David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash appeared separately on Apple Music to discuss their new 50th anniversary box set edition of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young‘s Déjà Vu collection.
While talking about the new package with journalist Zane Lowe, Graham Nash admitted that despite helping to create the album, he can’t be biased when it comes to singing its praises: “This Déjà Vu record, as a fan of the record, if I can take myself out of being one of those four, and look at it as a piece of music as a fan — I thought it was a fabulous record. We did have a lot of songs, we knew we were decent writers, we knew we were decent singers. The addition of Neil (Young) made it a completely different band. Crosby, Stills, & Nash is a completely different band than Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.”
Stephen Stills was asked how the group realized it was time to re-enter the studio to begin the Déjà Vu sessions: “Graham and I were talking about it and we realized that we had just enough great songs to really start, and we would feed off of those into creating some new ones. And that particular part of it was the only bit of sanity about the whole time. (Laughs) It was nuts. Y’know, we were peakin’ celebrity-wise, which I hate to even admit. And there were cliques forming around each one of us and all the ingenerate problems that could happen with bands.”
David Crosby maintains that despite all the ego, money, and drugs that were fueling CSNY at their peak — the essence of the group was always about the music: “It’s very interesting to hear what some of the potential other tunes could’ve been, and it gives you context for the songs that we did put on the record. And the bottom line, man, that band is all about songs. The reason we wanted Neil in the band was not his guitar playing, not his singing — it was those songs. And Stills, y’know, who’s the best of us, without any question — the best songwriter, best guitar player, best singer — loved (Young’s) songs. And so did I.”