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Strings Of Light
Ray Wilson Upon My Life
Djabe Hackett

(Ged Lynch, Richard Evans, David Rhodes)

Interview with David Rhodes,
Richard Evans and Ged Lynch

11. Mai 2010, Hamburg (GER), Fabrik

it: Is this the first time you are on solo tour with your own material?

David: Yes.

it: But you did a couple of shows last year...

David: Oh, yeah, only four shows, not a tour, just odd show, and only during half an hour.

it: You are doing a series of shows now. Are you happy with them so far under the circumstances?

David:[laughs] Yes! Of course. It is difficult, but it's fun.

it: How does it feel to play a number of shows in a row?

David: Great. You know, it starts to feel easier and things run smoother. And it's nice to have the guys here, my pals. [i.e. Ged Lynch and Richard Evans]

it: For three shows on this tour you are joined on stage by Ged and Richard. What's the story behind that?

David: There was an opportunity to get the guys out to help, and really just to … partly in the hope of generating more work later in the year letting people see what it can be like with a band and not just solo. The solo thing is nice and I think it works well as a small-scale thing. But when it's the band it changes. Which is lovely. And it's a different thing. It's two different things. My concern is to show that I can do kind of both.

it: It was a spontaneous idea to do these special full-band shows, then?

David: Yeah, it just clicked, it came together that they were available. Maybe we should shut the door? [someone does so, and Paintbox's soundcheck becomes a lot quieter] That's so much better.

Richard Evansit: Have you played before as a trio?

David: An afternoon at RealWorld, an afternoon in Hamburg, and I've been practising with Richard this afternoon in my hotelroom, so we haven't done it a lot?

it: My next question would have been: Did you rehearse for this?

David:[David, Ged and Richard laugh out loud] As much as we could, so it is kind of seat of the pants stuff and that makes it exciting. We have to be quite aware of what the other is doing.

it: But you knew the songs from doing the album?

David: Yeah, and Richard did, too.

Ged: There were little arrangement changes.

Richard: Yeah, I didn't play on it.

David: He refused to! [laughs] I asked him to and he wouldn't. I guess cause he's worried that I would want to play on his record. Scared! That's what it is.

Richard: You gotta have rules, I think. And it's decided it is a record I wasn't going to play on. I thought there was no place for me on it. He'd always been too rude about my style of playing. [laughs]

it: There are three songs in the set that are not on the Bittersweet album. Can you tell us about them?

David: They've just been written in the last two or three months. New songs, for the tour, to make it so I can play for an hour. [laughs] Had to come up with something.

it: So nothing from the archives?

David: It's all completely new, actually, and written with the little loop system that I use in mind. To make sure that I am doing it for the live setup rather than trying to record it first and then figure out how to do it live. Just a different approach, really.

it: Do you have plans to do more shows later on?

David: Hopefully. I am doing the solo thing supporting Cindy Lauper in the States a little bit at the end of June and then in August. And I'm hoping that in the autumn I can do more shows here, Karsten Jahnke is coming tonight to try and see what we can come up with. It would be lovely if I can do that with the band, but it really depends on what everybody thinks.

it: Your are touring on your own while Peter is out doing his stuff without. How does it feel after so many ...

David:[emphatically] Fine! Absolutely fine!

Richard: It's quite a big question really, I think. I went to see his show. There are obviously two things about it. One is the lack of ... it's always good to do those tours for work and for music, and we all do feel a certain amount of ownership, in a way, not exactly ownership – he'd hate me saying that, but there is something about it, there is an emotional attachment to the music so there is something tricky about seeing him do those pieces. The show he is doing at the moment – I went to see it and it's two distinct halves, you know. When he is doing the album [Scratch My Back] I can enjoy that, but when he is doing the old songs that we play I just kind of think „We do better.“ That was more difficult to see. But on the good side he is singing better than I've heard him sing in a long time. It sounds like he'd risen to the challenge. It was frustrating. I saw him on the third show, and he normally doesn't sing like that until the end of an eight months tour, so it was really annoying hearing him trying that hard. But anyway... Apart from it's all fine.

it: Ged, David, did you see the show?

David: No.

it: Why not?

David: Didn't want to. [to Ged] But you went?

Ged: Yeah, I went. I had the same feelings as Richard. The first half was what it was, it was standalone, but the second part – I just wanted to join in. There was almost a physical reaction. I sat there and I knew all the cues and I'm starting to … „the chorus!“ It's really strange.

it: Might it be possible that you join him onstage for this special thing in an acoustic way?

David: Seems not. Never came up.

Richard: Well, I think it did come up for a while. There was some vague talk, there were many different ideas thrown around. I think a lot of these things are often guided by financing, how the financing works. When you are touring with a 60-piece orchestra, there's not money then to have the band as well. So that doesn't really work 'cause they were touring with the same orchestra ...

David: I think they used a different one in France.

Richard: Oh, sorry, but that was only for one show at the beginning, I understand. When they went to Germany the whole orchestra went out so they were touring with seventy people or so.

it: About the Bittersweet album that is coming out on CD now. How did you find the record company?

David: The contact was through Karsten Jahnke. And then Tom heard it and happily went with it. He just told me he doesn't usually sign people unless he's seen them play live so I hope we do okay tonight.

it: Richard, Ged, what was it like working with David instead of Peter? Where do you see the difference?

David: You didn't get paid as well! [laughs] That's the first thing.

Ged: It was interesting because I know David quite well, not too well, but quite well, and it's the first time I've done a record with a friend, you know what I mean? We are playing his songs that are really his songs. Usually I work for people I don't know, so I don't know what's really behind their songs. Sometimes it was quite emotional when you're playing with a friend, it's really lovely. I really understand what we're playing. It was great.

it: So it was more than just a job?

Ged: Yes, and it was really quick, just two days?

David: No, we did … four days ...

Ged: Twice that lot. It went very quickly. The team was ...

David: It was a nice game.

Ged: Yes, good people.

Richard: As for me, I work with David a lot that has nothing to do with Peter. I feel we have a different thing to that, anyway, so there's no great surprises there. We've done many things stuck in studios together for long periods of time ...

David: ... long, long periods of time ...

Ged: … too long ...

David: Yeah! [laughs]

it:[Helmut:] Personally, I like the album a lot ...

David: [enthusiastically] … which is great!

it: Have you received other feedback? I seem not to have seen any reviews so far.

David: No, the reviews, that's just building up now. I think that will happen in the next few weeks. The people that get to listen to it like it, and I'm sure the ones that don't just ignore it. I hope there are more people that like it than ignore it. [laughs] It sounds good, doesn't it, sounds lovely. It's just trying to get it through to people, and that's what Care [Music] will do, and hopefully it will start building from there. Keep our fingers crossed.

it: Have you heard Peter's opinion?

David: He came in whilst we were recording it, and enjoyed … I think he came in during One Touch, and he enjoyed that. I am sure he has heard it and I seem to remember him saying that, but that's a long time ago.

it: Do you know how often your album has been downloaded from the Bowers & Wilkins site?

David: No idea. I wonder if it was very many, because it is quite expensive to become a member of the fan club, isn't it? It is quite expensive, but you get a lot of interesting music if you do that.

it: What are your future plans? Working on your own or with Peter or …?

David: Well, I can say that I've got a Cindy Lauper tour to support in August and a bit in June. [to the others:] Have you got any work in June or July? - and I think there are a couple of Peter shows in Australia in... October? Or November? And then hopefully touring again doing my thing. It's all up in the air.

it: It took quite a while for you to record your debut album. Any idea on how long it will take you to do a follow-up album? Not twenty years again?

David: [laughs] No. I'm starting to gather together some more material, so it will happen. Not quite sure when. It's just being bloody-minded enough to sort it out.

it: Any news from the Footnotes work for soundtracks?

David: We've just finished … what was that called, that shark thing?

Richard:Shark Man!

David:[in a lurid voice] Shark Man! Shark Man - Great White Hunters, or something. Was it? Or just Shark Man. And they're just starting to air that now on National Geographic. It's blokes catching sharks and tagging them.

Richard: And then there is a film called Perish that we were going to do in May, but it's set in Sweden in the snow and they've missed the snowing period so they've been putting it off til next year.

David: That's a next year project, and it's a nice kind of horror movie we did a couple of pieces for and it went really nicely. It could be a really nice movie.

it: Is any material from the Footnote project on sale? Are you planning to do, like, a compilation ...?

David: Actually, Richard listened to a load of it the other day and said how great it sounds [laughs] We should do something with it but it's a question of deciding what, when and how, really. Because I think we can do whatever we want with it.

Richard: There's nearly been a few records but it's really been down to the film company or also Rob at RealWorld Publishing. It's down to him whether or not he means it when he says he's going to release a record or whether he's just getting over-excited. So far he's just got over-excited.

David: But there is a lot of nice material to choose from. There is a ton of stuff. A lot of programmes and interesting little bits and bobs.

it: It would be nice to listen to it.

Richard: The problem is that most of them are fifty-second pieces of music. You do those, and then it's very difficult at the end to extend it to a meaningful record.

David: There have been a lot of vignettes rather than meaningful pieces. But it might be nice. I like to listen to soundtracks sometimes.

it: Thank you very much for the interview!

David: Thank you very much for your support!

Interview: Helmut Janisch + Bernd Zindler
transcription by Martin Klinkhardt