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Inspirations - Part 4/4
KO.OP Radio 91.7 Interview
transcript - 28th April, 2001. ...continued....
Bad Andy: Spencer, do you want to tell us a little bit about your influences?
Spencer Gibb: um... *knocks mic* Oh, see I
did that microphone thing to let you know. Ah, there's so many. I was
really young when I got into music. I started taking piano when I was a
kid, and really, just like about everyone I know, really hated it. I had
one of those real rap-over-the-knuckle type teachers.
And then I was like, really 'round about 12 when I started hearing stuff in my head. That were sort of... They were melodies that weren't other people's, you know they were like.... So I started teaching myself, for the sake of writing, 'cause I just still had all of these horrible experiences about learning to play music from others, so .... I had a piano - the same one actually - and so, I started teaching myself and writing a lot of music, at the same time as listening to a lot of music. Like the more I was writing, the more I was listening to other people.
There's a lot of people that really, you know, changed my life. Um, you know, Lennon of course. Joni Mitchell. Stevie Wonder. Songwriters that really just blew me away as songwriters, before they were even musicians.
And then when I was about 15, I fell in love with the guitar. It just sort of happened, and then that changed everything again, 'cause I started listening to a lot of really old blues. 'Cause if you're going to get into guitar, that's kind of the way you have to go, and I'd read all these... yeah, got into stuff... Hendrix of course, just about the guy that did that. Hendrix and early Clapton, and Zepplin. All of the expected stuff. But all of those guys always said, "If you want to go about it, what you need to do is go back and listen to all of the stuff that got us off. If you like us, go listen to that".
So that's what I did. ... and it was kind of alienating for a while. There was like, 3 or 4 years where I was playing, sort of mid to late teens, where all of my friends were into really modern stuff. You know, and stuff I just couldn't get into, like they were really into metal, and hair bands, late 80's, and all musician friends of mine were doing a lot of that stuff, and it just wasn't me. I kind of got made fun of for a while, 'cause I was always listening to either old blues or 60's rock'n'roll you know.
So it's kind of a mixture of stuff. I don't really have ... I tend to pigeon hole myself and go off on tangents with music. Like when I first heard Miles Davis, I had to go off and listen to Coltrane. And that was really the Mingus, Thelonious Monk. So there I was for 6 months, just listening to that stuff. Absorbing that, and not specifically trying to play like that either, but just having it make me feel a certain way. You know. That Bill Evans disc (From Left To Right) is still doing that for me. Like it's just feelings. It's... I don't know. It's a state of mind.
But I came very unprepared for this show. I was actually in New York all of last week, and just got back last night. I figured that I'd be able to find stuff on your racks and I'm having a really hard time figuring out the system. I don't know .. ah...
Stewart Cochran: Well why don't you just sing one of your favourite songs.
Andy: Yeah, if you just hum along , we'll get the picture.
Stewart: I know one of your favourites (plays a bit of Styx's "Come Sail Away").
Spencer: Oh Stewie, I love that tune. (laughs) That's so sweet. Actually, but you know what though?!, I'll tell you what. I'm going to do something a little unorthodox, if it's alright though. I found this disc on your rack, and it's a disc of Romanian gypsy music -- and that's where all my mother's side of the family is from. I've never really heard this stuff, and so.. we can play some of that.
Andy: Absolutely. We're always up for the unorthodox. Why don't you pick a track for that, for us.
Spencer: I think six. 'Cause it's only, like 3 minutes 40 seconds long. 'Cause everything else is like 20 minutes or a minute 47. It's kind of, pretty strange. Um... but, yeah... Let's try number six.
Andy: Okay, and while we're getting this disc ready... I had a question for you, based off some of the stuff Stewart said just a couple of minutes ago about how you guys got together. What prompted you guys to get in touch. What prompted you to make that call?
Spencer: We... when I first moved to Austin, I was a solo artist. I'd moved here, and was here for about a year and J.J. Johnson and I were playing together -- I was a solo artist, he was playing with me -- and we were really looking at setting up a band. We were having so much fun playing together, that we wanted to start a band. We'd already started doing some writing. So we really wanted a keyboard player, just 'cause (..) no one in town was really playing keys, and that's how we heard it, and we really wanted freaky stuff too. -- stuff that was a little just... you know... so we couldn't think of anyone forever, and then JJ remembered Stewart from playing with him in a couple of different bands. He's like, "I think that's the guy"... So I don't really even remember how we found you, I think JJ had tracked you down through Davíd. I think that's what he did. So I think Davíd was actually the hook-up there. And I called, and I got your number, and I spoke to his then wife. We talked for about an hour or so, and then she gave me your email address. But of course she was, you know giving you the big plug. "Oh, he loves doing all that crazy stuff. You know". (does an impression) "Oh, that Stewie..." (Stewart laughs) "...He does love playing them keys". (all laugh) So that was that. But George Reiff played with us at the time, who went on to play with Ian Moore, and still does -- and a bunch of others. The guy's played with so many people. He's a really beautiful bass player. So when George had to leave, was when we kind of decided we really needed to put a band together. So, we found Glenn, and we actually started being 54 Seconds.
Andy: Sounds good. So, we're going to play some of this. We'll be back real quick.
Spencer's choice of inspirations (Romanian gypsy music" -- interesting :o) I don't know the name of the song).
Andy: 91.7 KO.OP Austin, and we're running out of time here, so we're going to go ahead and wrap up the show. I was just wondering if you guys could remind us again. Tell us a little bit about the show, that you're going to be playing tonight.
Stewart: Playing tonight at La Zona Rosa. Opening up for Sister 7. Dames Violet are also on the show. They're a really good band. We'll have copies of our CD for sale. We also, I gotta plug this, we record all our live shows.
Stewart: And then we throw it through a quick mastering thing, and we can sell those. So we'll have some of those for sale.
Spencer: This show will be available within the next day or two.
Stewart: Yeah. .. and like $5, and we sell them on our website. So come on out.
Stewart: Hear us with the full band. We're sorry Glenn and Brannen couldn't be here, but we'll give you a good show tonight.
Andy: And what time are you guys going on?
Spencer: Yeah.... until like 11:15
Andy: You told us earlier in the show, about how successful you are in using the internet. I was wondering where online, could we find your music?
Stewart: Ah, you can go to 54seconds.com.
Stewart: That's our main website. It is being re-vamped right now. So check with that in another week or two and it should be ..
Spencer: Yeah. There'll be a brand new site up there. There is a site up there right now, but it's kind of a little hard to maneuver through -- But the new site will be your friend.
Stewart: Yeah. There'll be links from there.
Spencer: There weren't even any tunes on here that I could have played.
Stewart: Oh ..
Spencer: Everything's indecent, indecent, indecent, indecent.. indecent. And using other words I pretty much can't say.
Andy: Pretty much sums up our show. So why don't you tell us what we're going to go out here on.
Stewart: Okay. This is a song off E.P called Foolish Me.. This is more of a.. sort of a techno rock driven song, that we came up with, based on a synth loop and... (to Spencer) Where did we record this?
Spencer: We recorded this out of Hamstein.
Stewart: Hamstein. Yeah.
Spencer: With Mike McCarthy... who's just...
Stewart: Yeah, and we'll probably play it tonight.
Andy: Alright, you've been listening to Inspirations on 91.7 KO.OP
Spencer: That's what we hope is.. (or something about herpes. I can't make it out.)
Andy: This is 54 Seconds. We'll be with you next week.
Foolish Me (song)