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coming down to earth...

an interview with

Rusty Anderson



Part 2
continued from previous page

RS: I was happy to see an instrumental track called “Catbox Beach” on the CD. You played guitar in Animal Logic with Stewart Copeland.

RA: Yeah.

RS: What was the girl singer again...so it was a quartet?

RA: Deborah Holland. Yeah, I did that for I guess the last half of the band. And we toured around all over the place.

RS: I remember the album was pretty cool.

RA: Yeah. My favorite thing with that band actually was soundchecks because you’d be sitting around in planes and trains and automobiles and then you finally get on stage and you pick up your instrument and we just had the greatest jams but I was so bummed they weren’t recorded.

RS: That was with Stanley Clark...

RA: Yeah Stanley Clark and Stewart Copeland. We just got up there and started jamming and it was so amazing. (laughter)

RS: It’s a shame they didn’t release them.

RA: Oh, I know. Those were really, really good. That was some good times

RS: Any other instrumental ideas?

RA: Instrumental direction? Oh, I don’t know. Anything’s possible. I kind of like not putting parameters on myself and just feeling free. ‘Cause I think the important part of music is the artistic part. And I think artistic freedoms, sometimes, if you try to rope yourself in too much, you get bogged down. It can also actually help sometimes if you if you have real tight, strict parameters that will force you in to like doing a very stylized record. It’s just different ways to do it. At this point, I’m sort of writing for my next record but I don’t know exactly what the formula’s going to be.

RS: On September 16th you’re starting what I heard is the fastest selling concert tour of all time.

RA: Yeah I know it’s crazy how fast the things go. Yeah, we’re starting. I guess the first date’s the 16th. We start rehearsals and there’ll be a fair amount of that to come.

RS: So Paul’s band is with you, Brian Ray, Abe and the keyboardist Wix?

RA: Yeah, it’s the same band. It’s been a real good vibe since we’ve been going out. I guess it started 2002. We did Concert For New York and Abe and I were doing that. I guess the other guys weren’t on yet. That was sort of our first real gig and that was right after September 11th. And then we started touring in 2002. It’s been a really good vibe. And the response and the reviews have been real good.

RS: How do you share the guitars with Brian Ray. You play lead and he plays rhythm?

RA: Mostly. The original thing we were looking for was someone to play bass and rhythm guitar to come in. And so Brian came in to do that, and sing some backgrounds. He’s also a good lead player too so he plays a few leads. I sort of play most of the leads. It just works out somehow. It’s a lot of fun. They’re great parts, I mean a lot of people are probably in the same boat as I am where you grew up playing Beatles songs at parties and stuff. So I know ‘em all pretty well. And a lot of the Wings things. So the parts come pretty naturally.

RS: You played on Driving Rain. Any favorite tracks you recall from those sessions?

RA: Yeah, I really like “About You”. That was the very first track we ever recorded. And I just thought it had a really cool vibe. I actually played bass on that one. And then overdubbed some guitar bits. I played bass, Paul played guitar, the original tracking stuff and then I overdubbed some guitar bits over that. And then I really liked “Your Loving Flame”. I thought that was a cool song

RS: “Tiny Bubble” was cool too. I know you played a Danelectro on that.

RA: Oh yeah, it was probably baritone. That’s the Danelectro that I own. Yeah, there’s a bunch of guitars sitting around. I choose different things for different songs. The studio is very much that way. If you want to make a sort of super band-y, sort of monochromatic kind of record, you’re better off just using like the same gear all the time.

RS: Paul’s latest live DVD, Live In Red Square just came out. You played in Russia?

RA: Yeah, the Red Square one, the DVD has...we played St. Petersburg too and it has some footage from that. So I think the Red Square was probably 2003? And I think the St. Petersburg was 2004. That has “Helter Skelter” and some other stuff. I actually haven’t seen it yet. I saw the Red Square stuff. I got the DVD. I have to look at it. So I’m excited to see it.

RS: How many DVDs have you done with Paul? The concert for New York and the Red Square...

RA: We did the Jubilee, the Queen’s jubilee, but I don’t think there was a DVD of that made. I think it was just a CD. Did that. The original, Back In The U.S. And there’s a few of those. There’s Back In The U.S., Back In The World, but it’s sort of similar. I think Back In The World has a few extra songs that aren’t on the other one. So it depends how you look at it I guess. So, there’s two or three primary ones and then a bunch of offshoots.

RS: Being that Paul plays everything on his new solo record, were you disappointed that you didn’t play on it?

RA: Well actually...we went in. There was two different producers. And one was David Kahne. So we recorded a lot with David and Paul at Abbey Road. And then we recorded a little bit with Nigel (Williamson) and actually...I’m not sure...we did some guitars, Brian and I, on some of the tunes that made it to the record. So we might actually be on it. I’m not even sure. But, yeah, the one with Nigel...it basically sort of turned into two records. And then he decided to release the one with Nigel producing first. Yeah, it’s either all Paul or primarily Paul. And then the other record, hopefully that’ll come out some time in the not too distant future. The other record that we started with David and Paul. We’ll see what happens with that. That needs to be finished.

RS: So that one is different tunes and stuff?

RA: Different songs, different producers, different band thing.

RS: Paul is planning to play some Beatles rarities on the tour. Do you ever get with him on that and say hey, ‘how about playing a cool instro version of “Junk” or maybe the Beatles rarities “Beautiful Dreamer” and “Catswalk” or “Once Upon A Long Ago” or other rarities?

RA: You talking about the live? Yeah, I’ve made suggestions. The first tour we did I said, ‘hey, you know it’d be really great to play “Getting Better” and we ended up doing it. “Helter Skelter”. I’ve been working on that one since the Super Bowl 2002. (laughter) And finally he agreed to do it and it’s been going over really well. So, yeah definitely.

RS: Are you part of what I call the L.A. pop mafia? You, Jason Falkner, Parthenon Huxley, Baby Lemonade, The Wondermints. The past ten years have been a great time for the West Coast pop scene.

RA: I have no idea. I do my thing. I have my friends. I play the music I make. I’m not one to really jump in to categories or try to be on a bandwagon. I always like to mix it up. So I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself part of that scene but Parthenon’s a very dear friend of mine, Jason’s a friend. I know the guys in Baby Lemonade. The Wondermints...actually Probyn (Gregory), who’s in The Wondermints and plays with Brian Wilson, played the flugelhorn, on the first track, “Hurt Myself”, on my record. It’s all good. It’s all L.A. musician friends, I suppose.

RS: And I know you played on Ricky Martin’s “La Vida Loca”. Did you do the studio track with him?

RA: Right, I came up with the guitar bit. I did that, actually recorded in my house. I’ve played on a lot of records.

RS: Any stand out studio work?

RA: Elton John was cool. I did Songs From The West Coast, some of those tunes. Perry Farrell was cool. Courtney Love, actually was an interesting thing. I kind of like some of the tunes we did. Yeah, what else? Just a bunch of stuff. Wallflowers, Dido, Little Richard. Yeah, that’s been really cool, just playing on records and learning a lot. It’s been quite a learning experience how to get good sounds in the studio and sort of what you’re up against. The fun of creating. Sinead O’Connor, that was pretty fun.

RS: It was really cool when Paul and the band played the Super Bowl last January. I wasn’t expecting it to be that cool, kicking off with “Drive My Car”.

RA: Yeah, it was really cool. It’s just amazing how organized that stuff is. I mean I guess it’s really high dollar TV, prime time stuff, so they gotta be super organized. But it was cool to be just part of it. It’s a one off, as opposed to doing a tour. It’s a very different experience. It was nice just being there. We didn’t actually stay in Jacksonville, where the thing was. We stayed on Amelia Island, I think it was called. Which is really nice. It’s got this old, sort of prehistoric vibe to it. Like the trees and everything. You could almost imagine dinosaurs sort of roaming around there. (laughter) I guess it’s an ancient tropical forest. That stuff.

RS: I know you cited Mick Ronson as one of your key guitar influences. Any other key influences?

RA: Yeah, I love Mick Ronson. He came from such an inventive musical place. He arranged the strings on “Life On Mars” and he played great and he had a great live sound. I really liked Steve Hackett in early Genesis. Pete Townshend was a huge influence. Hendrix and Frank Zappa. The Mothers Of Invention were a huge influence, early stuff.

RS: Suzy Creamcheese, Mothermania, that kind of stuff?

RA: Yeah, exactly. ‘Cause Zappa’s guitar playing at the time was really great ‘cause it wasn’t super fast yet. It was sort of more, based on...who was his influence? Johnny Guitar Watson or Wah Wah Watson, I think Johnny Guitar Watson. I’ve listened to so many players. I’ve listened to jazz players. I really like a lot of classical music like Debussy, I adore that music. And Gershwin and Rachmaninoff. I like to take from all sources and sort of mix it up.

RS: So getting back to McCartney. You mentioned “Helter Skelter”. Are there going to be any more Beatles rarities?

RA: You mean on the next tour? I don’t know. Once we get in there and start rehearsing we’ll figure it out, for sure ‘cause we don’t really know after you try stuff and see. And Paul has this sort of impulsive feelings about it.

RS: It must be a challenge to come up with a set list with all those great songs he’s done.

RA: Well that’s the thing. That’s the beauty of it. We keep changing it. Every leg of every tour has been different. It keeps migrating to new songs. Like other ones get replaced and new ones come in. This will definitely be some songs that have certainly not been played in the U.S. and I’m sure some of them probably won’t have been played anywhere.

RS: He’s got dozens of unreleased things and b-sides...

RA: He’s probably not as likely to do that. Because there’s the super fans and then there’s the people that know the bigger hits. So I don’t think he would do a show just for super fans. Anyway we’ll see.

RS: Any more plans for you down the road. I guess you’ll be happy to have your new solo CD come out.

RA: This record is coming out the 13th of September I believe in the stores.

RS: I think you’re going to make a lot of people happy with this record Rusty. You did an excellent job.

RA: It’s been my pleasure man.

RS: And it’s been great to hear your work with Paul. Keep him rockin’!

RA: It seems to work with what he does, I think. It’s been a good vibe with everybody.

Thanks to Rusty Anderson @ www.rustyanderson.com - Surfdog Records and Melissa Dragich @ Mad Ink PR




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