NARADA JAZZ recording artist, Scott Wilkie participated in our interview during his visit to Yokohama, Japan for his in-store live performance just before release of his second album 'More Than You Know'.
Q: What is your main purpose to come to Japan this time?
A: Two purposes: Of course promoting the new record, and also doing some performances for my friends at Roland; we've worked together for many years.
Q: But you didn't perform in the public except this live (at HMV Yokohama). Seems very few performances for promoting.
A: Yeah, it was mainly because the details for this tour happened very recently,and we weren't able to arrange many live performances in such a short time.
Q: Will you tell us the songs you are playing in this in-store live?
A: We are playing a few songs from BOUNDLESS, the first record. And one song from the new record.
Q: What are the names of the songs?
A: I think we're gonna do 'Rivertown', 'Poolside' and 'Water Balloons' from BOUNDLESS, and we will do a song called 'NB2000' from the new record.
Q: 'NB2000'...what does it mean?
A: Basically, it stands for Nathan Brown, who is my bass player.When we do it on our live shows, we feature Nate. There is kind of a long story behind it.
Q: When did you start and finish recording the new CD?
A: I started recording in late September, I think. Actually no, the second week of October were the first tracks that I put down.
We recorded for a couple months, until mid-December. Then we mixed in January.
Q: Where did you record it?
A: Well, all of the piano tracks were done at Gregg Karukas' studio, a friend of mine who is also a very popular piano player in the United States.
The percussion and sax were also done at Gregg's place. Most everything else was done at Beach Music, my studio.
Q: Who produced the new album?
A: I am the producer. It was nice to have Gregg there for all of the piano sessions. I have been a fan of his playing for many years. Just recently we have become friends. Itwas cool to have another person there who I trust musically.
On this record, I did all of the piano in two days and it was all live.
Realpiano. There's no editing with computers later or anything. It's just me playing. It was nice to have Gregg there to kind of bounce ideas off of.
Q: What is the title of your new album?
A: It's called 'MORE THAN YOU KNOW'. And it will be released worldwide onNaradaJazz, just like BOUNDLESS.
|Q: Are there any other musicians who joined the recording except your band?
A: Yeah, a few of my favorites. Paul Jackson Jr. (who also played onBOUNDLESS) played rhythm guitar. One of my favorite bass players, Alec Milstein, played several of the bass tracks. He worked for many years with Jeff Lorber and he is a heavy session guy in LA.
And then Lenny Castro played the percussion. He is just an incredible, brilliant percussionist.
And Eric Marienthal played saxophone. I've been a fan of his since his work with Chick Corea's Electrik Band.
Q: What is the remarkable difference between your first album BOUNDLESS and MORE THAN YOU KNOW?
A: I intentionally did this record in a very short time.
Because Boundless happened over several years before I had a record deal or anything.
Boundless was kind of a project that I was working on on my budget, when I had time.
So as it progressed, something would change and I would go backand re-record and whatever.
On this record, I really wanted it to be very real from start to finish,
I think this record shows much more of my soul.
It's much more like how I would play, you know, if I just sat down to play the piano.
On this record, it's just a group of musicians playing music - no sequencing,drum machines or computer editing.
So it feels really honest to me.
And it has a little more attitude than BOUNDLESS did. You will notice right away that the drums are more out in front, the grooves are more intense,I think that the whole record just pumps more.
Another thing that is very different about MORE THAN YOU KNOW is that it was mixed by Danny Leake, a great engineer who has worked with Stevie Wonder for the past ten years.
He flew to LA and mixed it with me at Mad Hatter (Chick Corea's studio).
Danny is a brilliant engineer and so it was fun for me to just be the producer on the mix and be able to sit back and focus on the overall musical outcome. He made it sound so great.
A lot of the reason why this record sounds like it does is because Danny was involved in the final mix.
|Q: Which song do you think is kind of the
highlight on More Than You Know?
A: Well...it's hard to say. A lot of the reason I love the new record is because there's so many aspects to it. There are alot of tunes which arevery typical of what I would normally writeS like NB2000, Sign of the Times and Back from the Beach. Then there's kind of a crazy latin tune on therecalled 'Fruit Sandwich,' which I did a special arrangement for because I knew Lenny would be playing. So it features timbales and congas. There's asong called 'Whale Song' which is something I wrote fifteen years ago.
It is probably one of my favorite tunes that I have ever written.
Very very simple, and it's a ballad. It is actually the last song on the record, the last thing you hear before the record ends.
But I don't know, every time I listen to the record, I like certain things a little more.
You know - it depends on what kind of mood you are in.
Q: Was there anything special that happened during this recording?
A: It was great fun to be able to work with both Lenny and Eric. I've always been a big fan of their playing.
And having the chance for them to become a part of my music was really great.
And the other thing was playing the grand piano. I have mainly been a keyboard and synthesizer player for so many years now,
but of course my real heart is still as a piano player.
That's how I grew up. So to sit down for two days and just play grand piano was a blast!
That was probably my favorite part of the whole record recording all of the live piano tracks.
Q: Tell us about your tour of this year.
A: There are several festivals that we're planning to do.
This summer, our plan is to play as often as possible. The band is sounding tight, and we are also adding a percussionist to the band, mainly because the grooves on MORE THAN YOU KNOW almost require it.
Next time we come to Japan, we'll have more time so that we can plan more live dates here. This trip was a great opportunity because the guys in the band have never been to Japan before. And we were able to do some productive concerts with Roland.
Q: What do you think is the most attractive point of the new record?
A: It's really funky and rawS kind of loose, and it's just a lot of fun to listen to. My friends in the States who I played the mixes for said it
sounds like we were having fun recording it. In fact, on one of the tracks,
you can actually hear me laughing; it was picked up by the open mics on the piano.
I'm thrilled about the sound of this record. I hope that my fans will enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed recording it.
Q: Do you have any other comments?
A: I want to thank everyone at CyberFusion for the great promotion you have done for me, saying so many nice things about my music. Many people have written to me on the internet who said that they heard about my record from you, so thank you very much for that!
Q: What is 'a live performance' for you?
A: For me, that's where the music really happens. I love making records, but for me, making records is just a great excuse to go out and play again. Myfavorite thing about being a musician is having the chance to play live onstage.
Thank you very much!!
|LIVE REPORT(Feb 20, 2000 at HMV YOKOHAMA JAPAN)
More than 50 people came to see Scott's Instore Live at HMV, Yokohama. It was unusual thing that so many people who loved jazz just gathered to see the performance of a relatively new musician.
Because of the short time and small stage, they prepared only the keyboards and guitar and substituted HD of the computer for the other sound. So only two members of the band, Scott and Matthew went up on the stage and started to perform.
They played the songs 'Rivertown', 'Poolside' and 'Water Balloons' ftom the album 'Boundless', and a song called 'NB2000' from their soon-to-be-released new album 'More Than You Know'.
What a sound! Scott's keyboards created such groovey melodies, which were acoompanied by Matthew's emotional guitar. Especially, 'Water Balloons', one of my favorites was so cool with Scott's rhythmic performance.
I have seen his live in Newport Beach and Catalina Island, and I think his sound remind me of the blue sky and the sea breeze that make me feel so comfortable. The power of his music is really great.
If only we could have enjoyed the live with his whole band!
His next album 'More Than You Know' (now available at CD-NOW for pre-reserve) is sure to be an exciting one, and I recommend you not only get it but also come to see his live, Because many of the grooves on 'More Than You Know' rely heavily on percussion, Scott recently added percussionist Steve Fisher to his touring band.'. Don't miss their terrific performance!
Scott Wilkie Band is performing at a couple of jazz festivals including Newport Beach Jazz Festival and Maui Music Festival. It is true that to come to see them in the US costs a little too much for those who live in Japan, however, their music is sure to charge your battery which you lost living as a workaholic business person. Why don't you come to relax and enjoy their music?
INTERVIEWED by Mayumi.H & Wahei Ohnuki
PHOTO by Wahei Ohnuki
LIVE REPORT by Mayumi.H
Copyright 2000 by CyberFusion