Posts Tagged ‘Richard Lloyd’

Dear Jean interview with Daniel Gilbert

January 17, 2010

Hi Daniel,

New African Sports, Soul Café Club No #1 is your solo debut after many years as an established musician. What took you so long?

I guess I never felt that burning need for sharing my music, it only served as something for my own pleasure… A kind of a vent. The fact that it’s now out for public inspection came out of a sudden window of opportunity. Instead of dealing metal t-shirts last summer I took the time to shut the band and myself away …

When listening to New African Sports, Soul Café Club No #1 we sense influences from Velvet Underground, Johnny Thunders, Pixies and Television. What artists have inspired you to become the guitarist and composer that you are today?

There are many sources of inspiration, not necessarily only musicians. I love people like Klaus Kinski and some of the parts played by De Niro can be just as inspiring as Pretty Things, or even more… However, artists that have followed me through life are for example Bob Dylan, Mr Cash, 22 Pistepirrko, Spacemen 3, Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker, Glen Campbell, Afghan Whigs, The Jesus & Mary Chain among others….

Your nickname is Hurricane and Hurricane Gilbert struck, as we all know, with tremendous force upon Jamaica. Has the Jamaican music tradition been an equally hard-hitting influence and source of inspiration for you?

Oh, The Congos, Linton Kwesi, Toots And The Maytals…. There is so much music from that island that I’ve dug into…

When listening to early Broder Daniel, Augustifamiljen or Håkan Hellström, we’re struck by the fact that what mostly characterizes the sound is your guitar. Can you feel that that sound is yours?

Hahahaha. I can’t say that anything on Earth is mine, apart from my own feelings. If my guitar playing has set the colour of any band that I’ve played in, I take it as a wonderful compliment, however I’m not sure that I can agree on this!

Your characteristic sound often makes us think of Tom Verlaine. Do you consider it a strength having a clear identity as a guitar player, like for example Verlaine? Or is there a risk of painting yourself into a corner?

Not a day passed for several years without me thinking of the greatness of Television. For me, the creative expression has always been the most interesting in music, not technical finesse nor skills… I have never had the discipline to practise enough to become a fast or technical guitarist but that has never been a goal of mine, I’d rather preserve my own expression! All guitar players that I admire have their own sound, you can right away identify if it’s J. Mascis, Richard Lloyd, Blixa Bargeld, Django or Chet Atkins (not that I’m in any way comparing myself to any of them).

What does your process of composing look like?

The songs always used to come to me. I used to be playing around and all of a sudden an idea was formed to a riff or a chord composition and I continued building from there.
Only the last couple of years I’ve started with an idea of a whole song and then tried to put that thought together to a song, which to my surprise works…
One shouldn’t present a situation being worse than it really is but soon I’ll probably write the lyrics first and then the music to it…. Hahahaha!

We sense a streak of punk in your music? Do you agree on this?

Punk has, if possible, played a bigger part than rockabilly in my life. Nevertheless, I didn’t fall for the British punk wave (THE CLASH excepted!) as I did for the American punk scene with Hell & Voioids, Ramones and acts like that.

Håkan Hellström often calls attention to his love towards the Swedish folk song tradition, something that is kind of unusual in pop music. Do you keep it as close to your heart as he does?

Swedish folk obviously is a part of our growth, both my and Håkan’s parents are a bit too old for Beatles, Stones and Elvis so there were instead a lot of folk songs in our homes. However, I consider jazz to be a more important foundation of mine.

Music artists who are given attention in the media, are often the ones that have been produced by the TV industry, therefore cast in the same mould. Can you see that uncompromising art has a natural place in an increasingly commercialized society where, in addition, copyright is challenged by modern technology?

Good Lord, you could write an essay on this topic, but briefly, I believe that the only consistent art is art being allowed to be uncompromising and unique. Conformity will extinguish itself by the fact that there is so much of it. Like comparing gravel with diamonds!
I certainly hope that I’m right on this because I have never managed to identify myself with mainstream culture. It has always been alternative music that meant something to me, and that identification has made me who I am.

What are your expectations on the response on your debut album?

I haven’t dared to set any specific expectations on this album, I’m happy if a handful of people listen to it and appreciate it.
But I am bloody keen on going on the road playing so therefore I hope it will be well received! We’re right now rehearsing for the spring tour and obviously we want to visit as many big cities as one-horse towns as possible, if we’re allowed to.
It would be great touring outside Scandinavia in somewhat faraway countries, this being something I haven’t done yet!

Finally, would you mind picking four or five songs for the Dear Jean Spotify playlist that you feel represent uncompromising art and the love of music, we’d be very grateful?

The Blank Generation, Richard Hell & The Voidoids
Tangled Up In Blue, Bob Dylan
Golden Age, Union Carbide Productions
My Love Has Gone, Josh Rouse
Love Kills, Radio Birdman

Thank you, Daniel.

Great questions! I enjoyed answering them. And thank you for the gig bag, I use it on the daily walk to the rehearsal studio.

Regards, D.

Daniel Gilbert plays at Debaser Medis in Stockholm January 23rd 2010. Solo debut New African Sports, Soul Café Club No #1 was released December 26th 2009. You’ll find Daniel Gilbert at MySpace.

Unfortunately, Spotify has yet to add some of Daniel’s suggestions for our playlist. The playlist is to be found here.