix that we know definitely, definitely had something to do with the women.
Comparisons between Hendrix’s risk covering The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” a day after its release to 3000 singing “Hey Ya” and its reception in the rap world
“I was nervous and I think Hendrix was nervous a bit too. I think you gotta be nervous in some kind of way because that gives you the challenge to do it. There has to be some kind of friction that means that (the risk) is good. Even when you read interviews about The Experience, They would always say we honestly did not rehearse a lot and our biggest thing was we had balls man! People fail to realize that The Beatles came out the day before. That’s like me putting a new album with no YouTube lessons or anything like that just going out there and doing the cover. That was as ballsy as you can get and saying “Hey, I’m a guitar player and I pick up chords really quick.” It’s crazy, if you pull up the YouTube of Hendrix playing The Beatles song, he has a cigarette in his mouth and, while he’s playing, he takes it and throws it and doesn’t miss a beat. That shows you how confident he is.”
“As far as doing songs like “Hey Ya,” I was completely terrified because I’m coming from a rap world where everybody got their face frowned up and want to be as tough as possible. And I’m out here singing. The first “Hey Ya” performance wasn’t great. It was nerves and scary. Even when I presented the song to LA Reid as a single, his response was ‘to be honest, I don’t understand this song, but it’s exciting to me.’ He stood by it and watched it happen. I’m glad he did. I think you gotta have some nerves because if you’re too comfortable with things, you aren’t really pushing nothing. You’ve got to stretch it out.”
Whether the experience of playing Hendrix has inspired him to put out a new album and what this means for Outkast
“I can’t say that there was a huge revelation from playing Hendrix in the movie. I think it just was a great experience that I went through. It was challenging considering that I don’t really consider myself an actor in that way. I’m an opportunist, I’m a lucky person who got to play Jimi Hendrix and put my all into it. But I can’t say I walked away with any life-changing thing. As far as an Outkast album, we don’t have any plans to do one. After this tour though, I’ve been thinking about recording this album that I always wanted to record. We’re both working on solo albums. Big Boi is damn near through with his next album. I think after we finish this last show on October 31st in New Orleans. I’d love to get in the studio and see if I can conjure up something.”
His thoughts on Raury comparisons and advice
“I think there’s a fair comparison with Raury. I think Raury is stepping out and pushing it, I think that’s probably the biggest comparison knowing that he’s not a straight and narrow kind of artist and going for his own thing. I just saw him the other day when he opened up for us in Atlanta and I think he’s a dreaming artist with good ideas and I hope he’ll grow and I hope people are watching him and giving him his room to grow. The biggest advice I would tell him is fuck listening to everybody and just go for it. I hate when people try to compare artists because we are all different individuals and we all grow.”
Jimi: All Is By My Side is now playing!