Saturday, September 12, 2009
Catching up with Guitar Hero ROBIN TROWER
His name is synonymous with guitar excellence. Often compared to Jimi Hendrix during his illustrious career that has spanned over 40 years, Robin Trower continues his mastery with a style that is truly his own. He achieved early success with Procol Harum and has played with legendary musicians Jack Bruce and Bryan Ferry. Today, Robin is on tour promoting his latest cd "What Lies Beneath". I had the pleasure to chat with Robin this morning...
MICK: First, I'd like to congratulate you on the release of your latest cd "What Lies Beneath". This is your 24th album, right?
ROBIN: Is it really? I'm very happy with this new cd!
MICK: Is there a favorite track on this cd?
ROBIN: Not really although I am very proud of the opening track to be honest, the instrumental at the beginning. Livingston Brown did a fantastic job producing the album [he also played bass and was responsible for the strings arrangement].
MICK: I really love the artwork on the cover. Is Bruer Tidman [the artist] a friend of yours?
ROBIN: No, i actually saw his work in a gallery, or showroom, where he had an exhibition of his paintings and I just fell in love with his work. I asked him, actually my manager asked him, if I could use one of his paintings for the cover of "What Lies Beneath" so that's how it worked.
MICK: Do you still enjoy touring?
ROBIN: Yes, I still enjoy playing live probably more than anything else! We are only on the beginning of the East Coast part of the tour right now.
MICK: Looking back on your career, can you tell me about meeting Jimi Hendrix and his influence he had on you?
ROBIN: I can't say I really met him. I was on the same biill as him when I was with Procol Harum. I wouldn't say that he actually influenced my career but his music has truly been an inspiration to me. As far as being compared, I don't think that is fair to him because he was a genius. But it's nice to be compared to somone so good!
MICK: What do you do in your spare time besides music?
ROBIN: Well, my main sort of relaxation thing is watching soccer. That's something I really enjoy.
MICK: Do you have any future plans to work with Jack Bruce again?
ROBIN: No, not really. We just did a few dates in the summer and that was fun.
MICK: Do you have a large guitar collection:
ROBIN: No no I don't. In the 70's I had a very large collection of vintage Strats and they were stolen. I decided then that it would always be new guitars. For the last few years I've been playing a Strat that is my signature model. There was an anniversary Strat put out for the "Bridge of Sighs" . This signature model is built to my specs.
MICK: Which of today's artists do you admire?
ROBIN: I don't know. You can see that today's popular music has lost it's orginality a bit. There are some very strong commercial stuff. I saw a band called "Baby Shambles" which I thought was quite interesting. A British band. They are the odd thing but mostly popular music has gone very shallow I feel. There's too many guys coming up now that have been influenced by people; they are not the instigators of the music. It's become a bit third hand.
MICK: Tell me something about yourself that your fans would not know.
ROBIN: You should have given me two weeks notice for this question!! They may be surprised to know that I have a great collection of 30's and 40's popular music and that's what I listen to most of the time. It's not so much of an influence on my music but an education. I'm not that keen on the big band stuff. That tends to come a bit later. The 30's popular American music and some of the British stuff as well. There's was this guy called Al Boley who was a big hit singer in Britain whom I'm very fond of. I love stuff like the very early Frank Sinatra. The early stuff of guys like that is what I enjoy. The musicianship, the arrangements, the whole thing is an education for me. I love it. It's a bit on the romantic, sentimental ticket. That's what really appeals to me!
Catch Robin tonight at the Boulton Center for Performing Arts in Bay Shore, NY
Also, catch Robin at BB King's Blues Club in NYC on Friday Sept 18th and Saturday Sept. 19th. Both shows begin at 8:00PM.
Robin Trower official website: http://www.trowerpower.com/