Paul Kanter talks music within his bands Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship

Paul Kanter is one of the founding members of bands Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship. Currently he is touring with Jefferson Starship and shows no signs of slowing down.  The band recently released a new live album titled “Tales from the Mothership” through Gonzo Multimedia. Paul took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about his love for music and touring.

Mike Gencarelli: How do you feel music has changed since you first started?
Paul Kantner: It will always be in the province of the young. For some unexplained reason we have refused to go away. Could be that I don’t have anything better to do. (Laughs) When you go to work and play that’s sort of the idea of my upbringing.

MG: How do you think that psychedelic rock is still relevant in today’s music scene?
PK: The concept of what is called psychedelic music came from a whole bunch of bands that were differentfrom each other particularly here in San Francisco. I think that has been fostered in the current music scene in that you don’t have to play one kind of music in order to besuccessful. It allows room and broadness for any number of people to make music. Psychedelic is very general concept to me because all of the bands were so radically different from one another. I just think that is really the main part of the adventure that holds over to today.

MG: Is there one concert or event that stands out as a favorite?
PK: With all those events that went on each one is like your child. People don’t ask who your favorite child is so I think that’s the similarity with that question/answer. We are still continuing to have a great time every time we go on stage. The architecture of music is so radically joined with the human mind that I am still in awe of it. I am swept away every time I play.

MG: What do you enjoy most about still playing?
Having the adventure go on is always unique. We are playing quite good these days and the band is really great.

MG: Can you reflect Jefferson Airplane’s break-through album “Surrealistic Pillow”?
PK: That album did quite well and sort of took off from the first album. We would just get crazier and crazier each album.  Every album was radically different and we are not locked in to sounding a certain way. The record companies still don’t know what to do with us to this day. (Laughs)

MG: Is there a song in the live set that really gets you going each night?
PK: Just about all of them do that! We have been experimenting live lately with “Blows Against the Empire”. We also have been working on combining the music from the “Blade Runner” film with my science fiction album. The show will be kind of a combination of both of those. I am looking forward to experimenting more with that when we get back from touring Europe. The first time we tried something like this was at a Sci-Fi convention in Roswell, NM.

MG: What was the idea behind the your recent release “Tales from the Mothership”?
PK: My love for science fiction was a big part. I can remember falling in love with the genre as early as second grade when I was in military boarding school.

MG: Do you have any future plans to do more with “The Windowpane Collective”?
PK: I am working on one that may turn out to be an album. It has to do with civil war songs. I am really fond of the writing of Stephen Foster. I am looking at those as we speak. We are also putting together another focus album in the mode of “Tree of Liberty”.