King_leer's Videos Playlist....Summer 2015

Sunday, 4 December 2011

SILENCE, THE BASS PLAYER IS TALKING:





Well my friends, the title i've used for this post is a common expression in Portugal when someone is about to start singing our typical song, Fado - "Silence, someone is about to play Fado", it's a matter of respect.
This is a short interview i've made a couple of weeks ago with Andy Rourke, former Smiths bass player. I've made a lot of interviews in the past but it's always a milestone when you have the chance to do that with someone that was part of a gang (Andy's own words) that was also part of your life and it meat to you a lot. So, i'll share this short moment with all of you and i'm sure that on the other side of this screen someone too will share the same thoughts and will have a great time reading this lines with Andy, the Ex-Smiths, the bass player, the DJ but above all, the musician.

KING_LEER (KL):

As an introduction – as usual – I would like to know what you’ve been up to in the last years. One of your major occupations nowadays is being a DJ. You and your ex-band members spread the word “Hand the DJ” so, how come  J ?

ANDY ROURKE (AR):

Firstly, I am not a DJ, I am and will always be a musician, DJ'ing is something I do for fun, it started as an accident at a DJ (musician) friend of mine's party in Manchester (Clint Boon, Inspiral Carpets) he asked me if I would like to jump up and spin some tunes one night, I said OK and I realized I actually enjoyed myself! It continued from there.

(KL):

You are one of the most famous bass guitar players. As a tutorial for those who are reading this interview, tell us exactly what is a rhythm section in a band. Most people think that being a rhythm section means that can be easily replaceable. Is this true or one more “urban myth”? I’d like to add my view also to this question. There are bands that you can clearly identify the drummer or bass player. For instance and using one example from actual bands. Jared, from Kings of Leon, I could know if he was involved in the tune or not. Share your thoughts with us Andy:


(AR):

Hmm, I would say that the rhythm section is the backbone of any band, they dictate the tempo, the feel. If you change them you change the whole dynamic of the band. Of course they are replaceable, everybody is!! Regarding your question on "actual bands"
well… you would have to ask Jared! But me speaking from personal experience, I have always written my own bass lines and wouldn't be involved with a band who tried to tell me different. Me and Johnny met when we were 11 years old and started playing music together soon after, so we had a very close understanding of each other musically and also as friends , so things happened very naturally with us. 

(KL):

What bands are you following these days?

(AR):

I'm terrible when it comes to naming bands! There are so many, so I won't go there, if I start I will have to name 50!!
I'm still busy working through the music that happened before I was even born!

(KL):

Kevin Cummins also was kind enough to contribute to my blog a couple of years ago. I’ve got in front of me one 1985 Babylon publication called “The Smiths in Quotes” with photos by Kevin. I don’t know if you recall but the book ends with your comments on five issues. I’ve chosen this one. Would like to know if the answer is still the same:





Andy Rourke on……THE SMITHS : “We are the best band in the world, there’s nobody better”. – I believe you have the same opinion but since then, did anyone came close to your standards?

(AR):

Wow! Now you are putting me on the spot!
You know what? I think I stand by my bold statement, fuck it!

(KL):

I’ll end with a double question. First, what was really your moment with The Smiths? The song that had more from you – as a musician and composer? The other one is the tricky one……share with us something that few people know about you and the Smiths.


(AR):

Another tough question, I am so proud of all my work in The Smiths, some stand out tunes for me? ……"The Queen Is Dead" title track, then "Barbarism Begins At Home", "Bigmouth Strikes Again", "Sweet and tender hooligan" for me the list goes on and on. I'm more proud about what we did together as four young people (The Smiths split when I was 23). We had a lot of  things to deal with, and people trying to ruin us but we showed solidarity, we were a gang!

-The last question? Well!!! I think all of my skeletons are out of the closet, I lived my private life in public during those brief but wonderful years :o) )



Sunday, 13 November 2011

THIS IS GRAEME PARK!





THIS IS GRAEME PARK!


After this "short" absence there's nothing better then return with not one but two legends from old Albion, both from Manchester, one that rules over the decks, radio and music production and one that rules over the bass lines. So, today i'll start with Graeme Park the legendary DJ who i've met this year during one of our finest clubbing nights at Casa da Música, Porto.
I've booked Adam Ficek for that same clubbing night so we met over the dinner. Two 'lads, two different generations and one huge common skill: They both breathe music at higher rates!

KING_LEER (KL)

I’ll try to go through new subjects this time but, off course I’ll have to revisit some of your main achievements. This is one you’ve already answered before but what changed or what was the trigger for this new era on DJing? 

GRAEME PARK (GP)

For me it was the early 80s electro stuff from the US. Afrika Bambaata, Jonzun Crew, Arthur Baker and John Robie productions. They really stood out from the plethora of slick, well produced, beautifully sung soul, funk and disco that was played in most clubs. This coupled with all of the extended 12” remixes of rock and pop tracks from the likes of New Order, Talking Heads, Orange Juice, ABC, Eurythmics etc. meant for an exciting time. Most successful DJs at the time used to use the mic to get a response from the crowd but most people who were into new this music didn’t particularly want to hear a DJ talking nonsense just to get a reaction. This inevitably lead to DJs like me getting the chance to do our thing and it was our choice of tune that got a response.

KL

I’ve always attended to some venue or club mainly if I liked the music there – DJ resident or if some DJ I’ve heard good references about was in town.
Forgive me as I am not - by any means – diminishing your craft. This is because there’s in some cases some kind of adoration that goes behind trivial.

GP

My early DJ residencies at The Garage in Nottingham and The Haçienda in Manchester were amazing venues that catered for a variety of people and tastes several nights of the week. But these, along with The Leadmill in Sheffield, were the only places you could hear me play and by the late 1980s, I was playing a lot of records that very few DJs had. So the only way to hear them was to come to one of my nights. The fact that I was DJing in fantastic and established venues was a bonus.

KL

How do you update your sounds and record collections nowadays? I don’t know if your share this thought with me but there is so many music available at the moment in many formats, many platforms that sometimes is a hard task. Besides your research what are your main sources? Do you have anyone helping you targeting candidates for your record case?

GP

I get hundreds of tracks emailed to me very week from record companies, PR companies and artists themselves. It’s impossible to listen to all of them, which is a shame. There are people and companies out there who offer services where they listen to everything for you, but there is absolutely no way I could ever trust anyone to make a decision on whether a track is to my taste or not and I don’t understand DJs who let people do this for them. There are labels, artists, producers, DJs, A&R and promo people who I admire, like and trust and so I will try and listen to their stuff as soon as I get it. However, there are probably loads of tracks that I might like that just get lost in my Inbox that I might never hear. That’s a concern, but with so much music around it’s a sad fact. I do try and make time to listen to random tunes by unknowns but because so much of it is average or poor, then it’s a difficult and often tedious task. On top of that I still like to buy music and use Traxsource and Beatport but even using those sites can be like negotiating a minefield. Where do you begin? One thing I do, which I’ve always done, is to try and check out tunes that aren’t being played by everyone else. In fact if everyone else is playing a track and it’s in all of the various charts, then I’ll probably try and avoid it and seek out something else that I think deserves similar attention. I’ve always done that and as a result have found some amazing tunes and helped get the attention they deserve. I also like digging deep into my huge vinyl record collection from time to time and rediscovering forgotten and obscure gems and giving them a new lease of life. That way, I get to play tunes that no-one else is.

KL

The club scene is totally different here in Portugal but tell me what was the most profitable period for you as a DJ? Probably the nineties? Any particular story you want to share with us about those days about a performance or a special club?

GP

The 1990s were just incredible. There were less clubs and not nearly as much choice as today. That meant people used to travel to hear DJ's rather than just go out locally. Music wasn’t as freely available as today and it would take months for a record to become available after a DJ started playing it. Today, you’re talking about hours.
Huge events with DJ's weren’t as common in the 90s as they are today either. People take things for granted nowadays. I’ve had the privilege and honour of playing in some amazing places over the years and in many cases being the first UK DJ to do so.

KL

This question, being a trivial one is it’s irresistible to me. It’s about Haçienda.
Off course you met some of the great characters from Manchester, regarding the pop scene, rave, madchester, etc. I’m listening to Durutti Column while making this interview. I’ll name someone and you’ll write whatever comes to your mind, ok?

GP

Tony Wilson – an inspirational figure who supported and encouraged me and others and someone who had great vision. Sadly missed.

New Order – Manchester’s greatest pop band ever. They were also extremely groundbreaking and ahead of their time with their use of synthesisers and appreciation of dance music. Working with Arthur Baker was genius.

Peter Hook – a lovely man.

KL

You’ve mentioned that you were teaching also at the present. Can you tell us where and what are you teaching?

GP

I lecture at Glyndwr University in Wrexham, Wales. I teach Music Production as part of a music engineering degree.

KL

What is your opinion on the UK policy for music studies at general schools if there’s one consistent off course. The reason I’m asking you this is because in my Country the music studies are almost inexistent.

GP

There are specialist music schools and colleges in the UK which ultimately cost a lot of money to attend. This means that people with real musical talent are excluded on the basis of cost. This is wrong.

KL

Finally, a philosophical one : What is your vision on our actual World? Does it need some mixing, is it on 33 or 45 rpm?

GP

I think our world definitely needs some remixing. I’d remove all the parts that lead to war, famine and poverty and add more peace, love and understanding. All on 12” vinyl spinning at 33 rpm of course.

KL

Well, that’s all mate. Hope to see you soon around and I’m glad you liked House of Music venue. By the way define this venue in a sentence:

GP

House Of Music was superb. Wonderful venue with a cool and appreciative crowd.


THE END


Relevant Links to reach Grame Park:









Tuesday, 4 October 2011

I've been "out".....sorry

Dear Friends,


Lately and due to professional reasons it has been impossible to keep running this blog as i wish.
So, in a few weeks i'll be back with more inside views and articles on our global music scenario.

Sorry for the absence.

Wish you all good tunes and bits.
Love
KL

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

AUDIO AND VIDEO PLAYERS FROM THIS BLOG

Hi folks,


I'll be back soon with more interviews. Just passing by to say that the audio and video players have changed recently not following the blog posts. The main reason is that i'm updating the Portugues version with some posts regarding connections between music and our internal crisis with testemonies from Portugues politicians and people culture related.

Be back soon.

Cheers
Luis

Thursday, 10 March 2011

PETER HOOK - QUICK INTERVIEW - TRUTHS OR MYTHS ?



In the last and excellent House of Music (Porto, Portugal) Clubbing i had the opportunity to chat briefly with Peter Hook. Initially i was not certain to get over the management but thanks to the domestic support that I had, I got there. We stayed in the dressing room door to exchange some words until the moment I mentioned him i had 3 / 4 quick questions about his career. I know the question was tricky but when he heard the word career he said, "... Well, you better go in mate" ...

And so, i transcribe below this brief dialogue that i hope can enrich your knowledge about this mythical figure of Manchester, on JoyDivision, New Order and even ..... the Durutti Column:

KING_LEER (KL):

About Ian Curtis and he playing guitar or not:

Peter, Ian played guitar (even slightly) in "Love Will Tear Us Apart. " It was a unique moment?

video

PETER HOOK (PH):

Yes, he played, as shown in the video. He played only in "Closer", on that track and two or three more, including "Incubation".

KL:

The New Order was perhaps the best example of a band that after losing their lead singer kept a level of success similar to that obtained with Joy Division. How did you choose Ian’s successor?

PH:

Do not forget the Genesis (ed: Yes, yes, but still a rare case).

After Ian’s death it was always our intention and I think it would also be the will of Ian too. As for the singer, the selection process was simple, as we all sang on the tests but you know what really happened? Bernard was the best on playing and singing at the same time so, he “won”.

KL:

Usually i try to find out some stories that hides behind a tune. Something special you wish to tell us about New Order ‘s "Blue Monday"? How a track like this one appears and specially for its duration?

video

PH:

The initial idea was to play this song at the encore. You know, we did not like encores and "Blue Monday" was created for this purpose, an instrumental tune when returning to the stage. Later, after some tinkering it finally got the sound we all now know (despite the many remixes that are already out there). We never thought it would become a topic of much success.

KL:

True or myth that you and the rest of the band helped to fold and prepare the edition of "The Return of the Durutti Column" on the premises of "Factory Records" at the request of Tony Wilson?



PH:

Yes, it is true. We were "invited" to do that hard work on the record you mention and two more, Durutti Column ‘s "Pieces For An Ideal" and the compilation "A Factory Sample". And, do you know how much Tony Wilson paid us? 50 pence per each 100 layers. Slave labor (laughs!).

KL:

Finally, what are the new bands that you hear nowadays? Manchester continues to be a true motherhood for great musical projects. Just last week we had here the "Hurts".

PH:

Manchester remains the same, it is a great musical city. The "Hurts "..... honestly I do not like them. I listen to "Everything everything"(very good), "Two Door Cinema Club" and "The Stowaways".


THE END

Sunday, 16 January 2011

HERSHEL YATOVITZ - " I love my job !"


This was one of the most peculiar interviews I’ve made until now. By the last months of 2009 I’ve tried to contact Hershel and after a couple of e-mails I was lucky enough to get his attention. So, as usual, questions were sent and……….that’s the odd thing, nothing happened until the 2010 4th of July. It was a Sunday and I was having lunch with family at home. Suddenly the mail “rings” and it was Hershel. He was at the tour bus driving into Portugal from Spain. Chris Isaak would perform the next Monday at Cascais, south Portugal. Hershel was kind enough to reply to my initial questions (the ones you can read bellow) and invite me for the show. So, this is the story and the beginning of a non-stop trip from North to South to see Hershel and Chris in a great performance. I´ve got some miles on the show business but as I confessed to Hershel, it was a special night as I never saw Chris live and his music has a peculiar effect on myself so, I was a little bit nervous but, I was nice to meet them and Hershel is a great soul off and on stage. It was really a pleasure to be there.

I hope you enjoy the interview, even with the gap between questions and answers and that you learn a little more about music with Hershel´s words and find some interesting lines on Chris Isaak´s Wicked Game and the 20th anniversary of this timeless tune.

King_leer

# 1 - On your new CD:


KING_LEER (KL):

I know you’ve got a CD out now. It's called "Hy Time". Talk to us about it, who's joined you in this project and how do you manage to finish it between the work with Chris last album, the shows and everything else.

HERSHEL YATOVITZ (HY):

HY Time was really fun to make. I picked some of my songs I think are uplifting but cool, and although it might sound corny, I just sort of let the songs tell me what to do each step of the way. I believe a song is finished when it stops "yelling at me" so much, so when they calmed down I knew it was ready for release. Each song has a very different feel; it just felt good that way. I have had a great response to it, and now a second album is in the works. I was blessed with some really great world class players who really kicked up the record many notches. Some live near me in Portland, Oregon, and some live in Los Angeles and sent a few tracks back and forth over the internet. It is so easy now; I can have my favorite session players go into a studio wherever they are and send tracks to me, and I can send guitar or bass tracks to them.

I do get some time off and I have a nicely equipped Pro Tools Studio at home where I work when I'm not out with Chris and the guys. I do production, mixing, and session tracking on guitar and bass for bands, singer/songwriters, etc. there. I have some overseas clients; we just send the files over the internet. It is a great time we live in with all of the options available. So it is easy to work on my own projects as well, it just takes some time to complete them since I work a lot with Isaak and others. I just completed the theme song and some others for a new film called Trooper, and the other artists on the soundtrack are Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, I'm happy about that.


# 2 - On your teaching experience:

(KL):

I know you were a teacher before joining Silvertone. Is there a real advantage/difference between being a musician with college studies or not? Is it just a question of skills, you either have it or you don't?

(HY):

I think there are big differences, but there are pros and cons to either. I studied privately and then taught for years and wound up teaching Jazz at Stanford University, working with some very studied musicians and I wondered, "how did I wind up getting to work with these guys?” When you get down to it, it just depends on what type of work you want to do. Since I developed my ear playing lots of different styles in live performance settings without written music (other than occasional chord charts) I can 'fake' songs I have never heard before fairly well, and learn most anything I need to by ear. If I had gone through a traditional college education it would be much easier to learn complex written pieces, but my on-the-spot instincts might not be as well developed. And my whole musical path would also be very different since all of the influences you pick up in your daily life as a musician and the gigs you get create your path. I wish I had some of the literary knowledge I would have gotten if I had a degree, but then I'm sure I would be a completely different person artistically.

Regarding "either you have it or you don't", I believe there is always some qualities people shine at, and others not so much, so it's just a matter of finding your place in the world and being realistic about where your strengths truly lie. Beyond that, whatever makes you happy! I don't recommend choosing to be a musician as a career unless you just can't help yourself. In my opinion finding some joy in what you do every step of the way is essential. But music is a great hobby as well.


video


# 3 - On Working with Chris Isaak

(KL):

You work with Chris since 1995. You've travelled around the world with him playing and also acting on his TV series. As far as i know he is a very talented guy and above all (taking from his interviews) he has a great quality. He's very committed to his projects and his band mates. How it's really the day to day work with him? Does he writes almost all the songs or they are worked among all of you?

(HY):

Chris is a great guy with a vibrant personality, like the rest of the guys in the band. We generally get along quite well and laugh a lot, I'm happy to report! Chris writes the song melodies, chords and lyrics and the rest of us make up our parts on our respective instruments. Once in a while he will work with a producer out of town and use local musicians, so there are a few songs with other players on a couple of the records, but most of it is the band.


# 4 - On Wicked Game:

(KL):

I believe this song is making 20 years now. You're not in the band at the time. How many times did you played it? Have a clue?

Honest question for an honest answer: What's the sensation on playing it in so many shows? How does a musician feels about this. I know it's his job, he' a professional but honestly, do you get tired?

(HY):

Somehow I never get tired of playing it, or any of the other "must play" hits, I don't know why! I have recorded multiple versions and played it live, I don't know; let's say 200 times a year for 15 years? That is terrifying, thanks a lot, Luis! I guess I like it because there is always room for growth, and there is room for making a song 'my own' a little bit by playing it differently as I feel it. A song like Wicked Game is not suited for a lot of improvisation of course, but I do play it differently than the original, and a little differently every night. Other songs, well, we have a lot of room to be creative and have a great time interacting with each other. I am really glad I get to be in a real band, playing totally live music with no backing tracks. We get to really have a fresh and different show every night and still play some of the songs our fans really want to hear. When it is all live then every moment there is the possibility of magic or disaster, and that's where the human connection occurs between the audience and the artists.


# 5 - On Episodes:

(KL):

Tell us what was the strangest episode you had while on Tour with Chris Isaak?

(HY):

Oh, it seems like every day something crazy happens, sometimes truly absurd, I'm afraid to start... Well here's one: I have played in such extreme conditions, severe heat, rain, you name it. But one show in Vail, Colorado, USA really pushed the limit. It was supposed to be an outdoor celebration in the sun for the end of ski season, but a full on blizzard came through, pounding us with snow. The interesting thing about snow is that it does not care if there is a roof over the stage; it moves sideways covering everything and making the stage very slippery. We were the slipping snowman rock band with a crew of shovelers and sweepers on stage, hoping our numb fingers would land in the right place. A woman came on stage to dance and slipped towards the edge of the stage. I reached out my guitar and she grabbed it by the neck and I pulled her back up. And we don't stop our show for anything, so we played a long show. I played with gloves for a song, but my favorite part was watching the explosions each time a drum was hit. And the crowd was used to the snow and rocked out with us all the way. Another day at the office, I love my job!


THE END

Hershel's photo on this article by Mike Lloyd.


Relevant links:

http://www.hershelyatovitz.com/

http://chrisisaak.online.fr/english/us-band.htm