The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
INTERVIEW BARDO POND Michael Gibbons 2013




Michael Gibbons




Andrew: Thanks for doing the interview for us! Hows things at the moment?




Michael: Everythings good, real good. I'm a little psyched up to come there.




Andrew: So you have only been to Australia once before is that right?




Michael: Yeah just one time.




Andrew: That was part of the Vivid festival I believe, that was with Lou Reed?




Michael: Yeah Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.




Andrew: How was that experience?




Michael: It was amazing! Lou Reed, it's like being asked by God or something, unbelievable and with Laurie Anderson too. It was just amazing, he was playing all the noise stuff like Metal Machine Music which was amazing, it was really cool, really fantastic.




Andrew: Are you more of a fan of his solo stuff or do you prefer Velvet Underground?




Michael: I love the Velvet Underground of course. Love his early records a lot, I respect all of his stuff but you can't help but love the Velvet stuff probably the most, he's an amazing writer.




Andrew: I just gotta ask as well and a lot of people ask this about Lou Reed's collaboration with Metallica, I don't suppose you heard that album he did with them?




Michael: I never really actually heard the whole thing, I heard little pieces of it, I never got that record. How did it go, was it a big success, I don't know what happened with that.




Andrew: Obviously a lot of people didn't quite understand what was going on, it was obviously a very experimental kind of album but I wanted to hear what your take was if you had heard the album.




Michael: I just never got that record, I hate to say it but I'm not a real big Metallica fan, I like what they do but that collaboration wasn't...if it would of been Slayer or something I would of been woah ok, I don't know! (laughs). I'm glad he's doing aggressive music like that, I probably should check that out.




Andrew: Yeah, it's kinda wierd that Lou Reed does a collaboration like that, but yeah very mixed reviews. But anyway how do you feel about the whole psychedelic and experimental rock genre now compared to what it was back in the 60's and 70's.




Michael: It's a good question. I mean you could compare it to back when we started out! (laughs). I guess it's still happening, there's still obviously a lot of bands that are doing it, there's so many records I'm always hearing something that's like...a lot of band's that I know that are doing new stuff now are actually from older band's that I know like Carlton Melton or something like that. I think it's still going, you can't keep it down. Still glad we're part of it man.




Andrew: Yeah I think with the internet as well it's a lot easier to find a lot of this kind of music, there's probably a lot more out there that we are aware of compared to back in the day. There's probably a lot of band's back in the 60's and 70's that we just didn't know about because we didn't have access to it.




Michael: That's true and at the same time a lot of great music did get on albums and did get pushed, that was the popular music and you can't beat that situation you know what I mean? Hendrix was a pop artist, the kind of music I love isn't even part of that picture, it's not included, it's just a different time. That was the glorious time, if you think about it artists like that were actually famous popular artists. Now we get stuff like Justin Bieber and all that.




Andrew: (laughs) Yeah exactly! So what's your view on technology in music then using pro-tools and software to manipulate music and all that kind of stuff?




Michael: For us it's been great, it's enabled us to have our own studio, record our own music. I still prefer analog, having that old gear and using it but I got no problem with technology either. It's just a means to get it down so people can hear it.




Andrew: You don't see any downside to it then?




Michael: It's an equaliser, I don't see it as a downside. Do you?




Andrew: I think sometimes people can use it as a bit of a crutch, sometimes they rely on it too much and takes a little away from the music and then you go see it live and they just can't perform the way it's supposed to be performed because they have done so much to the music. I think there's downsides to it but I think the positives outweigh the downsides of it.




Michael: Right yeah I understand what your're saying. For us it's just been a way to record stuff that we want to do live anyway. And get it to have a really good sound compared to a cassette deck or some shit.




Andrew: In the early 2000's you released a series of experimental improv jam sessions, how did all that come about?




Michael: The self-released volumes? It was just we had so much stuff that we record and a lot of it is improv based and would never see the light of day if it wasn't for things like that. I've been meaning to continue that for a long time. It was part of the CD technology that enabled to 'DIY' kind of thing like that and a way to go through the vault and have this music that we really like otherwise it would never be released in any way, (to) get to our fans. It was kinda like the pure forms that we would put out. I think we'll still keep doing that, just for some reason we haven't been doing that lately.




Andrew: So how do you actually come up with these sort of sessions, is it completely spontaneous from the beginning or are ideas and discussions had before embarking on these sort of things?




Michael: It's all kinds of ways, a lot of times it is just capturing these jams that just happen, these moments we capture. That's one great thing about having (the) equipment and we just record everything straight to the harddrive, we got a decent little board. Sometimes there's stuff that we work on and do several times, a lot of times those things become the songs and wind up on the records. Inbetween there's hours of jams that we just record, sometimes straight up improvisation, sometimes things were based on, things will grow out of things we thought we liked but somebody will throw a monkey wrench into it and suddenly we have a whole new thing, a whole new jam. It's fun, it's a lot of fun.




Andrew: So how much of the live show is improv on stage?




Michael: It's probably not as much as we like it to, we kinda edge out the live's show and say what  change we want to do, luckily the songs some of them have built in improv areas and there's always subtle improvisation as far as getting to the point, we wanna get to in a song. There's always some little changes happen so it's like maybe 85-15, there's not much improv but it varies, sometime's there'll be more, sometimes we will go into a jam. If we have a longer set we can do, that's when we start going more outside.




Andrew: So the shows you are doing in Australia, what can we expect at these shows, are these standard shows or are there anything special happening?




Michael: We have a bunch of new songs that we will have for a new record that we are doing, we also did that recent Record Store Day thing with "Maggot Brain” and Pharoah Sanders "The Creator Has A Master Plan" on it. I think it's gonna be a mixture of songs that we have and have played for years and we think people in Australia will probably wanna hear. And then some of these brand new songs that we got together for the new record and then maybe Maggot Brain or something on some set. I think it's gonna be a cool set, I really like the new songs that we're doing. It's gonna be fun.




Andrew: Just a couple more questions before we wrap things up, If you could be a fly on the wall for any classic album in history what would it be?




Michael: It's funny we were just talking about Lou Reed, I would have loved to be there during White Light/White Heat that he recorded. I think that would be the one. Yeah definitely be that record.




Andrew: Cool. And for you, what is the meaning of life?




Michael: For me, I think just be real with people and try to get good vibrations. Without getting corny but good vibrations they go out to the world, just try to have a good vibe and think good things about everything. I would say that and that's what I try to do.




Andrew: Cool, sounds good. It's been great talking to you, thanks for doing the interview for The Rockpit, I'm looking forward to the shows your doing in Australia. Should be a good tour!




Michael: Thanks Andrew.






By Andrew Schizodeluxe June 2013




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