email@example.com Q & A, Part I
3/3/2010 (updated 3/3/2010)
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RECENT TOUR/NEW ALBUM
Brian A. Miller:
1. I attended two of the recent band shows in San Francisco.
What will the new album be titled? How soon should we expect a CD release
of the new material? Label? What would you consider the main theme of the
album to be?
RT: There is no title as yet - still being mulled over. The CD is scheduled
for August, on Shout Factory in the US, Proper Records elsewhere. The themes
are trivial - Love, Death, and Saving The Planet.
2. I loved the two band shows I managed to catch. Was the album recording
experience what you expected? Will this band reunite for tours later this
year? Have you given any thought to playing the album beginning to end at
later shows even though it's not needed for recording purposes?
Please, please say that the later "hits" set will be a bonus disc with the
RT: I don't know what I was thinking when I put this idea forward. It was
much harder than I was expecting. It's very tough to learn 13 new pieces and
play them live. In the studio you deal with one at a time, and you play them
till you get them right, away from the eyes of the public. However, I think
the chaps did magnificently, and hopefully we cracked it. I have been
wondering myself about playing the new songs back to back on the next
leg, not sure yet. We have set 2 recorded, and I'm sure it will be available
somehow, somewhere, even though it's mostly things that have been on other
live recordings. I would have liked to have played a less obvious second
set, but most of our rehearsal energies had to go into the new stuff, so set
2 had to be mostly familiar for the musicians.
3. One song seems to be about the financial crisis. Could we already have
some essential lyrics, so we can tell our family & friends what to expect?
RT: The opening song is 'Money Shuffle', which puts the listener, thanks to
the technological miracle of songwriting, right into the minds of Wall
Street's finest. I quote:
Here at Warbrook and Jones
It's all tradition
We never pimp
And we don't hustle
If you'll just
Bend over a little
I think you'll feel
My financial muscle
Spread it wide, wide as you can
To get the full benefit of my plan
Etc. ('Money Shuffle' copyright Richard Thompson, Beeswing/Bug Music)
4. Any good stories from the recent band tour that you can share?
RT: This was a short tour, so little chance for the usual debauchery. You
may be interested to know that, in the spirit of James Brown, we do have a
fining system on the tour, run by Finemeister Bobby Eichorn - he presumably
brought this noxious practice with him from some other band. All clams by
musicians, squeals from the monitors or front of house, or general signs of
professional incompetence, are fined at a general rate of $5 or $10,
depending on severity. There was a $50 levied once (for leaving the bus
trailer door open). Being late for the bus is a dollar a minute. Unlike
James Brown, the bandleader is not the recipient of the money - it goes into
the fine cup, and pays for the final communal dinner of the tour, in this
instance at the very fine House of Nanking in Chinatown. The record for one
tour's fines was over $400!
5. On the recent band tour, you mainly relied on a Strat with a rosewood
fretboard. I know the details of the guitar from Beesweb, but can you tell
us how using the Strat on this tour affected your playing, and how you chose
when you would swap the Strat out for another electric guitar?
RT: The blue Strat is a little darker tonally than my other guitars, but has
a lot of punch, and having been noodling with it before the tour, it seemed
most comfortable to play. The Ferrington has a wider, flatter neck, and is
the only electric I have that can be reliably capoed, so it was used in that
role. I used the Kellycaster for a bit more top end on 'Sidney Wells'.
6. To get even more pedantic on guitar choices - at the last show of the
tour, you used the Strat on "Sidney Wells", instead of the Tele you'd been
using for that song. May I ask why?
RT: Because the p/us on the Blue Strat are so loud, I really need to adjust
the amp settings to go to the Kelly, and I felt I needed more time to get
7. Finally, I'd like to know how you enjoyed playing at the Great American
Music Hall. Is it the kind of place you might, perchance, deign to return
to, on occasion, for solo shows?
RT: The GAMH is lovely to play in, and perfect for a multi-night stay in SF.
It usually makes more economic sense for us to play somewhere bigger like
the Fillmore, but I would hope it would be an option for the future.
8. Have dates been fixed for presentation of songs from the impending album
on this side of the Atlantic? Will they be confined to the UK or will
continental Europe be included? Will it be the same band as in the US or is
Danny likely to replace Taras?
RT: Our window for a European tour, UK and the Continent, is January 2011.
It should be the same band, with Taras on bass. This was always conceived as
an electric bass set of songs (and electric guitar set of songs).
9. Can we ever expect to see a woman singer in the (rock-)band again?
RT: I would hope so. If I could add another piece, it would be a female