Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes on ‘Peace…Like A River:’ “I tried to write songs that were universal”

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Gov’t Mule is set to drop their 12th studio album, Peace…Like A River, on Friday, June 16, and it sounds like it wasn’t too hard for frontman Warren Haynes to come up with the title of the record.

“When I was going through all the lyrics, I realized that the word ‘peace’ and the word ‘river’ appear more than anything else, several times in multiple songs,” he tells ABC Audio. “And so I wanted to find something that combined those two things together.”

The title was also inspired by the Paul Simon song “Peace Like a River,” with Haynes noting, “We almost recorded it and we may still at some point.” 

The album was recorded during COVID-19 lockdowns, during the same sessions as 2021’s Heavy Load Blues. Haynes explains they decided to work on both “because we had all this time on our hands and I had written a ton of material, and we couldn’t travel and we couldn’t tour, so it was the best way to utilize our time.” 

Haynes says the pandemic did affect the way he was thinking and feeling while writing the record, but he insists, “I tried not to let it affect the subject matter so much.”

“I didn’t want to write a bunch of COVID-centric songs, but at the same time, that’s what the world was going through,” he shares. “And so I tried to write songs that were universal, but with the mindset that was happening at the time.” 

Peace…Like A River is available for preorder now.

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