Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dave Kilminster: From Inside "The Wall" - "Whatever I Play, I Inject My Heart And Soul Into It" (Part II)

We left off yesterday, having covered what it was like for Dave Kilminster to learn, audition for, and perform The Wall, and some very informative info on his guitars and amps. Today, we'll pick it back up and cover Dave's plans for 2013 - his new solo record, his work with Guthrie Govan and Murray Hockridge, more gear talk, then we'll wrap it up with some comments on Scarlet - The Director's Cut, and a special appearance by Mr. Jimmy Page.

After discussing Guthrie Govan's involvement with Dave's gear selections, I wondered if there were plans for the two to elaborate on their collaborations sometime in 2013 - I commented to Dave that when I hear the duo play together, I'm convinced it's the work of a two-headed monster with four hands. I asked how long it took for them to gel as a guitar team:

Dave Kilminster: "Hahaha, it was actually instant! It really was....I think the secret, not that there's any kind of secret, but we're both self-taught  - we play by ear, and we both listen. That's the most important thing when you're playing together is listening to the guy you're playing with, and actually responding to that. 
"We'd penciled in doing an album together at the end of this year (2012), and then he got busy doing some stuff with The Aristocrats, and I've been busy writing for my new album, which actually, I was due to start recording last week. I was booked into the studio on the 10th of December to start on the follow-up to Scarlet, and I had to cancel that due to the 12-12-12 concert. 
"So, I'm hoping to do that at the beginning of the year and Guthrie's still out with The Aristocrats. We're now kind of penciling in the end of 2013, when I've finished the next leg of The Wall tour, which should be around September, and and hopefully he won't be too busy, because I know he's going out with Steve Wilson, as well! 
"Schedules....Oh, it's a nightmare (laughter)! It took me so much to get the studio, the engineer, and Pete Riley (drums) and Phil Williams (bass), all available to start recording last week. It's a bit gutting! (more laughter)"

Sticking with this direction, I asked Dave what the new record held in store:

Kilminster: "That's a very good question! I think after doing Scarlet, I have a much better idea of the direction in my head. The only problem with Scarlet was that it was written over such a long period of time - there were some old things hanging around for a bit, and I want this new effort to be a little bit more cohesive. I wrote all of the tunes for the new record in August - I wrote probably fifteen, or sixteen tunes, it was crazy, I just could not stop writing! 
"I tried a slightly different approach to the writing which I've never done before, and everything seems to have a bit more of a....if you could imagine Led Zeppelin carrying on. 
"Some of it may sound a little folky - when people think of Zeppelin, they automatically think of like when bands copied Led Zeppelin with the big drums, and the heavy riffs, but there's so much more to that band, obviously! So, that's kind of where it's going, if it was in any direction, which is maybe a bit of a combination between Zeppelin and Jeff Buckley."

Upon hearing that the new record may have softer moments, and folky interludes, I couldn't but wonder if Dave would be utilizing the Godin nylon stringed guitars he's put to such great use with The Wall:

Kilminster: "Oh sure! I have a fretless classical of their's that I'm dying to record with, they make amazing stuff. 
"In fact, when I was getting ready for The Wall, I thought, 'There's classical guitars on this, oh good!" Since I'd never heard the record before and I was actually playing at a music fair, in Italy again, and I just decided to wander around and see what was available. I picked up this Godin classical guitar and it felt great - and it sounded great! I thought, 'These guys really know what they're doing! 
"I've barely scratched the surface with these classical guitars, as it were, and as you probably know they have a MIDI output - yeah, I can't wait to see them. 
"I'm considering going to NAMM (a semi-annual gathering of musical instrument makers in America), I haven't been to NAMM for years, and I'm thinking of going in January, so that's a great idea - if I make it, I'll definitely look them up!"

Getting back to his plans for 2013 - having loved Scarlet, and being quite anxious about the new solo record, I asked if there were any hope for solo Kilminster shows this year:

Kilminster: "Again, that depends on my schedule. I'm going to be doing my album for the first few months of 2013, and there's a good chance I'll be going out in Europe with this amazing singer/songwriter named Murray Hockridge - we've done quite a lot of work together with just acoustic guitars and two voices. 
"We did an album together, which is on iTunes now, it's called, Closer To Earth, which is just a bunch of cover tunes we decided to mess around with. We did a gig in Rome - in a museum, of all places, a couple of weeks ago and there was a promoter in the crowd who thought it sounded fantastic, who is now booking a tour! I think in May. 
"I'm back out with Roger finishing The Wall tour, going until September, and then recording with Guthrie - then that might be the time to go out and do some solo stuff. It depends a little bit on the reaction to the new album - if it's as good as your reaction to Scarlet then we definitely need to get out there!"

Indeed, I have great love for Scarlet - it's an exceptional album that sees Dave Kilminster writing the songs, singing, playing great guitars all over it. I comment that it appears to me that when it comes to his own music, Dave may have little option but to follow the muse inside his head - and for that the world should be most grateful:

Kilminster: "Absolutely my pleasure! I grew up listening to music. I grew up - I didn't pick up a guitar to sound like any guitarist, I was actually playing piano at the time. I would go to school and play,and then I would go to my grandmother's house on the weekend and I'd be playing, then I'd get home and get very frustrated that we didn't have a piano. 
"I could just hear all these tunes in my head, so I ended up getting a guitar just to make music! It wasn't to play solos, or to do any of that stuff. I kind of developed a certain amount of technique just to play what I could hear in my head, which is now how it has to be! 
"It's just completely me, and if I'd recorded it on a different day then there'd be different tunes, and different influences. I guess it's all going to sound like me in some way!"

Speaking of Scarlet, I asked about the album's title - why Scarlet?:

Kilminster: "Scarlet was's just a word that I find very provocative. I enjoy messing around with words - it reminded me of all kinds of things....Sherlock Holmes - I'm a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, so A Study In Scarlet (the novel in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the character of Sherlock Holmes) was what I originally envisioned the album being called. 
"There's a certain element of that in there, and there's Scarlet O'Hara from Gone With The Wind, as well. There's just something about the word - also, red is a very sexy color. I think I read once that, a typical man's response to a woman wearing red was that she was....that she was looking for....well, to have some fun. It just seemed to make perfect sense! 
"There were also a couple of little coincidences that happened, as well - I had done one of my little acoustic shows, and I was just packing up and the promoter comes over to me, and he says, 'Oh - Jimmy Page is in the audience, and he'd like to have a word.' 
"I said, 'Yeah of course he is!' I didn't believe him at all - and sure enough, I go over, and Jimmy Page is just standing there. 
"I'd played my version of The Rain Song, which he said he absolutely loved, and we also talked about Jeff Buckley, as I had done a few of his tunes. Then he mentioned is daughter, who's called Scarlet! And I thought, you know, all these little coincidences - I don't think they are."

To wrap things up, I ask Dave if there's anything else going on in his world in 2013 that we've missed, or he'd like to mention:

"Kilminster: "I think it may well be busy enough at the moment! I've spent too many years helping other people's careers! 
"I'll make sure we stay in contact, I really want you to hear this new record, and as I told you before, I want to be number one in your year's best list next year!"

I have no question that, as usual, Dave Kilminster will deliver on his promises. At any rate, I'll look forward to chatting with him again - it's rare, as I stated earlier, to come across anyone so friendly, charming, and generous with their time and energy. Happy 2013, Dave.

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