Author Archives: Jennifer Carney

Dave Davies:
The TVD Interview

At its essence, rock music is about little moments that become something big. Even if The Kinks were one-hit wonders, they’d still deserve a place in rock music history for THAT RIFF. You know it. The world knows it. A seventeen-year-old Dave Davies knew it when he slashed up his amp, attacked his guitar, and gave “You Really Got Me” the distorted power chords that changed rock music the instant it was committed to vinyl fifty years ago.

That The Kinks were responsible for some of the most influential music of their generation will never be in dispute. It was the fractious relationship between Dave Davies and his brother Ray that fueled the art and fury of the band, hurtling them into a superstardom that was always a thrilling hairsbreadth away from total implosion.

Despite being notoriously tormented by brother Ray, Dave Davies nevertheless enjoyed the massive success of The Kinks and lived the rock and roll lifestyle to prove it. His 1998 autobiography, KINK, was as much an exposé of his ongoing conflicts with his brother as it was an unflinchingly honest account of his dalliances in various lifestyles and substances. More than anything, however, KINK chronicled Davies’ journey as a stifled, deeply creative soul.

Happily, “stifled” is the last word that describes Dave Davies these days. He has had a prolific solo career; his latest album, Rippin’ Up Time, will be his second album in the last year when it’s released on November 24, and one of a dozen or so live and/or studio records over the last fifteen years.

Once widely known for being rebellious and incendiary, Dave Davies today exudes a sage-like tranquility. This is not merely an inevitability of time: a stroke in 2004 that nearly killed him sent him further down the path of reawakening that he began in the early ‘70s. Today, Davies is feeling humbled and wildly creative. The ever-present Kinks reunion rumors don’t seem to affect him as they once did. Right now, it’s all about the new. 

Rippin’ Up Time is a collection of true Dave Davies musical musings: reflections on the past, fretting about the future, and appreciating the present. Davies opened up to us about the album, his creative process, and how quickly the last fifty years have flown by.

A few years ago, Rolling Stone named you one of their “100 Greatest Guitarists.” Do you feel like you’ve gotten the credit due to you, overall, for your contributions to rock guitar?

Well… not really, no. [Laughs] But I’ve had a very successful career up to now, and I’m happy about the work I’ve been involved in—The Kinks and my own work. I’m still recording and still out playing. I’m happy for what I’ve got!

When I read your autobiography, I was particularly struck by how cathartic it felt to read. You’ve been much more prolific in the years since the book was released; was there a creative shift for you once KINK was out there?

I thought the book was very important for me personally, just to get a lot of things off my chest. It’s important to express ourselves and deal with the issues we keep squashed down inside us. I think it was a very transforming exercise doing that book, yeah. 

You released more solo albums after the publishing of KINK than before it. It seems as if it unleashed a backlog of creativity for you. Do you feel that’s the case?

Yeah! I think once I started [song]writing, it became easier each time. I felt the same way with my new album [Rippin’ Up Time]. I hadn’t written anything for a while, and last year I released an album called I Will Be Me and was writing this album virtually straight afterwards. Rippin’ Up Time was a very inspiring record to make and to write.

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The Joy Formidable’s
Ritzy Bryan,
The TVD Interview

One of the worst things you can do to a band on the rise is call them the “second coming” of anything, or to compare them to what’s come before. The offense is especially egregious when it’s an ambitious band that does everything in their power to exceed expectations—a band like The Joy Formidable

We have been big fans of TJF for a while now. One of the things we love best about the Welsh band is not their guitar-driven, genre-defying big pop sound, but their big hearts and their complete willingness to share in their success. It’s that sentiment is what makes the band’s latest singles project so compelling.

When I asked if there was anything else she would like to talk about, singer Ritzy Bryan immediately said, “It would be great if you could talk about the bands on our B-sides.” After countless months on the road, and prodigious songwriting for a brand new album, her primary concern was that we talk about the other great Welsh bands who took part in their new project, the Welsh Singles Club

The Welsh Singles Club features a new mash-up of The Joy Formidable’s grungy pop-rock sound with traditional instrumentations and all-Welsh lyrics on limited-edition 7″ vinyl. In the spirit of collaboration, these unique singles are split with a different Welsh band on the B-sides. The Singles Club kicked off in June with Aruthrol (which means “Formidable” in Welsh) backed with a B-side from psychedelic rockers Colorama. The series continues today with the release of Aruthrol B, featuring a hypnotic new TJF song, “Tynnu Sylw,” backed with B-side from drone-rockers, White Noise Sound.

The Welsh Singles Club is only the beginning of the end of the beginning for The Joy Formidable. Ritzy clued us in on a new album they’re finishing at their rural North Wales studio/retreat, the challenges of and passion for writing in her native tongue, and how The Joy Formidable is bringing it all back home in more ways than one. 

You’ve been described as having taken up the cause that Britpop and grunge abandoned over a decade ago. At the risk of over-simplifying for those who are just learning about you, do you feel like that’s true at all?

I don’t know. I always find it quite difficult when people feel that way about what we do. I think that there’s certainly the conviction of those sorts of eras running through the music…

But you don’t like being pigeon-holed, of course.

Well, yeah, we’re certainly unapologetic about being a guitar band. But in the same breath, I suppose we’re lots of things. We don’t like to feel the restrictions of being purely a guitar band, too. And definitely, I think there’s so much scope for guitar-driven music. There’s so much originality you can find in that genre. I think we still feel like we’re bringing something fresh. There’s a lot of “retrofication” these days, you know what I mean? [Laughs]

The one reason [guitar bands] have kind of been struggling has been is because of the sense of what people expect of us as a guitar band and what a guitar band can do. There’s obviously been so many great decades of great guitar music, and yeah we love those two genres you mentioned. But I think it’s really important that you push it to something new—something you find yourself—you make something original in your own voice as a band.

That’s why we dip in to lots of genres—lots of different sounds and inspirations. We like to push what it means to be in a guitar band, but keeping the aesthetic of that conviction and the unapologetic-ness of those eras as well.

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The Turtles’ Mark Volman, The TVD Interview

Back when pop music had real prestige, The Turtles were one of its finest practitioners. Their success was due in no small part to a DIY approach to music and their collective ear for a great song. The band first hit the charts with a version of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” in 1965. From there, they covered songs from bands like The Byrds and recorded tunes from songwriters like Warren Zevon and the mostly forgotten—yet incredibly prolific—Alan Gordon, who co-wrote their signature song, “Happy Together.”

Despite numerous personnel changes, Mark Volman never fully abandoned the idea of The Turtles. He and Turtles bandmate Howard Kaylan departed from the band for a time and joined Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, calling themselves Flo (Mark) & Eddie (Howard). They continued to tour and record as Flo & Eddie (separate from Zappa) through the ’80s until they regained control of The Turtles’ name. Today, Volman and Kaylan bill themselves “The Turtles Featuring Flo & Eddie” and gig around the world with fellow ’60s and ’70s pop acts on their popular Happy Together Tour.  

Volman has thrived in the music industry for the better part of fifty years. His incredibly varied career has included work as a backup singer, record producer, screenwriter, and college professor. When he’s not touring with The Turtles, Volman chairs the Entertainment Industry Studies Department at Belmont University in Nashville.

Volman most recently oversaw the creation of a Turtles box set containing newly remastered 45RPM vinyl singles (out now), a perfect tribute for one of the most beloved pop bands of the ’60s. Our conversation with him last week makes it clear why his students have voted him “Outstanding Professor” and why The Turtles’ music endures in 2014. 

I remember really liking “Happy Together” as a kid because it was this upbeat song in a minor key, and so it kind of stuck in my mind…

[Laughs] Well, I think that the effervescent minor key to major key was a big part of The Turtles. Ultimately, it shaped the sound of our songs. I think that “Happy Together” certainly is a good demonstration of that; “Elenore” was probably the one that was more famous by kind of the fact that we were lampooning ourselves. Again, I think in the beginning, we had no idea that it was going to end up doing what it  did!

Your big hits came in such a brief period of time, and they’re so well-crafted—almost like Rodgers and Hammerstein type story-songs. Is that what you set out to do when you got into music?

Well, we were experimenting with a lot of different [things], and we were fortunate. We came along when songwriting was still thought of as the most important thing. From our standpoint, we never really worried about what material we were doing, whether we were writing it or not; the most important thing was that we had a piece of music we felt we could stand behind. Because our live show played such an integral part of our survival in that era, we wanted to make sure that the music we were performing on record was something we could do on stage. I think sometimes you take for granted the fact that so much of the music that came out of Southern California—The Mamas & The Papas, The Beach Boys…there was a whole slew of artists who were making records, but not playing on their records.

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Chris Hillman:
The TVD Interview

“Things are happening incredibly fast.

How strange would it be to have something like that written about your band, in the liner notes of a “greatest hits” album, less than a few months after your band came and went, and all before you turned twenty-five?

It seems impossible now to truly separate rock and roll and folk, but at one time they were two very distinct genres. And it seems impossible to think of folk rock without The Byrds, and yet there was a time when even Bob Dylan was a pariah for bridging the gap between folk and rock. Then when The Byrds brought folk rock to the pop charts, they changed the way everyone sounded—even The Beatles—and there was no looking back.

Chris Hillman was part of it all, trailblazing this new genre with the highly influential, yet relatively short-lived group. (The liner notes got that right.) He went on to pioneer the melding of country and rock with a later incarnation of The Byrds and, eventually, with country rock trailblazers the Flying Burrito Brothers. He never really looked back, and has had a long career as a solo artist and with various groups who brought diverse genres together.

Chris has almost always been enamored with old-time music, folk, and bluegrass; he took up the mandolin at an early age and continues to bring the songs he grew up with to life. His current summer tour—with long-time collaborator Herb Pedersen and, occasionally, an incarnation of his popular Desert Rose Band—brings together the music and the mandolin he’s always loved with a new voice he’s discovered from his storytelling “lectures” that he’s been presenting at universities nationwide over the last few years.

Our talk with Chris covered a lot of ground, but his core artistic philosophy is clear: create and create with meaning. The rest of our conversation touched on performing, whether or not to pursue a life in music, and how he would instruct a group of students about the value of vinyl.  

When I found out I was going to be speaking with you, I thought about my own experience with bluegrass music: I never appreciated it until I lived in the Ozarks for a while. I was curious—what was it about that music that moved you when you first heard it?

It’s funny; my parents loved music. They played their generation’s music, which was big band and Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin—that era of music. So, it was an alien art form for them. I started with folk music in 1959 and 1960, and I sort of gravitated more towards the mountain, rootsy sound. Old time music, and then bluegrass was a natural progression from that.

There was an energy to the music and a freeform improvisation in the soloing, so it was almost like hillbilly jazz to me. These guys would get up and sing these beautiful three-part harmonies and then play these great solos! Nothing was written up; they couldn’t read music or anything, but it just connected with me. I was probably one of three guys in my high school—and it was a small, little rural area with about six hundred, seven hundred kids in my high school—who liked that kind of music. But at that point in time, 1959 to 1960, folk music was making its mark in the music world through the Kingston Trio and all that. So, that’s a long answer to your question. I think it hit a nerve with me.

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TVD Recommends: Buster Poindexter at
the Birchmere, 8/8

Are you ready for Buster Poindexter’s post-modern cabaret? Who hasn’t watched an old movie and thought how cool it would be to experience an authentic night club show in this day and age? If you’re in the DC area this Friday night, David Johansen, as the inimitable Buster Poindexter, will be doing exactly that: playing music for a twenty-first century nightclub at the Birchmere. From the reviews we’ve been reading of his raucous New York shows, this second coming of Buster Poindexter is something you’ll want to say you’ve experienced.  

BUSTER IS BACK… but the fact of the matter is, Buster Poindexter never really went away. Johansen has been using the Buster character on and off for over thirty years, mashing up calypso, doo-wop, lounge, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, and jazz—a spectacular palette of colors in the eccentric musical rainbow that spill over in a Buster Poindexter show.

“It’s hard to compare it to anything else, because I don’t think anyone else is doing anything like this,” Johansen tells TVD. “It’s really hard to say, ‘Oh, it’s like Tony Bennett—only funny!’ Because it’s not. [Laughs] I don’t know how to explain it. It goes through so many changes in an hour-and-a-half that it’s hard to put a finger on what it is. But it’s just great music and laughs and it’s a good vibe.”

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David Gray,
The TVD Interview

Nobody expected White Ladder to be as big as it was. Its most iconic track, “Babylon,” became bigger even than David Gray himself. Overcoming that kind of success is nearly impossible, but Gray hasn’t relented. It’s been four years since his last album, Foundling, and nearly fifteen years since White Ladder spent over two years on the UK charts (and a year on the US charts), sold over seven million copies, and took the English singer-songwriter from obscurity to staggering fame. His tenth studio album, Mutineers, looks to bridge the gap for Gray between his popular successes and that which compelled him to write songs in the first place.

Mutineers contains Gray’s strongest songwriting of recent years, taken to another level by producer Andy Barlow (most recently of indie group Lamb), who wrenched Gray out of his comfort zone. At Gray’s explicit direction, Barlow deconstructed his songs, dismantling anything that sounded overwrought, and condensed Gray’s thoughts into powerful, driving, and spacious tracks. The result is that Mutineers is fresh-sounding, fascinating in its scope, and big in its sound. If you’ve been pining for substance in popular music, Mutineers is exactly that.

We spoke with David on the eve of his North American tour, hours before he appeared on Late Show with David Letterman debuting the aptly titled, “Back in the World.” He was candid and eloquent in our interview, talking about the process of making the new record and what it’s like to be an independent artist again. “I feel like I’m entering a rich period of making music,” he said, “as fresh as any I’ve ever made.” 

The title track really leapt out at me. There’s something very powerful about your chorus, and it made me think of it as a sort of “grown-up” adventure song. What is the significance of the lyrics in “Mutineers?”

I have no idea if that’s what it means. [Laughs] It was born in a strange way. My producer tore up an existing song I had called “Sugar Rush.” What I was left with was a small chord sequence, which is what you hear now. He looped that—he said, “Stick with this, Dave,” and I was looking rather vexed. There was no verse, no chords no melody—all I was left with were these fucking lyrics and a small chord sequence. [Laughs] I thought, “there’s something good about it… let’s see what we can do.”

So, what I did is I found the chorus/melody first. [Sings] “Babe… sure feels good…” That bit. And once I realized that, I thought… this really works! I found the guitar part that goes with it—that really high guitar part; that brought that to life. And that’s a very heartfelt little bit of singing there.

But then, the verses are more ambiguous. It’s enigmatic; the meaning of the song is unclear. The tendency to explain there—there’s no narrative structure because it has an irresistible energy. It’s sort of mantric with its constant repetition. It has a sort of… inevitability and an unstoppable feeling. I love that track, and playing it live… it’s obviously infectious, because the whole band get really into it and the audience [does], too. I don’t know if I’d describe it as an “adventure” song, but I’m glad you found it to be an adventure. I do get what you’re saying, but I’m sorry I can’t explain the song on those terms. It’s a mystery to me. I respond to its energy and I respond to its imagery. As far as a definitive explanation of it… I’m so sorry I can’t help explain it better.

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John Waite,
The TVD Interview

Ditch what you think of “best of” albums right now. What if it weren’t just a re-packaging of greatest hits, and was instead a sonic patois of who you were, and where you’d been your whole life, and how you see your entire career right now? Would you think about the album differently? Would you feel vulnerable? Would you feel it represented you at your best? 

In the tradition of the Finn Brothers and countless others, John Waite is the consummate overlooked legendary songwriter. Waite rose to fame as bassist and lead vocalist for The Babys, but it was his solo career that brought him platinum success in the US with “Missing You” and “Tears.” The British musician’s intimate familiarity with massive stardom has afforded him the luxury of exploring his talent and relinquishing obligations when it comes to his retrospective, BEST, released in May of this year. Waite dismantled his songs and reassembled them into new recordings, adding live and acoustic cuts to the mix as well. You won’t even find his biggest hit in its original form; instead it’s his 2007 duet with Allison Krauss that made the cut.

Waite’s career since has been anything but ordinary, writing eclectic and existential tunes without excuses. And although Waite has closed a chapter in one sense with BEST, he’s potentially writing a new novel in another.

“The question is,” he asked us, “do I want to make music for me, or am I trying to say something?” 

I’ve always had this admiration for those who play the bass over guitar. There’s something very Zen about it—that it’s as much about what you don’t play as what you do play. As a songwriter, what was it that drew you to the instrument?

That’s a great question. The first bass player I heard that made an impression on me was Paul McCartney. In the middle of “I Saw Her Standing There”… [sings] “I’ll never dance with another…” and he hits this note on “dance”—he plays this one passing note—and I’d never heard anything like that in my life before, and I don’t think anybody in contemporary music, outside of jazz, had done that before. I started looking at the bass more than I was looking at guitars. My brother played guitar in the house all the time, and my cousin was a banjo player. Both of them were brilliant musicians, really. Both guitar players, but the bass was, like you said, kind of Zen. It was four strings; it was ultra-simplistic. You could suggest things and you could finish the chord with your voice.

Paul McCartney would do that, he would sing this simplistic kind of melody against the root note and it made The Beatles what they were, really. People tend to forget that there’s a huge amount of celtic kind of folk harmonic influences in The Beatles’ harmonies and some of their melodies. A lot of it is derived from the bass. But from that point on, I liked the fact that nobody played bass, and you could sing and not get lost in the chords. It was simpler to handle and you could sing at the same time, more or less. Whereas people like Jimi Hendrix made it so there was no point in even picking up the guitar; between him and Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, they completely reinvented the electric guitar.

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Ian Anderson,
The TVD Interview

“That’s vinyl. That’s what it’s all about—trying to get the best of a bad job.”

It’s a fine thing to draw the rancor of one of rock music’s innovators. I mean that sincerely. While it is difficult to know if Ian Anderson was simply being cantankerous or if he truly feels that vinyl is the purview of right-wing political extremists… it doesn’t much matter. And it is unlikely that his fans will notice or care. It’s never been about opinion with Anderson—it’s always been about the music first and foremost. Vinyl as a format is as much about knowing your limitations as it is about enjoying them. Anderson enjoys neither limitations nor conventions, which should come as no surprise to…well, everyone. 

Ian Anderson’s agnosticism towards vinyl is consistent for a musician who thought nothing of treating rock music as bizarre pantomime/symphony. Nobody thought of playing the flute with the gusto of electric guitar until Ian Anderson came along; never formally trained, Anderson was just as ragged and brilliant with the flute as any of his contemporary “guitar gods” were with their instruments. With Jethro Tull, Anderson did everything he could to exorcise the fey from the flute, making it something fairly menacing and, even, metal. (Don’t let any Metallica fans know I said that.) He continues the tradition in 2014 with his latest opus, Homo Erraticus.

To his well-deserved credit, Ian Anderson has done little in past years to rest on his laurels. His feelings about the world in which we live and the people who inhabit it are evident in this TVD interview as they are in his new album, Homo Erraticus—the “wandering man”—a pre-and-post-apocalyptic musical tome that, like its creator, dwells somewhat obsessively on the present (and ongoing) conundrums of immigration, climate change, and mindless conflict.

Yet it’s the past that is the vehicle for the story. The sound of Homo Erraticus is almost startlingly Tull in its instrumentation and in its Biblical overtones. “It’s not Thick as a Brick 3,” Anderson proclaims. Yet the concept album marks the third coming of the character of Gerald Bostock, who first appeared in Jethro Tull’s 1972 opus, Thick as a Brick and, in 2012, Thick as a Brick 2. Today, Bostock has a blog and a Facebook account and a Twitter handle, so it could be said that Anderson’s characters and stories—while rooted in the past—have not resisted the future.

Anderson is about to embark on a yet another world tour in Europe this summer and the US in the fall. We were lucky to chat with him as he was preparing to bring his music, both new and old, to audiences worldwide. 

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Chris Robinson:
The TVD Interview

Unashamedly psychedelic, proggy and weird, retro yet modern,  Chris Robinson is a latter day icon of that place and time where cosmic rock began. His latest album with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Phosphorescent Harvest, is his third in two years, following hot on the heels of a 2013 Black Crowes reunion tour and coinciding with that iconic band’s 25th anniversary. It’s true that Robinson is best known as the frontman for the Black Crowes (who are again on hiatus), but his is the kind of relentless energy that keeps him from locking into any one band or project or sound, and making sell-outs (by default) of many of his peers. 

So, you haven’t seen or heard of the Brotherhood? That’s all right. Their latest tour officially kicks off on April 29, coinciding with the release of Phosphorescent Harvest. (You can hear new songs from the album before its official release via Billboard and Rolling Stone.) In other words, this is the perfect time to get acquainted with the band who, somehow, make the acid-rock music beloved by so many sound fresh and electrifying.

“The best perspective I have on what’s going on in my life—good and bad—is what comes out in the songs,” says Robinson. When we talked with him, Chris was standing outside of yet another venue, tour manager tapping his watch as he talked vinyl, the Brotherhood, and the state of music as he sees it. The rocker is perpetually on the road, logging 230 Brotherhood gigs since 2011. Yet his enthusiasm about his music and his connection with his band and his fans is what’s at the core of his prolonged popularity, and is what makes the California band a rootsy, trippy, utterly magnetic live act. 

Hey, are you The Vinyl District with the record store app?

Yes, we’re one and the same! You like it?

I really do like the app. I mean, you know, once you’ve been going to record stores for a long time, you can pretty much figure out… like, I know which ones I need to go to and which ones I don’t need to go to.

The one and only time I’ve seen you live was with Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes. I caught one of the only tour dates before he cancelled for some reason – hurt his back or something?

No… When we made the record, that was only like a handful of dates. We did the whole South and East Coast and Midwest; we did a lot of shows. It was just that last leg that we didn’t finish—I think! I could be totally wrong about that—I don’t know! [Laughs]

You’ve always seemed like a rock star from a different time. More accurately, you seem like you’ve always been really “into” music—like someone who spent afternoons looking for obscure records.

Yeah, I was always more into music than being a rock star. You think you’ve entered some exclusive thing, and then you look around and you’re like… “Oh, there’s a band called Ugly Kid Joe,” you know what I mean? They had a one-hit record. Anything that was more about money or being cool or whatever, and less about music, was not interesting to me. I was not interested at all. I was that way as a kid. That’s the only thing from my useful self that I reminisce about. [Laughs]

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Steve Hackett,
The TVD Interview

“Light industrial heavy metal, that’s me!” says Steve Hackett with a laugh. Progressive rock has always been about contradictions like this. “Progressing” in this genre has meant looking to the past and synthesizing it with the present to create music of the future. In this synthesis, the familiar becomes an unexpected adventure. And Hackett is more certain than ever that in order to undertake this adventure, one has to continue to look back in order to move forward. That’s the impetus behind the virtuoso musician’s Genesis Extended tour which commences at The Lincoln Theatre on Wednesday, (3/26) in Washington, DC.

The Genesis Extended tour embodies the contradictions that continue to make progressive rock so compelling. Genesis Revisited II, the follow-up to 1996’s Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited, forms the lion’s share of the music featured on the new tour. These are “test tube baby” versions of Genesis songs that bring new life to the music from his tenure as lead guitarist for Nursery Cryme-through-Seconds Out-era Genesis (with a few songs outside that era included at fans’ requests). Hackett endeavors to give fans a true Genesis experience and, thanks to his unflagging perfectionism, that’s exactly what he delivers. 

But why does Hackett continue to carry the “classic” Genesis torch after an acrimonious departure from the band over thirty-five years ago? For Hackett, it’s just about honoring the music and his role in creating it. Talking with Hackett just days before the US leg of Genesis Extended tour begins, he spoke with us about the prodigious talents he assembled for the concerts, the way fan interactions have shaped the music, and why authenticity is just about the most important thing to him these days. 

As I was getting ready to talk to you, I remembered back to college, and how my male friends were surprised that I was into progressive rock as much as they were.

It’s funny, it is the denizen mainly of males of a certain age, isn’t it? That’s something that I never quite understood but, nevertheless, that’s the way it is.

I’ve never quite understood that either. I’ve observed the trend among jazz fans as well.

Somebody proposed a theory to me many years ago: the more notes, the less women were interested. [Laughs]

You grew up influenced by classical music and opera, elements of which found their way into your music and into progressive rock in general. When I was first introduced to progressive rock, I imagined that it one day would be performed like the great classical works are. Is that sort of what you had in mind with Genesis Revisited and Genesis Extended?

Well, it’s funny. Despite ourselves and our best efforts to put off as many people as possible in the early days, I think [progressive rock] music has seemed to have survived. It’s gone through many reinterpretations; it’s certainly borrowed from enough forms—from opera to pantomime and then back again—so many influences, so many different kinds of music… I’m thrilled and delighted that it’s survived. I always say that with the stuff I do live—the star of the show is really the music. It seems to survive lots of different interpretations by different line-ups; Genesis itself, of course, is a band—or was a band—that went through many different incarnations. As to whether it’s the classical music of the future, we’ll just have to be around in two hundred years to find out! It’s survived much longer than I thought; we just imagined that we were being as competitive as the next band on the block, and that it would be forgotten pretty quickly.

Here was the latest offering—the latest humble offering—and to have it lauded and praised to the skies now is a very happy accident indeed, but nonetheless it is an accident. Because all music is a shot in the dark. It’s all a big experiment, at the end of the day, to see if it’s going to stick in any way. No one has really got the crystal ball for all of this.

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