Robert Plant: Led Zeppelin is Not Heavy Metal

SKF NOTE: Well that settles that.

J.D. Considine: You’re undoubtedly aware that Led Zeppelin is seen by many as the godparents of heavy metal — do you think that what you do, or did then, could accurately be called “heavy metal”?

Robert Plant: No. Take the first album — Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, Your Time is Gonna Come, How Many More Times — that was not heavy metal. There was nothing heavy about that at all. You listen to How Many More Times, which is really borrowed from the blues, anyway. The kind of dynamics in the middle of that, or Jimmy [Page] using the wah-wah pedal on some of the parts, or Bonzo [John Bonham] aping him with the cymbals, or stuff like that — it was neat. Bonzo was twenty years old when he did that and it was neat. And it wasn’t an insult to people’s integrity and sophistication. It was ethereal in places. Dazed And Confused too. The musicianship was such that people could go off on tangents and create passages that were compelling. They were skull-crashing in a way. But it wasn’t through sheer, brute volume. It was the way it was played. It’s a distinct difference.

Source: Robert Plant: Life in a Lighter Led Zeppelin, by J.D. Considine, Musician December 1983

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