Speaking to Q’s Luke Turner, who joined the band in Nashville for our latest issue, Q335 out now, the nomadic Africa band explained how they had to head to the US for the first time after the volatile political situation in their native Mali, and their current adopted home of Tamanrasset, Algeria, made recording in the Sahara impossible – however they kept their desert surroundings by relocating to California's Mojave.
“We like the fact that we can record in the desert,” explains bassist Eyadou Ag Leche, “even if it’s not our own desert.”
The sessions were overseen by Joshua Smith who plays in Jack White’s band who explained they set up tents so Tinariwen’s members felt at home.
“We had a campfire most nights,” he recalls. “We cooked a lot of lamb!”
Get Q335 now for the full story of the band's American journey.