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My October 2010, 2012 Interviews Trevor Rabin, 2011 Interview Ryan Rabin's Grouplove  

ArleneWeiss
(@arleneweiss)
Extreme Peach

Here's an Archive of my October 2010 Interview with film composer Trevor Rabin, formerly the Guitarist, singer, songwriter for British progressive rock band Yes.

http://guitarinternational.com/2010/10/21/interivew-with-composer-guitarist-and-recording-artist-trevor-rabin/

Trevor Rabin: Guitarist, Composer, Performer

By Arlene R. Weiss

© Copyright September 23 and October 6, 2010, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

Music auteur, legendary guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, and award winning, esteemed film composer, Trevor Rabin’s artistry is beyond transcendent.

Crafting sublime sonic canvasses of imagination and innovation through his illustrious and luminous work with Freedom’s Children, Rabbitt, Yes, his solo career, and his motion picture scoring, throughout his life Rabin has also continually been involved with human rights issues, while often imparting great purpose, socially conscious issues, and idealism through the emotional and inspiring resolve of his music.

Both a creative and personal visionary who has never compromised, and always dares to break down boundaries, explore new horizons, and stand up for what is right, his music and his life reflect Rabin’s great personal and artistic depth of moral integrity and character.

In the following interview, the very gracious and gifted Trevor Rabin talks about film scoring, songwriting, his career, guitars and more.

******

Film Scoring:

Arlene R. Weiss: You just finished the score for Director Renny Harlin’s upcoming film, the March 2011 release Georgia, starring Andy Garcia, Rupert Friend, and Val Kilmer in a story involving an American journalist caught up in the war and intrigue between Russia and Georgia.

How did you become involved with this project, and how did you approach crafting the score to effectively convey the equally compelling plot and storyline of the film?

Trevor Rabin: I love working with Renny Harlin. He’s a wonderful person, a great Director, and a pleasure to work with. The subject matter is a real work of passion for me. It’s emotional, grave and chaotic. This is my third war film, along with The Great Raid and Flyboys.

Arlene: You also scored the July 2010 release The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage. What was your experience in composing the compelling score for this blockbuster film?

Trevor: I enjoyed the challenge of redoing Dukas’s original composition, and having worked with Director Jon Turteltaub, twice before on the National Treasure films, I knew it would be a quality film.

Arlene: What are the steps and the creative process for you, in scoring a motion picture?

Trevor: I would say that defining the themes is the first and most defining aspect for me.

Arlene: Once you read a script, what inspirational spark do you draw from, and how do you create and define the emotions, atmosphere, narrative, dialogue, key scenes, story, and specific themes for the central characters, through music?

Trevor: I have to wait for the film to tell me what it needs. This can take watching rough cuts many times, and then evolving over time. Though sometimes it hits all at once, which is harder to digest and document.

Arlene: A Director trusts your artistic sensibilities and instincts to convey his or her cinematic vision, but you are an artist with your own distinctive vision as well. How do the two of you meet in the middle? Where you both see eye to eye and positively meld both of your concepts, ideas and presentation together, yet where your score serves the film. Where you still retain your own distinct creative voice and hallmark signature sound, that makes a score composed by you so transcendent and personal?

Trevor: Thankfully, having done a number of films at this point, there’s an inherent trust involved. The conversation starts once I do the first draft of any given piece of music, hence the collaboration ultimately and naturally happens on my turf.

Compositional Approach:

Arlene: Do you compose film scores on the guitar?

Trevor: I compose on paper, keyboards, or guitar, it changes.

Arlene: How integral an element is the guitar in coloring your orchestration and arrangements, and what guitars do you use to create different moods and textures on film scores?

Trevor: It depends on the film. For example on Con Air, Armageddon and some others, the guitar is used as a major support to the orchestra and leads the melody in the themes, all done on my Alvarez Signature Model, which has a wonderful majestic and sweeping timbre.

I often use a classical gut string for more romantic areas. I also, at times, go to a Dobro slide, which seems to work for sexy or even comedic situations.

Arlene: What recording and mixing process do you use when scoring films?

Trevor: It would be the same process for me whether I was doing film score work or a rock album. I’ve just finished an instrumental album, my new solo album that will be out soon, which I did in the same manner, basically utilizing a digital work station. However, on my new album, I used a lot of different amplifiers, and guitars, more so than I tend to do on scores, as the orchestra usually becomes the largest part of the palette.

The big change for me in the last ten years is that I’m mixing as I go. In the old days, I would pull everything down and start from scratch, as opposed to now, just touching up at the end.

Arlene: Growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa when Apartheid was at its height, you have always continually utilized music as such a positive force for hope, light, and change in making a difference for a better world, in your songs for Freedom’s Children, Rabbitt, Yes, and your solo career, and your idealism shines through and elevates your uplifting, sublime, scores.

My two favorite scores of yours are Glory Road, and Remember The Titans, which President Obama regarded with so much esteem that he used it in his victory speech after he won the Presidential Election at Chicago’s Grant Park.

Do you remember how you first found out about that, and what were your emotions on that special and profound day, upon finding out that the President held so much reverence for your score?

Trevor: It was a tremendous honor to hear my music used for President Obama’s celebration in Chicago and Denver. I was told about it by a friend and fellow film composer Joel McNeely, who was at the Democratic National Convention event in Denver.

I’m still waiting for a thank you from Barack, but I guess he’s a little busy. But seriously, it had a profound impact on me. I’m floored that you know of Freedom’s Children!

Arlene: My favorite songs of yours, “I Can’t Look Away,” from your 1989 solo album of the same name, and “Lift Me Up” with Yes from 1991’s Union, are imbued with this same sense of purpose, resolve, hope, and idealism. What sparked you to conceive and write these two impassioned, inspirational songs?

Trevor: “I Can’t Look Away” took a while to write and it evolved over time. I must add that it was really a tremendous joy to perform live. “Lift Me Up” was never intended for Yes. I had very much written it as a solo piece. But Clive Davis called me, asking if I would write a piece for an ABWH album. I thought “Lift Me Up” would be suitable. Clive was encouraged with the song.

Consequently, it turned into a Yes album, Union. While I liked “Lift Me Up” and “Miracle of Life,” I was disappointed with the album as a whole. But it did lead to the tour where Rick Wakeman and I met, and I had a blast working with him. We’re still hoping to work again, soon.

Tone, Gear and in the Studio:

Arlene: How did you craft and achieve the stunning violin tones on guitar, on “Lift Me Up?”

Trevor: Really the answer is quite simple, spending a lot of time exploring. The success or failure of which is dependent on patience and judgment.

Arlene: What pedals and effects did you use, and what was your approach when playing that song?

Trevor: What I remember is that it was very loud in the studio. It was recorded in stereo, and a Lexicon Reverb was used and recorded, as opposed to adding at the mix. I also used an MXR Fuzz Box and an MXR Digital Delay. I approach the vibrato in a different way when going for this sound.

Arlene: In your rock music, that is not scoring for film, where your guitar playing is more at the forefront, how much of your songwriting is on guitar, and how much does your film and classical composing influence your complex guitar chord structure?

In particular on the guitar solos, fanfares, and suites for, “Lift Me Up,” “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” “Love Will Find A Way,” “Walls,” “I Am Waiting,” “Promises,” and “I Can’t Look Away?”

Trevor: I would say that in the rock area, I write more on guitar than I do when scoring for film. I believe that the influence of my family and classical music had more influence on my sense of harmony, melody, and counterpoint than any other thing. As generalized as this sounds.

Arlene: Don’t you use a lot of compression for your unique guitar tones?

Trevor: Yes, quite often I compress the hell out of the guitar for effects. I’ll also compress slightly to control the sound when needed. I sometimes manually compress the guitar sound by drawing in volume curves on the visual soundbite. This is time consuming however, but highly effective.

Arlene: Don’t you also lessen your pick attack and increase your “singing sustain.” How do you create this?

Trevor: Yes, this is very accurate. I think the control of this is helped by using an old Sharkfin pick, not the newer ones.

Arlene: Describe how you mic, mix down, and EQ your guitar to create such a beautiful array of sonic colors in your guitar playing?

Trevor: As well as many different micing techniques and configurations, I often DI the signal to have another option to work with. However, when I stumble on what I think is a great sound, I don’t bother to add a DI.

When I got the sound for the solo on “Owner of a Lonely Heart” for example, I never added anything afterwards, as I thought it was fine as is. On other occasions, I can spend ages with EQ, mic placement, dimension, compression, etc., and then throw it away and start again. Ugh!

Signature and Favorite Guitars:

Photo: Trevor Rabin Alvarez Signature Guitar

Arlene: How did you and Tom Presley design your Alvarez Trevor Rabin Signature Model Guitar? You were just saying how much you use it for your film scoring.

Trevor: It’s definitely my main guitar. Tom Presley is a true artist and he created a brilliant instrument. I was proud to put my name on it. We went through a lot of changes, and he came up with a gem. Thanks Tom.

Arlene: What’s the story behind your main beloved Strat? How and when did you get that guitar?

Trevor: My main Strat, I bought in 1972. It was a red one, exactly like the Hank B. Marvins. Over the years it’s been trashed by me, but I love it dearly. A friend of mine, Denis Joint, who ran a music store called Bothners, found it for me. I was very lucky.

It had been lying in the store for years and he sold it to me for 160 South African rand, one to one to the U.S. dollar at the time. Funny, at the time I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t a ‘72 model. It’s a ‘66, I think. Turned out fine I might add.

Arlene: Do you still use your Strat?

Trevor: All the time, but not as much as the Signature Model.

Arlene: You also painted the artwork on that Strat yourself. What was your inspiration to do that?

Trevor: Actually, I did a lot of it, and a friend of mine, Selwyn Schneider did some wonderful air brushing on it.

Arlene: What are some of your favorite guitars and stringed instruments, in your collection?

Trevor: I have dozens of guitars I love. A Gibson 400, an old Barney Kessel, an old Les Paul, a Chet Atkins, lots of Fenders. I have a Saz, a Balalaika, different types of mandolins, a Baritone Danelectro, an old Ludwig Banjo. I love my Dobros. I love my gut string Alvarez, I use it all the time. I love my Moon Acoustic, introduced to me, by my good friend Bryan Adams, great guitar. And on it goes, I love my guitars!

Arlene: Do you still have and use your Alvarez Yairi DY88 acoustic guitar that you use to play the lyrical, “Solly’s Beard?”

Trevor: Oh yes, I love that too, but I prefer the Moon for steel string now.

Arlene: That song is such a lovely favorite with people every time you strum that live. How did the song come about?

Trevor: I wrote that almost without much thought. I had decided to play an acoustic solo on the Yes tours, and never got to writing it until the last minute. I wrote it a couple of days before the first show.

Strings, Amps and More

Arlene: What strings and gauge do you use?

Trevor: On the Moon and Semi Solids, it starts with .10s through to .46. On the Signature and the Strats, I go from .08 to .38.

Arlene: What amps and gear do you use?

Trevor: Mostly, I use an Ampeg 120-VT. Unfortunately, they don’t make them anymore. Luckily I have a number of them. I also sometimes use a Rivera Venus 5, and very old 100W Marshalls. Also, I like an ancient Simms Watt 100 Super Lead, which left South Africa with me in 1978 and has been with me ever since, a good old boy. I call him the buffalo. Also, a bit of Line 6 stuff, great for DI.

Arlene: Didn’t Bob Bradshaw design a MIDI switching & looping system for you, which you use to innovate your guitar playing’s unique phrasing?

Trevor: Wow! Yes, I use an old Bradshaw rig. Bob’s the best, I just love him. Bob Bradshaw is the guy if you’re looking for a custom made rig. He’s sensitive to the needs of the individual and a brilliant, great, and patient guy.

New Albums:

Arlene: What about the record that you’re currently working on with your Yes compatriots, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman?

Trevor: We haven’t started yet. But Jon, Rick, and I are really itching to do it.

Arlene: How are things coming along with your new, greatly anticipated solo record?

Trevor: I’m very happy with my solo album. It should be out in the next couple of months. It’s all instrumental, and I had a blast doing it.

Lou Molino III, is on drums. My son Ryan, plays drums on two tracks. He’s brilliant, and he’s very busy with his band, Grouplove. Also, he’s busy songwriting and producing.

Arlene: I hear there’s a lot of Dobro on the new album, which is my favorite instrument. What artistic direction and style of music is the focus of your new record?

Trevor: A lot of bluegrass, jazz, and a bit of, not sure what to call it!

Arlene: Your lead vocals are as exquisite as your guitar playing. Will you be singing on your new solo record?

Trevor: I will definitely be doing a vocal album next, and thanks.

Arlene: Will you be touring in support of your solo album, time and schedule permitting around your film scoring?

Trevor: I hope to. I played with Yes recently at The Greek Theater in L.A. and enjoyed it. So, time permitting, I hope so.

Influences and Producing:

Arlene: Who are your main influences as a guitarist?

Trevor: Joe Pass, Barney Kessel, John McLaughlin. Strange for someone who plays rock mostly.

Arlene: What was your first guitar and what first inspired you to want to play?

Trevor: A Harmony semi-acoustic. I had a cheap acoustic before but I don’t remember what it was. I wanted to play in my brother’s band. He’s a drummer and a violinist and highly musical. The piano wasn’t loud enough so I started teaching myself guitar, and I actually joined one of my first bands The Other, when I was thirteen or fourteen.

Arlene: You’re versed in many instruments, especially piano. How and when did you start playing the piano? What are some of your other favorites?

Trevor: I started piano when I was six. Pushed by my parents, I had two lessons a week and practiced an hour a day for twelve years, whether I liked it or not, as did my brother and sister. I started to play guitar, at around twelve.

Arlene: When did you get involved with producing, arranging, and engineering?

Trevor: I started Producing at around eighteen, and I started orchestral arranging at about twenty, doing string arrangements for pop records that I was producing. I always seem to remember dabbling in Engineering.

Arlene: Didn’t you produce Manfred Mann’s Earth Band? How did that project come about? What other artists have you Produced?

Trevor: Manfred just approached me in London years ago, and we’ve been close friends ever since. I produced Wild Horses, John Miles, Noel McCalla, and many others.

Arlene: How fulfilling do you find being the director so to speak, in music, of the artistic vision when in the role of Producer?

Trevor: I enjoy it a lot, but I also enjoy doing sessions where the responsibility is playing.

Arlene: What songwriters and film composers most influenced you?

Trevor: Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith, Arnold Schoenberg, Aaron Copland, Dmitri Shostakovich, Paul Simon, John McLaughlin, and many more.

Arlene: You have composed so many stunning scores for so many amazing films and Directors. What are some of your especially fond creative experiences and memories, scoring films with so many auteurs?

Trevor: I mentioned Flyboys and The Great Raid earlier, which I am proud of. Also, Armageddon, Remember the Titans, National Treasure 1 and 2, Deep Blue Sea, Georgia. However, there are things on all the films that I am both happy and frustrated with. I’m also proud of the theme I wrote for the NBA.

Arlene: Are there any Directors that are on your dream list, of who you would like to one day collaborate with and score their films?

Trevor: Ken Russell!!

Arlene: What other creative projects as a solo artist, guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, and film composer, do you hope to explore on your adventurous artistic path, to continuously evolve, and spread your wings, and keep growing as an artist?

Trevor: I’ve so enjoyed the film stuff, as every film has been an opportunity to do different areas of music, so I’ll continue searching. I certainly intend to continue searching, as well, via rock music, although it’s been a long time, and whatever hits me.

******

© Copyright September 23 and October 6, 2010, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

[Edited on 11/11/2015 by ArleneWeiss]

Quote
Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2015 6:10 am
ArleneWeiss
(@arleneweiss)
Extreme Peach

This is the intro. Article to my 2010 Trevor Rabin Interview

http://guitarinternational.com/2010/10/21/trevor-rabin-artist-profile/

© Copyright September 23 and October 6, 2010, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

Trevor Rabin Artist Profile

By Arlene R. Weiss

Legendary guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, film composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Trevor Rabin, is more than an amazing auteur. Throughout his storied career he has continually set a benchmark of uncompromising excellence, forging and blazing a superb path as a landmark artist, and as one of the most esteemed and influential artists in music. The talent and artistry flowing from Rabin’s consciousness is just otherworldly.

Born in Johannesburg, January 13, 1954, Rabin’s lifelong love of, and encouragement in, music began as a child from his family, which has always been richly immersed and gifted in many of the fine and performing arts, including classical music.

His father Godfrey was the first chair violinist for The Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra, his mother Joy was a painter, actress, ballet dancer, and classical pianist. Trevor’s little sister Amanda is a ballet dancer and pianist and his older brother Derek was a violinist and a drummer.

Trevor began playing and studying piano at the age of six, first took up playing the guitar at twelve, and was playing in his brother Derek’s band by the time he turned thirteen. By the time he was seventeen, Trevor was an in demand and highly respected session guitarist, producer, and arranger.

It was then that he would join several pioneering South African bands, forming Conglomeration with several friends, joining Freedom’s Children, (whose spirited, social activism and Anti-Apartheid outcries reflected Trevor’s, and his family’s, great sense of courage of conviction, moral integrity, responsibility, and stand against Apartheid), and co-founding Rabbitt, which stands to this day as South Africa’s most successful rock band.

From the early 1980’s to 1995, Rabin’s tenure was with the influential, progressive art rock band YES as one of their chief songwriters. Where he contributed by writing their only number one song, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” writing their sole Grammy Award® winning song, the instrumental “Cinema,” and writing a sparkling repertoire of songs, including “Leave It,” “Changes,” “It Can Happen,” “Hold On,” “Rhythm Of Love,” “Love Will Find A Way,” “Lift Me Up,” “Miracle Of Life,” “Walls,” “I Am Waiting,” “Endless Dream,” and many more.

His phenomenal songwriting, incendiary guitar playing, singing, production, engineering, and arranging with Yes on four albums, and many worldwide tours, rejuvenated and breathed fresh and exciting, creative fire and life into the band, at a time when they were fragmented, bereft of ideas and songs, and nearly obsolete.

But Rabin’s true gifts for invention and innovation surfaced fully through his four dazzling solo albums, 1978’s Trevor Rabin, 1979’s Face To Face, 1981’s Wolf, and significantly, on Trevor’s masterpiece, 1989’s Can’t Look Away, on which he showcases his dazzling musicianship. Doing all of the songwriting, Trevor plays all of the instruments himself, sings, produced, mixed, and arranged the album, creating a purposeful and meaningful work of epic scope and beauty.

The album’s centerpiece song, “I Can’t Look Away”, addresses Trevor’s Anti-Apartheid stance, imbued with resolute integrity and taking a stand for what is right, endowed with lyrics and music of utter magnificence and a social conscience.

Currently, Trevor’s eloquent innovative gifts, most prominently have come to the fore, ever since composing his first film score in 1996 for the film Glimmer Man, through Trevor’s decade and a half tenure as a revered and acclaimed, award-winning film composer.

Rabin has composed the stunning scores for such diverse and multi-genre A-List motion pictures including Armageddon, Con Air, Remember The Titans, Glory Road, both National Treasure films, Snakes On A Plane, The Guardian, Enemy Of The State and this last summer’s blockbuster film, Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

That’s also Trevor’s amazing scores gracing Walt Disney World’s “Mission: Space” exhibit, and he also composed the signature theme for the NBA® on TNT.

President Obama regarded Rabin’s compositional gifts so much, that he used Trevor’s Remember The Titans main theme, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, and as the backdrop for his Grant Park Victory Speech in Chicago, upon winning the Presidential election.

Rabin, who has collaborated with, produced, and played on sessions with such venerable artists including, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Paul Rodgers, Manfred Mann, Noel McCalla, and Wild Horses, is currently very busy working on several creative projects.

Rabin recently finished composing the score for Director Renny Harlin’s new film Georgia, (tentatively to be re-titled Red August or Five Days In August set for release March 2011). Rabin is also planning on writing and recording a new record with his Yes compatriots, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.

Trevor also just finished and is about to release, (release date and more information to be announced shortly), his long awaited and highly anticipated, fifth solo album. A very personal instrumental album imbued with many eclectic and diverse music styles including roots, bluegrass, and jazz.

Trevor Rabin has, and continues to be, an artist always excited by, and taking tremendous personal and creative, joy and fulfillment in continually taking chances, charting new, multi-faceted creative paths and varied music, artistic projects.

As Rabin expounds with joy, “I’ve so enjoyed the film stuff, as every film has been an opportunity to do different areas of music, so I’ll continue searching. I certainly intend to continue searching, as well, via rock music, although it’s been a long time, and whatever hits me.”

© Copyright September 23 and October 6, 2010, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2015 6:12 am
ArleneWeiss
(@arleneweiss)
Extreme Peach

Here's an Archive of My June 2012 Interview with Trevor Rabin discussing his new instrumental jazz fusion album at the time, "Jacaranda".

http://guitarinternational.com/2012/06/11/trevor-rabin-interview-jacaranda/

© Copyright March 28-June 8, 2012, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

Trevor Rabin Interview-"Jacaranda"

By Arlene R. Weiss

Jacaranda, Trevor Rabin’s first new solo studio album since 1989’s critically acclaimed Can’t Look Away, is a deeply personal, musically reverential album. The instrumental album melds and showcases Trevor’s vast musical vocabulary, as well as his talents as a writer and performer. Rabin’s vast array of influences is also allowed to shine on the album including jazz, rock, bluegrass, roots, classical, rockabilly, and blues.

On Jacaranda, Rabin crafts an autobiographical and emotionally expressive musical homage to his native South Africa. A beautifully reflective yet introspective record imbued with meaningful personal and artistic memories, Jacaranda affectionately recalls the first 24 years of his life, growing up in South Africa, and the people, places, and memories from his homeland that he holds close to his heart.

I sat down with Trevor Rabin to discuss the background to Jacaranda, the instruments and effects he used on the album and his plans for future work in the instrumental and vocal genres.

******

Arlene R. Weiss: Hi Trevor, how are you. Congratulations on the release of Jacaranda. What an amazing and beautiful songbook. You must be so happy and proud.

Trevor Rabin: I just loved making this record. I’ve never had a better time.

Arlene: “Jacaranda” is such a deeply personal record for you. Many of the songs and their titles are autobiographical, very affectionately recalling the first 24 years of your life growing up in South Africa. What at this time in your life compelled you along this introspective direction, where each song is crafted as a loving photograph inspired by a special time and memory in your heart?

Trevor Rabin: For some reason I remember going through an introspective time in my life when I was around 16 to 17 years old. It’s this period that my mind goes back to when creating a lot of the song titles. The liner notes talk about this, and partly what I was just saying from my teen years. It was just an introspective time for me, and that inspired the songs, what they’re about and what they mean to me.

Arlene: You’ve referenced the jacaranda several times throughout your career. What is it about this particular flowering tree that inspires you and why did you choose it as the title of your new record?

Trevor Rabin: I grew up with jacarandas everywhere. When they bloom, the explosion of purple flowers and the beautiful carpet they create always sticks with me. From what I’ve heard, it’s also known as the Tree of Knowledge and Wisdom and so I found that to be inspiring and it just sort of became a recurring theme throughout my music.

Arlene: Jacaranda is your first solo studio album in 23 years. Why did you wait such a lengthy time period to release this new album?

Trevor Rabin: Inspiration hits me in strange ways. But I’ve been so busy with doing film scores and other scoring projects that it just took awhile, and last year I just decided to discipline myself and work on it.

Arlene: Jacaranda is an instrumental album. Are you hoping to do other projects down the road where you will be showcasing your vocals?

Trevor Rabin: I will sing soon! Yes, I will definitely be singing on my future albums and projects.

Arlene: What artistic statement were you aspiring to achieve in writing and recording the album?

Trevor Rabin: I don’t know, it definitely feels like the most honest and natural I’ve ever been writing this music and making this album. This album and the music I express on it is definitely a turning point for me. I will be far more creatively free from this moment on since creating Jacaranda.

Arlene: Most of the songs on Jacaranda feature the Dobro. Do you remember when you first started playing Dobro? What is it about this instrument that compelled you to use it as the most prominent musical voice on your record?

Trevor Rabin: I first started using Dobro in my film scores, and I just love playing the instrument. I don’t remember when I first actually started playing Dobro though. I’ve been using Dobro to color and texture my film scores, but I’ve always loved it. It’s just a beautiful sounding instrument and it creates amazing textures and tones, as well as moods and emotions.

I use the same trusty Dobro that I’ve always used for many years. I only have the one….and I just love it! I use a chrome metal slide and I approach it in a very unorthodox way. I play it as if I’m playing slide guitar.

Arlene: What Dobro players most influenced you throughout the years?

Trevor Rabin: I really love Jerry Douglas, he’s just an amazing virtuoso.

Arlene: Take us through your songwriting process on Jacaranda.

Trevor Rabin: The interesting thing is that I really let the music flow from me with no specific business plan in mind as far as to how it would be released or even what it was. This made for a far freer experience for me, and also there was a tremendous emphasis on performance.

Arlene: My favorite song on the album is “Through the Tunnel.” What was your inspiration for the song, how did you conceive, arrange, and then fully develop the arrangement for this song?

Trevor Rabin: I really loved creating this, from Vinnie’s jaw dropping drumming, to how much fun it is playing bass with him, and then when I was performing guitar and letting it rip as it were. For that song, it was just like the album itself and how all of the other songs also came about. It was purely all about the freedom of not caring about any preset expectations about what I was doing….and it was just the process of enjoying creating, which somehow lead me to this. For playing the piano passages, I used my Young Chang Concert Grand piano on that.

Arlene: Of all the songs on the album, “Anerley Road” is imbued with the most multilingual guitar voicings, for which you used nine different guitars plus your Dobro. How did you conceive this song?

Trevor Rabin: It was a bit like doing a jigsaw, one thing lead to the next, and suddenly I was done. I thought hard before using all the different and particular guitars, knowing what sound I would need in the end. I thought the bell toned harmonics that I put on that to be perfect bookends for the piece.

Arlene R. Weiss: Tell me about the video that you’ve filmed and produced for “Anerley Road.” How did that come about and will there be other videos from Jacaranda that you’ll be doing?

Trevor Rabin: I met a video guy who talked about doing the video, and I realized that I wanted to do it myself. So I got into filming, lighting, color correction, editing…and I filmed it myself. I hope to do more videos for the album.

Arlene: You used your infamous, beloved 62’ Strat on the album, especially on “Through The Tunnel.” How is your Strat holding up these days?

Trevor Rabin: I guess it’s like the most worn in saddle of all my guitars. It’s definitely my second wife. It’s holding up great. I look after it a lot better now, than the old days. She’s very happy.

Arlene: How did you come by your Westone Rainbow Guitar, and what is it about this guitar and its tones that you especially like?

Trevor Rabin: I was endorsing the Westone brand at the time, and when they presented this to me, I fell in love. I way prefer it to my 335.

Arlene: What other guitars and stringed instruments did you use on Jacaranda and what effects, amps, and gear did you use on the album?

Trevor Rabin: All the guitars are mentioned in the album’s liner notes, there are just so many and they’re all wonderful. My newest acoustic is a Martin which I’m liking, and I will probably use it on my next album. I used my old Marshall 100 amp. I also used my Ampeg VT-120’s which are not made any more. God knows why, because I think for me, they’re the best sounding guitar amps.

Arlene: The songs on Jacaranda have a very natural, organic, feel and sound. Did you use your Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer and your Digital Work Station, to record this record?

Trevor Rabin: Yes, I used Digital Performer and it was really my central work station for everything. I decided that electronic instrumentation would be to a minimum and it would really be just me, in the studio, playing genuine instruments. The album was all recorded digitally, but I used an analog approach and that’s what comes across on the final release.

Arlene: Will you be touring to support Jacaranda?

Trevor Rabin: Well, I haven’t got there just yet. It’s all still very new, but I’m hoping to.

Arlene: What other artistic paths and projects do you hope to explore in the future as you travel your musical journey?

Trevor Rabin: Because of this album, and what it’s taught me…what I’ve learned, is not to try and contrive what to do next. I always feel most free and pure when I can naturally write and play music, without any expectations…..and then I can just be in the moment, free and spontaneous, and just let the music, come to me.

© Copyright March 28-June 8, 2012, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2015 6:18 am
ArleneWeiss
(@arleneweiss)
Extreme Peach

Here's an Archive of my March 2012 review of Trevor Rabin's Instrumental jazz rock album "Jacaranda".

http://guitarinternational.com/2012/03/26/trevor-rabin-jacaranda-album-review/

© Copyright March 24, 2012, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

Trervor Rabin-Jacaranda: Album Review

By Arlene R. Weiss

The jacaranda tree is indigenous to several multicultural, musically diverse global regions, including South Africa, where legendary guitarist, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, and award winning esteemed film composer, Trevor Rabin was born and grew up, and where he absorbed, and was both informed and influenced by, many diverse music styles.

The jacaranda is a glorious vista to behold, exhibiting a pageantry of brilliantly hued purple blossoms that takes one’s breath away.

Each song on Trevor Rabin’s new solo album, Jacaranda is like the infinite petals of the jacaranda’s blossoms. Each and every intermezzo is brilliant, unique, and breathtakingly beautiful.

And so Trevor could not have chosen a more aptly befitting album title for this radiant songbook of instrumental gemstones. Trevor’s first new solo studio album since 1989’s critically acclaimed, Can’t Look Away, Jacaranda is a deeply personal, musically reverential album, painted with loving, sonic brushstrokes that dance alive with exquisite fire and beauty. It reflects the ongoing artistic vision, scope, innovation, and many eclectic music influences, including jazz, rock, bluegrass, blues, and classical, that Trevor has continually embraced, and which continue to inform, his immense virtuosity and sublime artistry.

Trevor composed all of the album’s songs and produced and arranged Jacaranda. Trevor also plays all of the instruments on the album, with the exception of drums, which are performed with powerhouse finesse and virtuosity by Trevor’s longtime drummer Lou Molino III, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Trevor’s talented son, Ryan Rabin of the acclaimed indie band Grouplove. Bass guitarist Tal Wilkenfeld also guests on the track, “Anerley Road”.

The joyful, delightfully titled, “Spider Boogie” begins the album with Trevor’s trademark exuberance, sense of playfulness and affection for all things musical, and lots of six string fun. Trevor also introduces the album with something this album is exquisitely drenched in, luminous, multicolored textures of radiant, chiming Dobro.

As Trevor hums to start things off and hand claps keep time, this tasty bluegrass front porch romp finds Trevor picking away on his trusty Dobro with the lithe and agility of a dancing spider! Then with Trevor burning up the electric guitar, the song is off to the races as Trevor’s satin smooth Dobro slide comes back in for a duet as the piece rocks out into a rollicking, electrified roots, country rockabilly jam and sparkling mountain suite.

“Market Street” and “The Branch Office” will please appreciative fans of Trevor’s former band Yes, with their progressive rock leanings. Lots of swirling Hammond organ and piano voicings that also call to mind ELP and Genesis, partner with crunching, punchy, semi-psychedelic and slide guitars, segueing into wonderfully nuanced jazz tones and phrasings.

“Anerley Road” featuring bass guitar virtuoso, Tal Wilkenfeld is an amazing palette of many vibrant and beautiful sonic colors and textures. The influences of Barney Kessel, Joe Pass, John McLaughlin, Wes Montgomery, and a sprinkle of Django Rinehardt are all over Jacaranda, and especially so in this stunning, magical, eclectic hodgepodge gumbo of multilingual guitar voicings, chord inversions, changes, and passages, and contextual musical interludes featuring Dobro slide, fusion, and the fluid warmth of big boxy hollow body jazz guitar shadings.

And it all begins and ends with “Anerley Road’s” fade in and fade out through a mystical prism of striking crystalline bell tones which introduce and close out this magical, musical, dreamscape.

My favorite track and the standout song to the album, is the striking and sublime, “Through The Tunnel.” This evocative piece fully embodies and showcases Trevor’s gifts as a film composer and it feels like it could easily be one of his breathtaking musical centerpieces for a motion picture or film score themes. Beginning with a poetic, eloquent piano passage interpreted and performed with understated regality, wondrous radiance, and utter beauty, this exquisite melody and motif ever so gently proceeds, entwining and caressing lyrical Dobro shadings, as it transforms into beautiful reverbed guitar voicings, crafting dazzling jazz rock flights of fancy.

The epic, sweeping, “Rescue” was directly inspired by the 2006 Kevin Costner film, The Guardian for which Trevor composed the score. The amazingly gifted Liz Constantine, vocalist for the band Dizzy X, collaborated with Trevor on the motion picture score, and here, she also lends her spellbinding wordless singing vocals as well.

The Guardian portrayed the courageous life and death sacrifices of the brave men and women of the United States Coast Guard. On “Rescue,” (and also on the film’s original score), Trevor so beautifully honors them with this enigmatic tribute. A battery of layered, dissonant electric guitars tolls as Liz’s deeply emotional, ethereal vocals then call out to the lost men and women at sea. Liz’s singing channels a protecting maiden of the sea, a guiding aural beacon of hope and light to see that those lost at sea find their way and safely bring them home, and to give eternal peace to those who are long given up to the blackest fathoms of the ocean’s depths.

Sublimely orchestrated and arranged with strings, this transcendent suite is hallmarked by the gravitas of its emotionally resonant depth and breadth, and purposeful resolve, as the piece crescendos into a soaring, uplifting, and inspiring song of hope and glory with stunning majesty, luster, and grace.

Though regarded as one of music’s most consummate guitarists, Trevor is also at heart, one of its most gifted artisans on piano. A classically trained musician who studied and has played the piano since the tender age of six, growing up in a family which has always been richly immersed and gifted in the performing arts, and are classical musicians.

On the lush Baroque piano sonata, “Killarney 1 and 2,” Trevor regales us with this intense, elegant pageantry of sweeping piano lines, movements, and beautiful melodic context, that so divinely sings to and touches our heart and soul.

The profound, impassioned eloquence, range, and depth of emotional expressiveness emanating within Trevor’s musical lexicon is awe inspiring. His supple fingerings, his interpretive reading, his intricate yet also ornate phrasings create an aural vision of poetic lyricism that so deeply and exquisitely moves and uplifts our emotions to a place of spiritual transcendence and beauty.

The playful “Zoo Lake” features Trevor’s atmospheric, languid Dobro slide, played, oh, so deliciously, ebb and flow slow, conjuring up an old fashioned, lazy summer afternoon down by the lake. One can almost imagine dipping their toes in the water, sipping an ice cold drink, and romancing their girl, all while of course, relaxing for a spell while enjoying playing their sweet, soulful guitar.

Ever so sweet and wonderfully lowdown. Yet also wistfully reminiscing for a time or era gone by as “Zoo Lake” shapeshifts to the pensive jazz syncopation of piano and electric guitar, and the melancholic, solemn finality of darkly colored, somber strings.

On “Jacaranda,” there are so many musical wonders imbued with incandescence. There’s the effervescent jazzy pizzicato chime harmonics of “Storks Bill Geranium Waltz” and the straight ahead, fuzz toned, phase and effect driven, rock meets jazz fusion guitars of “Me And My Boy,” featuring Trevor’s talented son Ryan on drums, highlighting a musical tour de force of virtuosity of father and son. There’s the studious, uptempo ringy/chimey improvised guitars of the jazzy “Freethought,” and the lyrical pluck and twang, guitar and Dobro revelry of “Gazania.”

Trevor Rabin’s “Jacaranda is a musical flowering tree of splendor. It is an aural vista of sonic beauty, magic, and bliss crafted from the beautiful imagination and renaissance heart of this otherworldly auteur and artisan.

It’s a wistful, contemplative, introspective record imbued with, and which exudes, exuberant radiance and felicitous beauty through the universal connection and language of music. Like that visitor at “Zoo Lake,” take your time and immerse yourself in this wondrous flowering garden of celestial musical soundscapes. For this is a sparkling and sublime, marvel of musical exploration, technical skill, invention, songcraft, and exquisite artistry. And we are so greatly and deeply emotionally moved and inspired by this glittering and enchanting chapter of Trevor’s amazing musical odyssey, which he so joyously, and beautifully, invites us to share and enjoy.

© Copyright March 24, 2012, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2015 6:20 am
ArleneWeiss
(@arleneweiss)
Extreme Peach

Here's an Archive of my September 2011 interview with drummer, producer, songwriter Ryan Rabin (Trevor Rabin's son), discussing Ryan's indie rock band Grouplove and their debut album, "Never Trust A Happy Song".

http://guitarinternational.com/2011/09/02/grouploves-ryan-rabin-how-to-grouplove-ify-in-a-garage/

© Copyright August 30, 2011, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

Grouplove's Ryan Rabin How To Grouplove-ify In A Garage

By Arlene R. Weiss

This has been a momentous and fortuitous year for Ryan Rabin. The amazingly gifted co-founder, drummer, percussionist, songwriter, and producer, of indie rock band, Grouplove is poised for the September 13, 2011 international release of Grouplove’s stellar eponymous debut album, Never Trust A Happy Song.

In barely a year’s time, Ryan and his Grouplove band mates, Christian Zucconi, (lead vocals, guitars), Andrew Wessen, (lead guitar), Hannah Hooper, (vocals, keyboards), and Sean Gadd, (bass guitar), have released a critically acclaimed EP last January, they’ve been heralded by NME Magazine as one of the “Best New Bands of 2010.” They’ve toured to sold-out venues in the USA and in several cities in the UK, Europe, and Australia, and they’ve played music’s most prestigious, international festivals including Austin, Texas’s South By Southwest, Australia’s Splendour In The Grass, and the UK’s legendary Glastonbury. And just this month, Ryan and Grouplove played a blistering set, lighting up the stage to the delight of adoring fans in Chicago at the one and only Lollapalooza.

Phenomenal vistas indeed for the luminous Ryan, whose father is esteemed award-winning film composer, and former Yes guitarist, singer, songwriter and solo artist Trevor Rabin.

Ryan’s love and regard for drums began as a child, when he first became enthralled with seeing and listening to the incendiary percussion of drummer, Lou Molino III, who has collaborated with Ryan’s father on Trevor’s 1989 Can’t Look Away solo album and tour, and on several of Trevor’s film scores.

Ryan first learned to play drums on his very first set of drums, “an old Ludwig children’s starter kit from the 80’s”, that his dad bought him. He then gigged through his high school and college years with several musician friends and with local bands, developing into the drummer of incomparable power, precision, and talent that he is today, tearing into his kit with Grouplove.

Ryan beautifully and creatively spread his musical wings and continued to artistically evolve, venturing into songwriting, and especially into producing, something which he holds very close to his heart. The talented Grouplove producer now has his own production team dubbed “Captain Cuts,” with Ryan mentoring artists including hip hop’s Outasight and pop vocalist Kenzie May, who have benefitted from Ryan’s studio finesse.

Ryan has also played drums with Jason Bonham and L.A. bands The Anthem and The Outline. Ryan has also collaborated with his father, on Trevor’s scores for 2001’s “American Outlaws”, for which Ryan composed additional score music and played percussion, 2007’s “Hot Rod” for which Ryan composed additional score music, and on 2009’s “G-Force”, Ryan and Trevor co-wrote the song “Mexicano” together. Ryan also plays drums on 2 songs on Trevor’s greatly anticipated instrumental solo album, which was tentatively scheduled for a September 2011 release, now delayed until sometime in Late 2011.

With Grouplove readying to fly to Europe for a spectacular three-day stand at Paris’s Rock en Seine Festival, and the UK’s Reading and Leeds Festivals, Ryan graciously took time to discuss Grouplove, crafting Never Trust A Happy Song, his many musical influences, producing, songwriting, and his tour de force of explosive virtuosity on drums!

Grouplove (Ryan Rabin at far left) Photo: Autumn De Wilde

******

Arlene R. Weiss: Hi Ryan, how are you. I want to wish you congratulations and to Christian, Sean, Hannah, and Andrew on the September 13 release of Grouplove’s Debut album, Never Trust A Happy Song. I just love the album, it’s stunning! You must be so proud and excited!

Ryan Rabin: Yes! I’m very excited about it. It’s our first full album and also my first major release as a producer, so it’s very exciting on a few different levels.

Arlene R. Weiss: How did the band get chosen to play at the very prestigious and internationally acclaimed Lollapalooza? What was that experience like for you, and what were the emotional and artistic highlights?

Ryan Rabin: I think we got booked for Lollapalooza off of the strength of our EP. Our booking agents got hold of that, and soon after that we began working together. They have since then secured most of our touring dates off of the buzz of the EP. In terms of that particular show, it was an unbelievably hot day, so the performance was exhausting, but it was equally exciting as it happened to be the 20th Anniversary of the festival.

Arlene R. Weiss: How did you come up with, and what is the meaning behind the title, Never Trust A Happy Song? Also, after initially releasing your EP earlier this year, what was the initial impetus for crafting the album?

Ryan Rabin: Initially, it was just a funny phrase that our bass player Sean said one day as a joke, and then as the recording process continued on the album, it kept coming up in conversation, and slowly it turned into something that became meaningful for all of us, in different ways. It grew on me personally because I took a bit of meaning out of it in the way I sometimes listen to my favorite songs. A lot of great songs are very happy or sunny, and even tongue and cheek. But often, when you take a second listen or a closer look into the lyrical content or the melodic vibe, it usually reveals itself to have a deeper meaning or purpose, and over time evoke more of a melancholy or sense of longing or nostalgia. So the album title for me personally represents that journey you can have as a listener.

Arlene R. Weiss: With this being your breakout debut album, how did you conceive the album and what artistic statement and goals were you aspiring to achieve in writing and recording it?
Ryan Rabin: We never try to write with a specific idea or goal for the entire album. We actually try to make sure we’re not getting comfortable with one approach throughout the album. Each song is its own unique piece of music and the only consistent lines of aesthetic approach lie in the way we sound when playing together, and in the guideline that we all stick to, which is, try to do something different on every song. Other than that, we just sort of let the songs come to us from a variety of places.

Arlene R. Weiss: Grouplove’s music is imbued with such beautiful textured attention to detail and songcraft, hallmarked by a wonderfully spirited exuberance. Where does this innate joyful essence come from that flows and shines continuously through your music?

Ryan Rabin: It’s funny….at a show recently, a guy asked me how we were able to pull off looking so happy while playing the show. I couldn’t understand the question, and I still don’t. How can one not enjoy playing music live to people who are excited to be there and listen? It’s the strangest thing for me to see artists or bands that seem to be bored or unhappy on stage. I suppose it’s a part of the whole image choices they make, but I’ve never really understood that kind of approach. Even if your music is dark and sad, there should always be a little moment to let the audience know that you’re enjoying performing for them. For us, I guess that’s the whole show.

Arlene R. Weiss: Can you describe Grouplove’s songwriting process…who writes the music and lyrics?

Ryan Rabin: It just depends on the song. Several songs on this album were originally partial old demo’s Christian had kept from his past, that we then reinterpreted as a band. So there are lyrics and melodies pre-existing that Christian had written that we then took and sort of “Grouplove-ified”… a lot of that happens in rehearsal, as well as while we’re recording the song. Sometimes Hannah or Sean or Andrew will have a similar raw lyric or melody idea that the others take and reinterpret, or add on to. It’s very collaborative and everyone’s writing roles shift around in each song.

Arlene R. Weiss: When Grouplove was first germinating ideas, what was the impetus for, and what influenced the style and creative direction of your music, songwriting, and aspirations for the band?
Ryan Rabin: Originally when we made the EP, we were not a band. We were just friends that had met under strange circumstances that decided to mess around in my home studio and see what came out of it. We were obviously very surprised and excited after the first couple of tracks came together. We began to feel we were onto something special. There were no direct influences on the style. We just picked and chose individual little raw ideas, and built on them in the studio, similar to how we have done the full album. But yes, this EP came together before we had ever really jammed or rehearsed together as a band.

Arlene R. Weiss: What did you, and each member of the band, bring to the table in synthesizing each of your individual artistic visions and ideas into one collective, creative vision and whole entity?

Ryan Rabin: Again, it’s hard to give a solid answer to that because we weren’t really keeping track of our individual contributions, as it was such a new and open process working together, and we were working so quickly. Sometimes it started with a little verse idea from Sean, or an old demo idea from Christian. Sometimes I would just hear melodies working over someone else’s guitar line and I’d sing them to the others and they’d learn to play them and then that would become a lead guitar solo or synth line. It was really all over the place.

Arlene R. Weiss: My personal favorite song is “Itchin’ On A Photograph,” which is such a joyous song and a real audience favorite whenever you perform that live. Why do you think that that song resonates so powerfully with your fans?

Ryan Rabin: I think that song is the most straight forward rock song we have, and the vocals and
guitar line in the intro really draw me in right away. The message of the song is simple and powerful as well. Let go of your past, living for the moment.

Photo: Grouplove - Never Trust A Happy Song

Arlene R. Weiss: I love the video for the song where you and the band get into a pillow fight. You must have had so much fun shooting that!

Ryan Rabin: It’s always fun throwing pillows at your friends! It ends up being really messy, and we got a lot of dirty looking feathers in our mouths, but it was well worth it.

Arlene R. Weiss: The album has a very organic sound. Where did you record the album and the EP? Were either recorded at your father’s home based studio, Jacaranda Studios?

Ryan Rabin: Actually we haven’t recorded anything in Jacaranda Studios. The EP was done in my parents’ garage, with equipment I’ve just slowly acquired over the years. I began recording music when I was twelve, so I had a bit of time to build up my gear collection with a few hand-me-down pieces of gear my dad doesn’t use anymore. Then the album was done on the same equipment, but recorded in my apartment in downtown LA..

Arlene R. Weiss: Were there any technical, sound, and audio challenges, in regards to leakage, feedback, and bleed through from your drums and the band’s other instruments?

Ryan Rabin: The difference between the EP recording in the garage and recording the album at the downtown apartment was that there was no isolation room in the garage. So it was a bit more difficult to get the desired drum sound since you can’t hear it through the speaker monitors until after the drum take is performed. In my downtown apartment, I set up a live room in the storage space in the garage of the building. I ran about a hundred feet of mic cable snake out of my apartment, downstairs and into the storage room, and had complete sound isolation for the drums and amps etc. It was much more time saving to be able to hear what the live elements will sound like before tracking them. Much less guess and check involved. But at the end of the day, you don’t rest until you get that sound in your head.

Arlene R. Weiss: What production aspects did you implement to acquire the wonderful ambiance and supreme dimension in your sound mix?

Ryan Rabin: I try to put as little software effect as possible on the instruments, unless I’m making up for a really bad tracking room, which was the case in the garage. For the most part I try to focus on the overall EQ spectrum of the track as a whole, and if I’m still not happy with the dimension, I might add a bit of a vocal plate here or a hall verb on the overheads or something. But for the most part I like to paint an accurate picture of the place where the songs were recorded, so I try to incorporate the room’s sound into the mix. This is all of course excluding stylized effects and processing, such as long trippy vocal delays or EQ sweeps, etc. For example, the end of the track “Gold Coast”, from the EP. It had an EQ filter fade out instead of a volume fade at the end.

Arlene R. Weiss: How long did it take to record and mix the record?

Ryan Rabin: I believe recording took about sixteen days and mixing took a week.

Arlene R. Weiss: What mixing consoles and process did you use?

Ryan Rabin: The final mixes of the album were done by Michael H. Brauer at Electric Lady Studios in New York. He works on an SSL9000 with a large collection of great outboard gear.

Arlene R. Weiss: What drums and gear did you use in the studio, and what was in your kit?

Ryan Rabin: I used my Gretsch drums as well as my Ludwig drums. Both kits are about the same set up. The Gretsch is a 20? kick, 14? snare, 12? inch rack tom, and 14? inch floor tom. The Ludwig is the same except it has a 22? kick.

Arlene R. Weiss: What are you using in your drum kit when you perform live?

Ryan Rabin: I also rotate between the Gretsch and the Ludwig. I suppose if I ever get a drum endorsement, I’ll make a hard decision between one of those two kits!

Arlene R. Weiss: I love the song “Gold Coast,” which you co-wrote with Christian and Hannah, and was featured in the 2010 film, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which Trevor scored. What inspired you to write the song, and can you detail how and why you chose that song to create a certain mood, emotion and atmosphere for the film?

Ryan Rabin: Sean Gadd also wrote that one with us. The original idea was an old demo of Christian’s, and we re-arranged and wrote it while recording it. I submitted that song to the movie because the director apparently wanted a sort of mellow vibe, but still heavy sounding track, so “Gold Coast” came to mind.

Arlene R. Weiss: NME Magazine has heralded Grouplove as one of the “Best New Bands of 2010” and showcased Grouplove earlier this year on your first UK tour. How did that come about?

Ryan Rabin: I think that all stemmed from the self-release of our EP, and then eventually its re-release by the Australian label Dew Process. The EP gained a bit of buzz on the online blog scene, and from that we got written up by NME a few times. Then we were approached by Dew Process to license the EP for Australia, which was very exciting for us. So the Splendour In The Grass Festival add stemmed from that relationship, and the others all grew from that initial UK press.

Arlene R. Weiss: A little bit about Grouplove’s beginnings. Didn’t you and Andrew grow up together?

Ryan Rabin: Yes, Andrew and I were the only members who had known each other before we met everyone else in Crete. We went to rival high schools but played in bands together and have been best friends for a long time.

Photo: Grouplove's eponymous debut EP

Arlene R. Weiss: How did you and the members of Grouplove first meet and decide to form a band together?

Ryan Rabin: Andrew convinced me to spend my last couple of weeks after I finished college abroad, I was studying in the Czech Republic, on the isle of Crete. He and his brother helped start up an artist residency in a little run down mountain village called Avdou. It was a crazy group of painters, musicians, and circus people, living amongst the locals. The “commune” founders threw a little music festival in the town, and I played some bongos and sang with Andrew. Christian, Hannah, and Sean happened to have wound up there as well.

Hannah was invited to paint. She’s been a fine artist her whole life and has an incredible body of work, pre- Grouplove. Check out her artwork on her website www.hannahhooper.com. She had just met Christian about a week before they left, and she invited him to join her in Crete. Sean came with his best friend’s band who played the festival, and the five of us just sort of quickly became great friends. We formed a little group within the larger group of people in the village. It wasn’t until a year later when Hannah, Sean, and Christian were visiting Andrew and I in LA that we decided to record some music together. Even then, we weren’t officially a band, nor did we plan to be. It was only after we had finished tracking seven or eight songs together, and everyone returned back to their respective homes, New York for Hannah and Christian, and London for Sean, that we decided we should not let this music we made together go to waste. It was then that we decided to make a run of it as a band. Sean left everything behind in London, Hannah and Christian sold everything and drove across country, and everyone was relocated to LA.

Arlene R. Weiss: Let’s discuss your musical beginnings. Coming from a family steeped in such a rich musical heritage, where so much of your family plays everything from guitar, to drums, to piano, to violin, and your father, Trevor, is such an esteemed and gifted film composer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, singer, producer, arranger, engineer….when did you first realize that you also wanted to venture down this path and be a musician?

Ryan Rabin: I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision. I always enjoyed playing in bands growing up. Taking piano lessons was something I asked for, but didn’t quite enjoy. I obviously am now grateful that I did take lessons otherwise I would not be able to write, record, and produce, and possibly never would have taken up the drums.

Anyway, I always enjoyed playing in bands, but I never took it too seriously. Even when playing in a band with Andrew when we were close to finishing high school, I always knew I still wanted to go to college and get a degree. And by the time I got to Greece and met everyone else, I was reserved to being done with playing in bands. At that point, I just wanted to finish school, and see where life took me.

I had known for a while that my absolute favorite thing was to be in the studio producing. It was never a conscious decision though. I think it sort of naturally evolved out of playing in bands for fun. But there was never a moment in which I looked at my family’s musical background and said to myself, “Wow, I really want to be like them.” Then, funny enough, once I had finally decided to stop touring and playing in bands, the best band of my life sort of appeared out of nowhere.

Arlene R. Weiss: How old were you, and when did you first know that it was drums that you most enjoyed and wanted to pursue playing? And why drums and percussion? What is it about them that fires and sparks your creativity and inspires you so?

Ryan Rabin: My dad’s best friend Lou Molino III is one of the best drummers of all time (in my opinion). I always saw him playing when I was younger, and he looked like he was having such an amazing time smashing the drums. It just seemed more fun than my piano lessons. But I stuck with piano for a bit, and then one day a friend of a friend showed me how to play one simple beat at a little kit that was in my buddy’s living room. From there, I just slowly picked it up and stuck with it. My dad heard me playing at a friend’s house, and bought me a cheap little starter kit the next day. I never had lessons but I always tried to copy the way Lou played in order to get better.

Playing the drums is such a physical experience for me, I tend to get a bit lost in it and I enjoy that part of it. Also, drums and backtrack play such a huge part in production these days. A lot of producers nowadays demand at least a third of the publishing on a track in which they composed the drums and backtrack. And it’s no different for me. The drums play such a huge part in all my productions, whether they are rock or pop or urban, and I enjoy that creativity just as much as writing lyrics or melodies.

Grouplove, Photo: Autumn De Wilde

Arlene R. Weiss: What other instruments do you play?

Ryan Rabin: A bit of piano, and a little bit of guitar.

Arlene R. Weiss: What were the first drums and kit that you played?

Ryan Rabin: An old Ludwig children’s starter kit from the 80’s. I think it makes a cameo in one of my dad’s old music videos. [Author’s Note: Ryan’s Ludwig children’s starter drum kit appears, as the white drum kit covered in black polka dots that Trevor plays in the 1989 video for Trevor’s solo song, “Something To Hold On To.”]

Arlene R. Weiss: What was your first band, how did you come about joining them, and what kind of music did you play?

Ryan Rabin: My first band was with my old friend Sam Teller. We played cover songs, and recorded Weezer’s “The Sweater Song” on one of Korg’s early digital four track recorders. I hope one day I can find that recording. It’ll make for some great laughs.

Arlene R. Weiss: What other bands and artists have you played, produced, and collaborated with?

Ryan Rabin: I played a bit with my friend Trevor Lukather. I had a couple of decent bands in high school and college, one called The Anthem and the other called The Outline. I’ve done a lot of production work with up and coming artists. Outasight is a great hip-hop artist I’ve worked with, and Kenzie May is an amazing pop talent. Jason Bonham let me play on his kit a while back, and I’ve done some extra film scoring work for my dad here and there. [Ryan composed additional score music for 2001’s American Outlaws and for 2007’s Hot Rod, both of which Trevor scored. Ryan co-wrote the song “Mexicano” with Trevor for 2009’s G-Force.]

Arlene R. Weiss: Who are your influences as a drummer and how have they informed your own playing and technique?

Ryan Rabin: Louis Molino III. If I can play even half as good as he does, I’ll be a happy guy.

Arlene R. Weiss: What other artists, songwriters, and music inspire you?

Ryan Rabin: I love all genres of music. My first favorite artist was Michael Jackson, and he’s still very important to me. In terms of production, no pop artist has put out better songs.

Arlene R. Weiss: When did you begin songwriting and what inspires, influences, and sparks your creative process?

Ryan Rabin: I sang my own made up songs from a very young age. I have a very old recording of one of them. It’s hilarious. Even as a drummer in bands, I am never satisfied if I don’t contribute to every aspect of the music. A lot of times that ends up being very production oriented, re-arranging riffs or lyrics etc., but I’m very much melody oriented. If a melody doesn’t catch my attention in the right way and in the right context, I feel it can be bettered, and I always try to do that during the writing process.

Arlene R. Weiss: What songs are you especially proud of that you have written?

Ryan Rabin: I’m proud of all the songs I had a hand in writing in Grouplove, whether it be more production oriented writing, or melody writing, but I think one of my favorite songs is one that might never be released, called “Black Coke White Jeans.” It’s a song Andrew and I wrote together in college, and we just never realized that project fully. There’s a full album we did that’s just sitting on my hard-drive.

Arlene R. Weiss: You played percussion, to much critical acclaim, on Trevor’s score for the 2001 film and western, American Outlaws. Was that your first time performing on a film score, and can you describe that experience and what it was like emotionally and creatively for you?

Ryan Rabin: That was really fun, because it was the first time I had recorded drums or percussion on top of what was seemingly a finished product. The score hadn’t gone to orchestra yet, but all of the rest of the writing and in studio pre-production tracking was done and my dad had me come play a bunch of stuff over the existing score. I’m lucky I got used to playing to a click track early on because some of those time signatures were difficult.

Arlene R. Weiss: You also play drums on two tracks for Trevor’s upcoming instrumental solo album. Can you discuss the style and direction of these songs and your artistic experience collaborating with your father on his record?

Ryan Rabin: This album is all over the place. I suppose you can call it a form of jazz, but it’s really insane to listen to. Every time I listen to the songs, I hear something new. Playing on it was great. He brought in the music one night, I listened to it, heard his rough electric drum track, and then recorded my own live takes. We did it all in one night.

Arlene R. Weiss: With your parents, family, and roots being from South Africa, and you visiting there often, how have the indigenous rhythms and music of such a wonderful, richly multi-textured, culture, people, and nation influenced you, and in what way has that informed your approach to percussion and your playing and technique?

Ryan Rabin: I’m sure subconsciously I’ve picked up some influence from South-African music. Mostly I loved listening to the famous a-cappella groups. Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Soweto Gospel Choir were on constant rotation in the car on the way to school.

Arlene R. Weiss: Growing up and being around the multi-faceted music of your father, how has that enriched and informed your creative and artistic sensibilities?

Ryan Rabin: I think that one of the most important things I picked up from him was that there is no easy way around getting something right musically. Obviously music in general can be a subjective experience, but there is such a thing as playing or performing something, right or wrong. Once you get it right, you can make it your own. But first you have to get it right, and there are no shortcuts.

Sometimes you just have to sit on the drums for a week to get your brain to accept a new way of playing a beat. Sometimes a software compressor won’t equalize your levels perfectly, and you just gotta sit there and volume automate every single plosive and sibilant in the entire song so that the vocal is pleasurable to hear. Do I sound like a nerd yet?!

Arlene R. Weiss: This has been such an amazing, whirlwind year for you and for Grouplove, with so many new and wonderful creative and life experiences. What artistic paths do you hope to explore in the future..and how and along what new creative roads do you hope to grow, evolve, and aspire to as an artist, for yourself and for Grouplove?

Ryan Rabin: I’d like to continue to build on this growing success with Grouplove, and hopefully this debut album is the first big step towards a long and fruitful career of many albums and memorable tours. I’d also like to simultaneously continue to produce talented artists, in lots of different genres. I think both Grouplove and my production work compliment and help each other, in terms of growth in success as well as growth in my own learning experiences. If I can do all that and still get eight hours of sleep for at least two nights a week, I’ll be happy. No such luck yet though!

Just an FYI, my production team is called “Captain Cuts”, @captaincuts on Twitter and at www.soundcloud.com/captaincuts. We have some cool remixes up on Soundcloud. And also be sure to visit Grouplove at www.grouplovemusic.com for all tour information and for our debut album, Never Trust A Happy Song, which is out September 13, 2011 on CD, Vinyl, and MP3 download!

© Copyright August 30, 2011, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2015 6:27 am
ArleneWeiss
(@arleneweiss)
Extreme Peach

Here's an Archive of my SECOND June 2012 Interview with Trevor Rabin ALSO discussing his instrumental jazz rock fusion album at the time "Jacaranda", as well as his career, other projects, his early days and work as a session artist while growing up in South Africa, film composing, and more.

http://www.guitar-muse.com/trevor-rabin-the-jacaranda-interview-authors-cut-4992

Trevor Rabin: The Jacaranda Interview-Author's Cut

By Arlene R. Weiss

© Copyright March 28-June 14, 2012, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

Prologue

Trevor Rabin

In May 2012, I was honored to interview former Yes guitarist, venerable film composer, singer, songwriter Trevor Rabin, discussing his new instrumental solo album (and his first solo studio album in 23 years), the critically acclaimed, “Jacaranda”.

The album, is a fond nod to, and is influenced by, Trevor’s early years honing his craft as a burgeoning guitarist and musician in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Trevor was born and raised.

“Jacaranda” effuses and radiates Trevor’s vast musical range, deft affinity for, and soaring gifts at, writing, performing, phrasing, and interpreting, a diverse and dazzling array of eclectic music styles including jazz fusion, roots, rock, and classical.

Trevor graciously regaled me with his sublime songwriting process and craftwork in the making of “Jacaranda”. Because this was my second in depth interview with Trevor through the last few years, also discussing as it happens, his film scoring and his career, we also had a chance to discuss many of the things covering said ground that we didn’t get around to the first time I had interviewed him.

Moreover, Trevor also had the opportunity to expound on his early years as a musician, growing up in his native South Africa, which have continued to influence, shape, and inform, his life, his career, and his music, evolving Trevor into the supreme artist that he is today and into the very beautiful, innovative, and evocative, “Jacaranda”.

Some of the portion of my Interview with Trevor where he discussed “Jacaranda” was recently published, but further excerpts where Trevor continues to discuss “Jacaranda”, as well as all of Trevor’s reflections discussing his film scoring, his career, and his musical beginnings as an artist in South Africa were left unpublished.

Many thanks now to “Guitar Muse” for publishing now, for the very first time, all of these excerpts of my May 2012 “Jacaranda” interview with Trevor Rabin, or what I would like to refer to as “Trevor Rabin – The “Jacaranda” Interview, Author’s Cut!!”

Trevor discussing “Jacaranda”:

Arlene R. Weiss: On “Jacaranda” you composed all of the songs. You produced, arranged, and engineered the album. You also play all of the instruments on “Jacaranda” yourself, all of the guitars, bass, piano, and keys with the exception of drums. Explain your creative process of this very multi-faceted, total hands on creative control and approach in recording “Jacaranda”.

Trevor Rabin: It just seems like the easiest way for me to focus. Although obviously, I also very much enjoy collaboration.

Arlene: “Spider Boogie” so joyously exudes your trademark exuberance and sense of playfulness. You play with such finesse and virtuosity on Dobro and on your Westone Rainbow. How did that song, your arrangement combining acoustic and electric textures, and the song title, come about?

Trevor: I was checking out a new amplifier and I just started messing around when the Westone guitar part just hit me. Fun is the word!

Arlene: You also used your Tobias Guitar on “Anerley Road” which was custom made for you. How did that guitar come about for you and how were you involved in its conception, development, and design?

Trevor: There actually was nothing I was involved with in the making of that custom guitar. Mike Tobias kindly made it for me. The action allows for me to fly around very easily.

Arlene: The score which you composed for the 2006 Kevin Costner film, “The Guardian” is one of my favorite scores of yours, which includes the enigmatic and inspiring, “The Guardian Suite”. How did you conceive composing this evocative and compelling suite for the motion picture, and what emotions were you aspiring to convey for the very meaningful and inspiring, characters, storyline, and narrative? How and why did you go about rearranging “The Guardian Suite” as the track “Rescue” on “Jacaranda”?

Trevor: I wanted to give the score for the film strong melody, and for the music to be very grand and classical at times. I just simply wanted to re-perform it again for the album. It’s a very special and beautiful piece for me.

Arlene: What inspired you to collaborate with Liz Constantine, having her sing the deeply emotional, ethereal vocals on your film score and on “Rescue”? What emotions and aural textures were you looking for, and to evoke, by incorporating Liz’s vocals into this transcendent song?

Trevor: It seems like Liz and I…we’ve known each other forever. She’s so amazingly gifted. Funny, I feel so much more emotion listening to Liz. When I think of the piece, it’s just like the meaning of the title itself, “Rescue”. Her vocals evoke that very meaningful feeling and concept.

Arlene: The lush, eloquent Baroque piano sonata, “Killarney 1 And 2” is beyond breathtaking. What inspired and how did you develop this deeply emotional and moving piece which highlights your sublime artistry as a classical pianist?

Trevor: Once I’d written it, I was then faced with the task of playing it, which lead me to spending many hours practicing it. I used my Young Chang Concert Grand for that piece as well.

Arlene: The influences of Barney Kessel, Joe Pass, John McLaughlin, Wes Montgomery, and Django Reinhardt are all over “Jacaranda”. How did the music of these jazz and artistic luminaries influence you as a guitarist and as a songwriter, in your playing, your compositional process, and in your aesthetic and artistic evolution, in what you emotionally and creatively express as an artist?

Trevor: I grew up loving Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, which I think influenced the way that I play. Even how I play rock for that matter.

Trevor discussing his Film Scores & collaborating with Bob Dylan:

Arlene: I’ve always admired that you collaborated with Bob Dylan and I wanted to ask, what project was that for? Did you perform live with him or did you play or do other work on an album recording of Bob’s? What was the recording, and how did you come to the attention of Bob Dylan and get to work with him?

Trevor: Unfortunately I don’t remember. Bob asked me, so I went in and played on a couple of things for him, and then I got back to the task of mixing “Big Generator” with Yes. I’m not sure how Bob got to me. But both songs that I played on are on an album of his somewhere. I never heard any of it after doing that session with Bob.

Arlene: One of my very favorite film scores by you, “Whispers: An Elephant’s Tale”, is so beautiful, and especially showcases your indigenous South African musical and cultural roots and influences, incorporating your use of traditional South African choir, instruments, and rhythms. How did you become involved with that project, and how did you conceive, develop, and arrange that amazing score? Didn’t you actually go to South Africa to work on that score?

Trevor: Simply, I was approached by Disney®, and it seemed like a good idea to do the score for “Whispers”. I did go to South Africa to record the choir, which was just a wonderful creative experience. However, I had it all fully written before leaving for South Africa.

Arlene: You also sang on some of the tracks of the score for “Whispers”, in native African dialect and your singing on this so elevates the emotion and beauty of the music, and the story and movie as well. What was the impetus for you wanting to sing on your own score and what specific language is that and of what country?

Trevor: Some of the lead vocals I redid with me singing, when I was in South Africa…but some of it just seemed right being my voice, so I kept those parts in where I sang.

Arlene: For your score which you composed for the 2006 film, “Glory Road”, you brought in the amazing Alicia Keys to sing. How did that collaboration come about, and what are your fond creative experiences of working with Alicia?

Trevor: Alicia was truly a loving, kind person and extremely musical. She nailed the emotions I wanted on that, and her vocal elements, very quickly.

Trevor discussing his early days as an artist in South Africa:

Arlene: Let’s discuss some of your other artistry while you were still living and growing up in, and making music in, South Africa. You recorded several strikingly beautiful instrumental projects under the pseudonym of Trevor Terblanche. Why did you perform and record these projects under this name, instead of using your own real name, and what is the meaning or significance specifically of the surname you used, Terblanche?

Trevor: The Trevor Terblanche recordings were done for a budget record company in South Africa that would sell the records out of super markets. I went in to the studio and did the albums in a day. It was cute when the record company started receiving fan mail for “Terblanche”! It was all created by Rob Schroder, who is a good friend of mine and a producer in South Africa.

Arlene: You recorded the song “Baby Love Affair” as well as a cover of the great Erroll Garner’s timeless classic, “Misty”. What inspired you to record these 2 songs, how did those sessions come about, and what were some of the other songs that you performed and recorded as Trevor Terblanche?

Trevor: I was really a session musician for those tracks, and everything was coordinated and created by Rob Schroder as part of that whole Trevor Terblanche recording project.

Arlene: You also played and worked with legendary South African tenor saxophonist Mike Makhalemele and tenor saxophonist Winston Mankunku Ngozi, on their 1976 landmark album, “The Bull And The Lion”. You collaborated with Mike and also with alto saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi on the 1975 album, “Soul Of The City”. You also collaborated as well with many more of South Africa’s most influential jazz and soul greats. How did your work as a regarded songwriter, producer, arranger, and session guitarist come to the attention of these esteemed South African music and jazz legends, how did your collaborations with them on these projects come about…and what are some of your fondest creative and artistic memories of working with these immense music legends?

Trevor: Mike Makhalemele was an incredible player and person. We became very close and we worked together quite a lot. He died recently and I will miss him.

Arlene: One of the most seminal and influential bands that you were a member of and that you collaborated with, was South Africa’s legendary Anti-Apartheid, protest band, Freedom’s Children, who were true to their inspiring name. You wrote, recorded, and performed some equally legendary, song material with them, including, the Anti-Apartheid anthem, “Wake Up! State Of Fear”. How and when, did you first become involved with, and become a member of Freedom’s Children? Tell me about the band member line-up for Freedom’s Children when you were in it, because I’ve seen some misinformation and confusion in various sources about that.

Trevor: We joined up about a year before I was called up for my army service. I think “Wake Up! State of Fear” was my proudest moment with Freedom’s Children. At the time when I had joined the band, the line-up was Ronnie Robot on bass, Brian Davidson was on lead vocals, and he sadly, was recently murdered. Then there was also Colin Pratley, who was on drums.

Arlene R. Weiss: Did you write, perform, or record, other song material besides “Wake Up! State Of Fear”with Freedom’s Children?

Trevor: “Wake Up! State of Fear” was the only one I remember recording properly, only to be bastardized by Nick Martens.

Side Bar, Author’s Note: Due to the time constraints of doing our interview…Here is Trevor’s in depth, detailed explanation of what he is referring to regarding the “bastardization of ‘Wake Up! State Of Fear’ by Nick Martens”. Trevor informed me of this during the course of some research that I fact checked with Trevor. Trevor proudly wrote, recorded, and performed live, with Freedoms Children, the original, sublime version of “Wake Up! State Of Fear”. Trevor, Brian, Ronnie, and Colin, enjoyed a successful tour which was organized by their manager Clive Calder and promoter Ralph Simon. Soon after their tour, Trevor and Ronnie were drafted by the South African Army. While Trevor was doing regular session work playing guitar on many recordings in South Africa, he was called in one day to do what he thought was simply another, ordinary recording session at Gallo Recording Studio, which on this particular day, happened to be organized by Nick Martens. It turned out, unbeknownst to Trevor, to be a terrible re-recording, remake of “Wake Up! State Of Fear” that was not to be done by Freedom’s Children, but instead, recorded by a studio session band called Klay, which Trevor was not made aware of ahead of time, and which was organized by Nick Martens. Trevor was completely caught off guard by this awful remake of the song, and he didn’t really think through what had taken place and what was asked of him, that is, to play guitar on the session remake version – and Trevor did in fact perform on the remake. However, the next day, Trevor confronted Nick about the remake of “Wake Up! State Of Fear” and informed Martens of his utter disdain for the cover track. Brian, Ronnie, and Colin who had performed on the original Freedom’s Children version of the song, were not involved at all on this remake. Trevor asked Nick Martens to remove Trevor’s guitar work from the remake track but to no avail. Martens left Trevor’s guitar playing on the track. The cover version was performed by a studio session band known as Klay. Trevor vehemently disapproves of any and all reissues and bootlegs, of this remake, cover version track performed by Klay, which butchered the original, wonderful Freedom’s Children version of “Wake Up! State Of Fear”.

Arlene: Along with the late, and very gifted, Brian Davidson who was their lead vocalist at the time, did you also sing any of their songs?

Trevor: No, I didn’t sing with Freedom’s Children. It was just me, and when I was with them, I was just purely playing the guitar.

Arlene: What was the inspiration for you writing, “Wake Up! State Of Fear”? What kind of response did your song receive from people when you performed it live?

Trevor: That was inspired by the situation in South Africa at the time. It was an outcry against the injustices of Apartheid and against the government and political regime that upheld it at the time. It was well received, but it never became as huge as Rabbitt, which was a better band.

Arlene: Were any of the songs ever released, and if not, why? Would you like to see the music from this immensely esteemed and artistic watershed band and period in your life, released some day?

Trevor: That line-up of Freedom’s Children that I was in….we broke up, because Ronnie and I were drafted and we wound up doing our tour of duty in the South African Army, so no, it wasn’t released. It’s not really an important time that I look back on so I don’t know about releasing that some day.

Arlene: During your tour with Freedom’s Children, what are some of your most resonant and fond creative memories of your live shows with them, including the songs that you performed, and what the shows, venues, and audiences were like?

Trevor: I remember the band was like a wild beast…heavy, threatening, sexual….I loved the shows.

Arlene: Discuss what it was like for you, a white music artist and band, defiantly taking a stand and doing the right thing, writing, recording, and performing songs on behalf of all human rights in your nation that were a moral outcry against the injustices of Apartheid, when it was at its very height in South Africa.

Trevor: Coming from a family of social activists, where my father and all of my family were so morally opposed to the evils of Apartheid, it just seemed natural and to be the right thing to do. It’s such a natural place for me to go lyrically. It is so a part of me.

Arlene: After the fall and end of Apartheid in 1994, then, later on in 1997, you were graced with the most illustrious and esteemed honor and joy when you personally performed for and met, Nelson Mandela, at a Benefit Concert for The Prince’s Trust held in Johannesburg, South Africa. What feelings and emotions did this immense honor evoke within you and did you wish to express to Mr. Mandela, on that historic and transcendent day, in which you at last were able to witness a better world and a better South Africa….something that through your music, you addressed, held hope and stood up for, raising people’s awareness with brave and insightful social-political commentary, and which you finally saw come to pass?

Trevor: Meeting Mr. Mandela at his home, and seeing all of this finally come to pass for South Africa and for the world in my lifetime was such a profound and special experience for me. It was an immensely proud moment and just a tremendously proud day for me that I will never forget.

Arlene: What songs and music material did you perform for Mr. Mandela at that 1997 Prince’s Trust Concert?

Trevor: I performed and sang “I Can’t Look Away” for Mr. Mandela, which was so very memorable and such a tremendous honor.

Trevor discussing AWR & current projects:

Arlene: Let’s discuss your current projects. Regarding the current status of your greatly anticipated Anderson, Wakeman, Rabin, AWR project with your former Yes compatriots, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman, which Jon just recently said is on hold. Will you be crafting that project at a later time down the road?

Trevor: We hope so, right now coordinating everyone’s schedule is a problem. But the desire is there on all of our parts.

Arlene: If and when the AWR project does hopefully come to fruition, what artistic aspirations and what creative direction are you hoping to pursue for the songs and for the project, especially in regards your songwriting and singing contributions to the project?

Trevor: We have several ideas. Rick and I have always wanted to work together.

Arlene: What motion picture scoring projects and other amazing artistic projects are you currently working on?

Trevor: I just started scoring the music for a really good TV series on ABC, called “Zero Hour”.

© Copyright March 28-June 14, 2012, 2016 By Arlene R. Weiss-All Rights Reserved

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2015 6:41 am
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