Primrose Hill between Camden and Regent's Park is a preferred London residential area, especially among actors and musicians. Robert Plant, as he reveals in his favourite pub Princess Of Wales, has had a "nice little house" here for years, but he only uses it occasionally when he visits the capital. Otherwise, he lives in the country, near the Welsh border. And until recently, in Austin, Texas. But since the separation from US singer-songwriter Patty Griffin at the end of last year, he has turned his back on the states once and for all. Which is one of the main themes on Carry Fire. Just like his personal view of the USA under Trump and the world in 2017, he has little sympathy and even less understanding. Although he expresses this clearly in his texts, Plant does not want to discuss his views further. Which makes him an exhausting, sometimes stubborn conversational partner. Someone who in principle does not want to talk about the past, but also not about the present. But about things that seem subtly wacky.
eclipsed: According to the liner notes on the new album, "Carry Fire" was inspired by a village in Herefordshire, a Welsh poem, strong beer, a tipi hotel in Texas and a medieval fair. In what way?
Robert Plant: (laughs) These are stops on my travels over the last few years and things I have come to know. Like the white-leaved oak tree on the border between Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester, which has a diameter of almost two metres and was the centre of a huge energy field in prehistoric times. It was also the base of the eternal choirs that sang incessantly. They followed the lines emanating from the oak, cosmic lines of force. Julian Cope has written some very good treatises on how the choirs reached a point every two hours where they were replaced by another choir and then marched and sang from there so that the singing was never interrupted. It's a crazy thing. And I mention it because that is the origin of civilization in Britain. The people settled down at these points and built a network of settlements and paths. That has been completely forgotten today. But there used to be a very, very strong bond between man and nature. And so I thought it would be nice to mention that on the back of a record cover in 2017.
eclipsed: How familiar are you with Julian Cope's work? For example with his book "The Modern Antiquarian" about Neolithic sites?
Plant: This is a fascinating book, simply because of its attention to detail. He shows these portals, these windows of time with a clarity that few people possess. He ensures that we attain a new consciousness for our existence. For example, if you had walked from the airport to Primrose Hill today, you probably would have discovered some of the magnificent secret fountains, or the Celtic parts of London. Maybe you would have crossed the river Fleet, which runs underground for three kilometers. There's so much beauty. I consider myself lucky that I have enough time between being a media whore and being a musician to poke around in these things. Julian Cope is the master and I am the altar boy.