CeeLo Green Weighs in on New Track, and Gnarls Barkley Reunion

The Goodie Mob/Gnarls Barkley star just premiered the official music video for “Working Class Heroes (Work)” off his recent solo effort Heart Blanche. The track is also featured on the upcoming soundtrack for Barbershop: The Next Cut. Green has also released a series of live material. Last week, A-Sides chatted with the alt-R&B/soulful artist and asked him about the new song, the ten-year anniversary of Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere debut, and, yes, social media. Read on.

There’s a certain 80’s element to “Working Class Heroes (Work).” Did you set out as a throwback or am I completely hearing things?
No, you are not. There was a deliberate 80’s influence initially for the direction of the album, it ultimately took a tuner but these are a few of the remaining songs that ended up make the final cut.

You’ve released some live material lately. Arguably more so than any musician I listen to, you seem to fully embrace the live performance. Can you describe the difference between recording in a studio and watching a song come together versus performing it on stage?
The differences are you begin to be tempted with the accessibility of manufacturing or making a song as perfectly as you like it to be, but there is something very gratifying about being in the “raw” and having that emotion being an involuntary action and leave it be…. And you know, there’s a show case of confidence in there.

Speaking of which, have you ever worn your Gnarls Barkley stage outfits off stage? I miss those.
No I haven’t.

You recently spoke to EW about the 10-year anniversary of Gnarls Barkley. Can we expect another album down the road? If not, are you comfortable leaving the band off where you did?
Oh, well we are in talks and in a high hopes to do another project in a very near future, so, no, I like to do another one. We both would.

Awesome. “Crazy” has had such legs – even to this day I hear it on the radio. It’s as timeless as flip flops and wrestlers wearing fanny packs. Do you feel that?
I do. It’s a very astonishing accomplishment in my professional life. It’s to be marveled. It’s to be in awe of, and [I am] even as its author.

Moving on, how do you view social media these days? It seems to be the best thing and the worst thing to happen especially in your industry. Would you agree?
Well, you can either use social media or you can utilize it. At once, I thought that it would be a common ground where a creator, a consumer, or a corporation, could all have a communal impact on each other by being able to speak freely and directly to each other and that’s still the case…you know that it’s also a platform of which one could be outspoken or provocative, if you will, and sometimes, and [in] some situations, call for this type of “deliberacy.” Other times, it could work against you, of course.

But, I think ultimately the means to reach a fan base and to amass an audience – an extension of an art from that you’re trying to present or a market – I think it’s highly resourceful for that.

Can you impart some words of wisdom for my one-year-old son?
Grow slow young man, grow slow

A-Sides’ “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its top 12 tracks of the week AKA the “Delve Into Twelve” based on the following contributing factors: songs I’m playing out that particular week (no matter when they were released — think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, song posts and trends I’ve noticed on my friends’ Facebook walls and, most importantly: what my toddler is currently enjoying thoroughly with an assist from my infant.

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman’s music/entertainment series typically features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Yoko Ono, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bastille.