Van Morrison: 'I can't relate to what they call R&B, it has no rhythm or blues'
Singer Van Morrison says he is not a fan of the modern incarnation of the musical genre that inspired his career, dismissing today's R&B as "terrible" and "robotic".
Morrison, who is releasing his 35th studio album this month, grew up listening to jazz and blues, music that was "esoteric, stuff that you had to think about", he told The Times.
He said: "It's about jazz and blues as opposed to rock. I didn't grow up on Top Of The Pops. It wasn't like, turn on the radio and get the Top 10. So that is where I am coming from - jazz, blues, folk, the beat thing."
But the Northern Irishman, who has spent almost 50 years in the industry, was withering about today's descendants of the musical styles he loved as a young man.
Morrison, 69, said: "I can't relate to it now, what they call R&B. It doesn't have any rhythm in it. It doesn't have any blues. To me it is very unrhythmic. It's very robotic. Words take on different meanings after a while.
"It's like soul. I don't know what that is now. To me, soul was like Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Bobby Bland, Solomon Burke, Bobby Womack. But what is it now? It is just a word. It can mean anything.
"What is jazz? Some of the stuff that they say is jazz, I don't know what it is. Blues also."
Morrison blamed his reputation for being grumpy and never having a laugh on "lazy journalists" who "keep the mythology going", and revealed he feels a very different person from the man he was at 40, when he says he "didn't know anything".
He said: "I still don't know much. When you're 40 you think you know everything. You realise that the older you get, how little you actually know."
His new album, Duets: Re-working The Catalogue, is released on Monday.