Quick Questions With Spacejam

Quick Questions With Spacejam

Spacejam: The seasoned musical travelers share a simple mission: to explore musical weightlessness and interplanetary interaction free of hatred and restrictions of genre.
Quick Questions With Spacejam

Quick Questions With Spacejam

1.Who inspired you to start playing?
As far as I can remember the one who inspired me first to make music and in particular to learn the guitar was Elvis Presley. My mother was a huge fan and as soon as he was on TV it was like the messiah who came to preach. His way of holding and playing his guitar, his attitude, his arrogance and his “fuck you, I’m the king here” immediately made me want to do better than him! Then I was fascinated by John Lennon of The Beatles and Pete Townsend of The Who who had an even more outrageous attitude and who broke his guitars on stage and on some live shows too. Finally, when I started playing guitar the guitarist who made me want to stop everything and never touch a guitar again in my life was the one and only Jimi Hendrix. Listening to him was as if an alien from Mars was playing the guitar, but the worst part was seeing a VHS Vid concert that my cousin John invited me to watch. I got home after and smashed my guitar on the floor in rage. I kept telling myself that I would never make it, I would never know how to play guitar in my life. I resented Jimi for several months then decided that I was going to kill Jimi a second time by playing like him and even better, and there was the punk movement, my very first gig at Brunnel University in Uxbridge in December 1977 a gifts from my cousins, it was The Sex Pistols and they were changing the face of the rock world and I wanted to be part of it too…

2. Which piece of equipment couldn’t you live without?
I would tell you that I could never in my life live without my favorite guitar, my 1976 Fender Telecaster an S Series handmade in the USA. I broke the bank to buy it at the time. It was Porl Thompson The Cure’s guitarist with whom I was friends at the time in 1986 who told me about this guitar and who had praised me the merits, versatility, the unique sound etc … I asked my mother to lend me the money because I was broke. I bought it in a music store in the Pigalle district of Paris where I had just moved at the time and my mother had arrived the night before from London to see me perform on stage. At the time I had an Ibanez guitar who looked like a Gibson Les Paul which I was not 100% satisfied with, especially in the clean sounds. After the show I convinced my mother that I had to change guitar and it was vital for me because we were going to record new songs and that I had to explore all the sounds that this could offer me before the recording sessions. I desperately needed to explore this new weapon. My mom just said “ok how much?” I told her 650 pounds, I saw his eyes come out of their lobes and her mouth remained open but no sound came out. She wasn’t very happy cause it was a lot of money at the time! It took me a year to give the money back to her! You understand now why this guitar will never leave me, I did my best shows with her and almost all my recordings. There have been times in my life where I could have sold her just for a living but I never did, I would rather starve. I would like to be cremated with my Tele.

3. What’s your favourite album of the year so far?
Yungblud Weird, without hesitation because I find it very rich and very varied. I find the writing and production work to be excellent. He’s a talented young artist who opens up new musical horizons and for an old jerk like me, it feels good to get a big kick in the ass by such a talented artist. Thank you mate and let’s work together whenever you want!

4. If you could have a lesson from anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
A living guy I would love have a lesson from would be Dave Grohl because I find him to be a very complete and very talented artist. I loved watching his “Play” video in which he plays all the instruments. I know he’s been doing it from the start with the Foo Fighters especially on the song Everlong with which he was not satisfied with the drums. He asked William Goldsmith who was the Foo’s 1st drummer to record over and over the drums of this track so many times that he couldn’t take it any more and above all he could not reproduce what Dave Grohl asked him. Dave Grohl came back to the studio on his own the next day and did the drums on the track and decided to record all the drum tracks on the entire record. Brilliant!
A dead artist with whom I would have liked to learn is certainly John Lennon because his approach to working in the studio was so avant-garde at the time, especially on songs like I Am The Walrus and Tomorrow Never Knows. Another dead artist I would have loved to work with is Prince. A genius multi-instrumentalist, but also a master of production and recording. I admired his positioning in relation to artists and their record company in the late 90s/ early 2000s. He was the first artist to claim to want to regain control over his works, his name Prince, and to do without a record company to sell his songs with only a small tip left! He opened the door to a lot of artists and forced the music industry to rethink its economic model, something they were unable to do until this day!

5. What is your number one tip for any new player?
For me, the greatest quality for an artist is to listen to the world and never believe that everything has been taken for granted and that it has happened. Inborn talent is only 10% of the job. The other 90% are just work, work and more work. Do not try to copy other artists and keep your attention on yourself because that’s what makes you unique. Yes there are a lot of people out there and yes the world is not waiting for you, I would even say they don’t give a fuck about you. So that being said, you are unique, your way of approaching and understanding the world is unique too, so stop doubting or wanting to be like someone you’ll never be… If what you have come to say to the world is with music, then you have no choice but to be and exist as a musician. In any case, it’s in the long term that you will flourish in music or not. Being a musician cannot be learned, it is something that you have deep inside of you, it’s a vital need. If you’re fake, you won’t last long!

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