Sheryl Crow: ‘AI is so real. It feels like an assault on my spirit’

Sheryl Crow: ‘AI is so real. It feels like an assault on my spirit’

What motivated you to create a fresh record, Evolution, following declaring 2019’s Threads as your ultimate album? Jade99

I am the parent of two adolescent boys who frequently pose challenging inquiries. Recently, our conversations about AI have inspired me to spend my mornings writing. As a result, I have crafted seven pieces that are a blend of personal journal entries and emotional release. I reached out to my friend and producer, Mike Elizondo, and asked if he would be willing to work on these songs with me. He was impressed and enthusiastic, and together we wrote two additional pieces, ultimately creating an album.

This is my reaction to the current events in my country and in the world. During a session at Mike’s studio, a young songwriter shared that she struggled to garner attention from male singers unless she had a male voice on her demo. To overcome this, she paid $5 to use AI and have John Mayer’s voice on her demo. When she played it for us, I was moved to tears. It felt like a personal attack on my soul. We must protect ourselves. As a result, my album is filled with lighthearted and happy songs. [laughs]

Sheryl Crow and Johnny Cash in LA

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Your recent single Alarm Clock documents the moment a vivid dream is rudely interrupted. Do you typically remember dreams after waking up? VerulamiumParkRanger

The frequency of stress dreams varies depending on the individual’s dreams. I experience them more often now than before. The concept of an Alarm Clock can also symbolize life. When you are suddenly reminded of the harsh realities and disturbing aspects of life, it can diminish the enjoyment of your fantasies. However, life still has its moments of beauty. I use my cellphone as my alarm clock, which often leads to waking up with the fear that my brain is being harmed by radioactive elements.

Did you receive monetary compensation for featuring “Bud” beer in All I Wanna Do? redgreg.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. I would have been quite wealthy if it were. However, at that time, such behavior was highly disapproved of. The inspiration for the song came from Wyn Cooper’s poem, “Fun.” Interestingly, I am from Missouri, where Budweiser is produced, so it was my preferred beer. The line “I like a good beer buzz early in the morning” was not often true, but I must admit, I have indulged in it before.

Sheryl Crow with Bob Dylan backstage at the Grammys in 1998View image in fullscreen

Did you not enjoy performing “All I Wanna Do” during your tour for a while, and was it originally considered a disposable song that almost didn’t make it onto your debut album? – NotDericeBannock

I didn’t like this song the most on the album and I didn’t believe it should be included. It felt unimportant, but my younger brother, who was in college at the time, told me, “No, that’s the song all of us young people love. It’s going to be your biggest hit.” I replied, “Dude, that’s never going to be released,” but of course, it became a huge success and I joked, “I should hire you as my A&R guy.” There was a point when I dreaded performing it, but then I realized that this song took me to places around the world that a small-town kid like me could only dream of visiting.

How did you go from “All I wanna do is have some fun” to duetting with the man in black [Johnny Cash] on Redemption Day? atribecalledvest

As a result of these travels, you often write songs that are profound and emotionally impactful. I composed this particular song in 1996 after visiting Bosnia and pondering the question, “Why is the US involved in Bosnia?” Despite the ongoing genocide, we were not taking action in Rwanda. The song came pouring out of me in frustration. Several years later, Johnny was working on an album and his brother-in-law shared the song with him. He asked for my permission to record it. After Johnny’s passing, we re-recorded the song as a duet with the blessing of his family.

How was the experience of singing with Emmylou Harris at Johnny Cash’s funeral? – Tom Casagranda

Three months prior to Johnny’s death, he requested me to perform at his late wife June’s funeral. It was there that I witnessed this once larger-than-life man become weakened by the loss of his beloved wife. Shortly after, he contacted me and expressed his determination to record my song.

After his passing, his family requested that I sing with Emmy. Although I had only known Johnny for two years, witnessing Emmy’s deep connection to him was a profound and life-changing experience. The funeral was incredibly emotional, and we sang “Every Grain of Sand,” which was Johnny’s favorite Bob Dylan song. The lyrics were fitting for the moment, and I am grateful that Dylan existed. Whenever I was making a record, I would read his lyrics to elevate my mindset.

Can you tell me how you discovered Bob Dylan’s song “Mississippi” and if he ever gave his thoughts on your rendition in The Globe Sessions? – Whovian79

I initially believed that my song was incomplete, and my manager, who was good friends with Dylan’s publisher, inquired: “Does Bob have any unreleased songs?” Dylan’s manager then visited us. They did not allow me to have a copy of the song; instead, they played it for me and then left. Therefore, I had to learn it on my own. Eventually, I obtained the lyrics and recorded it. Years later, Dylan mentioned to me: “I heard your version of Mississippi.” I asked him if he liked it, and he responded with: “Did you like mine?!” He was not willing to give it up. He has a sharp wit and a great sense of humor. When I was hanging out with Eric Clapton, Bob asked if Eric had taught me any guitar techniques. He can be quite mischievous!

Sheryl Crow with Courteney Cox in Cougar TownView image in fullscreen

Can you rephrase this message:

Do you think “We could use a little female common sense down on Pennsylvania Avenue” now more than ever, as Your song “Woman in the White House” hopes for the day the US will choose its first female president? From VerulamiumParkRanger

I believe it varies from person to person, regardless of gender, but personally, I do think so. When I reflect on some of the challenges I’ve faced throughout my life, I can’t help but wonder if having a woman in a leadership role and her feminine energy could have helped resolve things without resorting to violence. It’s absurd that the United States has never had a female president, but at this point, I’ve lost hope in our politicians. They refuse to address the issue of money in government because it benefits them financially. They are not truly representing us. It’s a chaotic situation.

Are you interested in writing another theme song for a James Bond movie? – writeronthestorm

I appreciate the significance and tradition associated with it, and there is complete freedom to be theatrical. While Roger Moore remains my top choice for Bond, my children prefer Daniel Craig. They tend to avoid anything created before 2010. (laughs)

I really enjoyed your performance on Cougar Town. Are you thinking about doing more acting roles? UpperCasey

I used to be close friends with Courteney Cox and it was a great experience. However, I no longer live in LA and can’t easily commute to the studio. Plus, my children are in school, so I prioritize spending time with them.

Sheryl Crow duets with Mick JaggerView image in fullscreen

You’ve collaborated with Mick Jagger solo on Old Habits Die Hard from the Alfie soundtrack and on numerous guest appearances with the Rolling Stones. Is he different with the Stones and solo? tomcasagranda

I have only performed live with the Stones, but I have worked with Keith in the studio and collaborated with Mick, although never physically in the same space. When communicating over the phone or spending time together, they remain true to their individual personalities. Mick and Keith are both incredibly clever, incredibly humorous, and amazing people. It’s inspiring to see them still active and thriving in their 80s, giving me hope for the next two decades.

How has your approach to creating music changed over the course of 30 years?

In the past, we used to plan to start at 2pm, but often ended up starting at 10pm and would continue writing and drinking until 5am. However, things have changed now. As we get older, we may not achieve the same level of success as younger artists, but there is a sense of freedom in that. I can now write a song without worrying about pleasing everyone. I don’t care, because who’s going to listen to it anyway? I also feel like I have the right to offend whoever I want.


Who were your role models in the music industry as a young girl? jfriedland

Linda Rondstadt and Stevie Nicks had a significant impact on me. In college, I was also inspired by Emmylou and Joni Mitchell, particularly for their songwriting abilities. Seeing Bonnie Raitt play guitar in front of a band was the first time I realized that women could do that too.

What’s the best value you feel you can teach your boys? kjnpdx

Empathy is an innate response that we possess from birth. When we witness suffering, we experience sadness. However, as we grow, we may learn to numb ourselves to these feelings. Therefore, teaching or guiding others to reawaken their sensitivity can be extremely valuable.

What brings you joy currently? Dreaminman.

I enjoy spending my weekends and mornings playing with my sons, listening to music loudly in the house and experimenting with different things. It brings me great happiness.