IN GESPREK MET IAN SIEGAL
VORIGE MAAND VERSCHEEN ‘ALL THE RAGE’, HET NIEUWE ALBUM VAN DE BRITSE SINGER/SONGWRITER IAN SIEGAL. ZIJN GOEDE VRIEND JIMBO MATHUS WERD GEVRAAGD OM HIERAAN BIJ TE DRAGEN EN DE PRODUCTIE TE VERZORGEN. SPECIAAL VOOR DEZE KLUS WERD DE AMERIKAAN INGEVLOGEN OM IN ONZE HOOFDSTEDELIJKE ISLAND STUDIOS DE VERRICHTINGEN VAN SIEGAL EN ZIJN MUZIKALE BEGELEIDERS IN GOEDE BANEN TE LEIDEN. HET IS NIET HET ENIGE ‘HOLLANDSE TINTJE’ DAT ER AAN DIT INDRUKWEKKENDE ALBUM KLEEFT. VOOR DE EERSTE KEER HEEFT SIEGAL NAMELIJK OOK IN DE STUDIO DE SAMENWERKING OPGEZOCHT MET ‘ONZE’ RHYTHM CHIEFS.
‘ALL THE RAGE’ GRIJPT MUZIKAAL GEZIEN WELISWAAR TERUG OP DE RIJKE AMERIKAANSE MUZIEKHISTORIE MAAR DE TEKSTEN ZIJN ZEER ACTUEEL EN LATEN EEN MEER DAN BEZORGDE BRITSE MUZIKANT ZIEN DIE SPREEKT OVER ‘A DARKENING WORLD’ EN ‘A PLANET WITH POISON IN ITS VEINS’. TERWIJL IAN SIEGAL EN ZIJN BAND ZICH OPMAKEN VOOR EEN UITGEBREIDE TOURNEE, ZAG BLUES MAGAZINE KANS OM ENKELE VRAGEN TE STELLEN AAN DE BEVLOGEN MUZIKANT.
TEKST: JEROEN BAKKER
IT’S BEEN EXACTLY TWO YEARS SINCE ‘WAYWARD SONS’, AND FIVE YEARS SINCE ‘THE PICNIC SESSIONS’, YOUR FIRST ‘OFFICIAL’ COLLABORATION WITH JIMBO MATHUS WHO ALSO HELPED YOU RECORDING THIS ALBUM. ‘ALL THE RAGE’ CONTAINS THREE SONGS WRITTEN BY YOU AND JIMBO. ARE THESE EXCLUSIVELY WRITTEN FOR THIS NEW RECORDING? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE NEAR FUTURE? DOES HE ALSO ACCOMPANY YOU ON STAGE DURING THE TOUR?
“Yes they were exclusive to this project but sadly Jimbo won’t be in Europe during this period-he is extremely busy with his Squirrel Nut Zippers band back in the US who are enjoying huge success. We do absolutely plan to work together in the future-maybe next year.”
‘ALL THE RAGE’ IS THE FIRST STUDIO-RECORDING IN A LONG TIME AND IS RECORDED DURING 4 6-HOUR-SESSIONS. DOES THIS MEAN THAT RECORDING IS NOT EXACTLY ‘YOUR FAVORITE WASTE OF TIME’?
“Well there was actually a four year gap between studio albums and i released i think 3 live records and worked on a couple of other projects, including writing a whole album of originals recorded at Abbey Road with Mike Sponza (Ergo Sum) but anyway! i actually enjoy the studio these days-this time it was simply the way we recorded-almost entirely live in one room. Very Mississippi style!”
PEOPLE HERE LOVE TO SEE YOU PLAY AND YOUR ALBUMS ARE WIDELY ACCLAIMED. HOW ABOUT THE SUCCESS (NOT COMMERCIALLY!) IN THE UK AND OTHER COUNTRIES? HOW’ BOUT SUCCES OUTSIDE EUROPE?
“I guess i have similar success in the UK as in the rest of Europe, less so in the US. I don’t think about it much, i just carry on. I’m happy to play anywhere spread the word. I had great success in Brazil a few months ago. New territories for me but i felt very welcomed and i’ve already been asked back. Blues is hip in Brazil-a noticeably young audience too, all dancing and digging it. They knew their Blues too.”
THE ALBUM IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORIES OF FREDDY JAMES AND JIM DICKINSON. CAN YOU PLEASE DESCRIBE SOME OF THESE SPECIAL MEMORIES? DID HIS SONS, CODY AND LUTHER, ALREADY RESPOND TO THIS TRIBUTE?
“Freddy was an old friend of mine who passed away not long before we recorded. A great man and musician. He gave me a beautiful 1937 National before he passed. I’ll treasure it. Jimbo was very close to Jim and said he was with us in the studio-i don’t doubt him for a second. i don’t think Cody and Luther are aware of the dedication yet as if they won’t have copies of the record but i’m sure they will appreciate it. I hope to catch up with them both soon-i consider them family.”
THE TRACKS ON THE ALBUM CONTAIN EMOTION, FRUSTRATION, ANGER AND DO REFER TO SERIOUS MATTERS ABOUT THE CURRENT ‘POISONED’ SITUATION IN THE WORLD (TRUMP / RISE OF RIGHT–WING FACTIONS). ARE YOU, OR YOUR FRIENDS IN AMERICA, PERSONALLY INVOLVED BY THIS?
“I think we all are. Anyone with a conscience needs to be, at the very least, vigilant. If history roves anything it’s that these things can escalate fast but we all think it will never happen to us.Keep ‘em peeled i say!”
IN YOUR CAREER YOU WORKED TOGETHER WITH EXCELLENT MUSICIANS FROM THE US AND THE UK. WHAT MAKES THE COOPERATION WITH YOUR DUTCH FRIENDS SO SPECIAL? ANY DIFFERENCES?
“I’ve been extremely lucky to play with amazing musicians from all over the world. I’m not suggesting you mean it at all but i do find that European countries tend to take their own local musicians less seriously than US or UK players. In my experience the Dutch roots scene has some of the best players around-certainly in Europe. My band are some of the most talented people i know-i’m not joking when i say i consider Dusty to be one of the best guitar players on the planet. I don’t know anyone better than him. And you won’t find a more telepathic and soulful rhythm section than Danny and Rafael.”
IS THIS THE FIRST TIME OF THE HOOK HERRERA/SIEGAL-COMBINATION? TELL US ABOUT THIS PARTNERSHIP?
“Hook and i have known each other a while but not specially that much time together. He’s someone i look up to very much both musically and personally.
He was passing through Amsterdam en route to Belgium last summer and we met up and he told me he wanted to write together. The title “Sailor Town” came up in conversation about both of our chequered pasts (!) and he suggested it as the title of our first co-write. A day or two later he sent a voice memo from his phone with guitar ideas for it and i wrote the lyrics from there. A few lines came up in the song from that very conversation and couple of others from people who happen to be mutual friends of mine and Hook’s. Hook has an incredible musical history (not to mention personal) and it’s a privilege to work with him. I hope to do so more.”
THE NEW ALBUM ALSO CONTAINS OTHER INFLUENCES EXCEPT FOR BLUES AND ALL KINDS OF TRUE AMERICAN ROOTS-RELATED STYLES. DOES MODERN MUSIC INSPIRE YOU AS WELL? ASSOCIATION WITH THESE MUSICIANS?
“Not directly-i’m pretty rooted in the past and the foundations of modern music. There’s a whole world back there and i’ve barely discovered a fraction of it! But my eyes and ears are open all the time. My band have introduced me to a lot of music i would otherwise not have been aware of-although mostly real old stuff!
Now and then there is someone new that impresses me but usually it’s because they are channelling something from the musical past.”
PLEASE TELL SOMETHING ABOUT THE VERY IMPRESSIVE ARTWORK AND ABOUT IAN SIEGAL, THE PAINTER.
“Ha! I’ve not really done any kind of artwork for over 20 years and i was EXTREMELY nervous about it because i thought i may have lost the ability. I seemed to be about as good as i ever was for what that’s worth! It wasn’t all that enjoyable i have to say but i challenged myself so i had to do it. I’m pretty plased with the results. Maybe i’ll keep it up. I only ever did portraits and copies of old masters’ paintings for friends and family. Hopefully if i keep it up it’ll become fun again!”
FAMOUS LAST WORDS / HOT NEWS / FUTURE PLANS / NOT FORGET TO MENTION
“Nothing i want to share with the world right now! Seriously though i never plan too far ahead. There are always side projects going on and i have a new project in mind for next year but i can’t go into that right now-it’s only in the planning stages. I’d like to record a solo record next-hopefully over in Mississippi with Jimbo. We shall see. Watch this space!”
Website Ian Siegal
01.05 – Q-Factory, Amsterdam
03.05 – Bibelot, Dordrecht
04.05 – Moulin Blues, Ospel
06.05 – Doornroosje, Nijmegen
24.05 – CC De Steiger, Menen (B)
26.05 – Duvelblues (B)
13.07 – Mississippi Blues Festival, Gent (B)
15.07 – Big Rivers Festival, Dordrecht
01.09 – Yellowtime Festival, Geel (B)
Check out all the tourdates here: https://iansiegal.com/fb-tour
Coverphoto Ian Siegal by Will Ireland