Of Writing and Recording
‘On That Day‘
Interview with NorthernBandit
By: Burt K. Arthur
*This interview was concocted solely in the mind of the writer…any similarity to interviews by other well know artists is completely inconsequential.
BKA: Let me start off by saying I have listen to your new track and I find it reminiscent to sounds I remember from my younger days, we seem to coming from the same age of Rock music that was shall I say ‘ground braking’ taking Blues and infusing it with a heavier element…what was your take on the idea?
NB: Well thanks for the correlation to my favorite era of Rock, yes I agree completely, I haven’t been able to let go of those days. Some might say I am stuck in a rut and then so be it, I learned a long time ago, if you forget the past you’ll will not understand your future, perhaps that is why I return there…there is no hidden meaning here just a reference to where I come from.
BKA: Interesting I must say, but what about this new song…can you start off by giving the reader some basis for the reasons behind recording such a aged idea in such a modern time?
NB: Yes definitely, some might know that 2013 was a sad year for a lot of us. So many great Performers and Songwriters passed on leaving the music world with a greater sense of how much each of them impacted our lives and because of their energy what some of us might consider to do to continue on. For me one individual in a Blue Rock Group that I will never forget was John Lord, Keyboard Wizard, and leader of the Hard Rock Band ‘DEEP PURPLE’.
BKA: I agree with you, absolutely!
NB: So back to your question…I have never been one to sit still for very long and some just might say that I’m a little over excited when it comes to my Soul Hobby, and I mean Soul because music has always affected me so severely. John Lord’s style along with the other members of DP connected with me therefore the reason I produced this song.
BKA: Can you lead us through a snippet of what you were thinking as you began this process?
NB: You bet…I love to play guitar, Bass guitar is what I started with back in 1973, Since then I’ve learned to play by ear and by endeavor producing all of these things record… the Drums, Harmonica, Synthesizer, I could go on here for quite awhile but I more recently acquired an older Roland D5 Muli-voice Keyboard and that gave me the desire to create this idea though I have to admit I actually started out with the Les Paul.
BKA: What makes playing a guitar, draw you to the keyboard?
NB: Funny thing about that is it just didn’t go from guitar to keyboard…you’ll have to remember I said earlier I love to play guitar so in most cases that’s what happens, I just start jamming away which leads to other things…in this case it lead to the Bass at which in this point and time I started recognizing the undercurrent of emotion and a Heaviness to what I was jamming on which literally made me go get a pen and paper and strike the lyric.
BKA: I am starting to get a feel for where you were headed…obviously this takes some time…Months could go by I’m presuming, in this process, what was your time schedule?
NB: It might seem strange to some that you would ask that question but a good one to address…The total time in days from beginning to end was about three weeks, now I didn’t or could not have buried myself in this process continually…I don’t know if I mentioned this but I took the advice of my parents many years ago and “Kept my Day Job” so I have a regular job five days a week and my Family. With everything fitted in with no drama (laughs) at most I spent maybe three hours at any given point and as little as an hour over that three weeks in this process.
BKA: Wow, I was thinking there was lot more time involved?
NB: Really?…I suppose there is if you take in to account the hours I spend in my own head working out the details, being consumed but thoughts like ‘how is the song going to start…full on rockin or is it going to build slow like a simmering pot of mush? Mostly it comes down to reaction and my experience with the sounds I love.
So getting back to the Keyboard…I was reading and also listen to a great interview by “YES” Keyboard man Rick Wakeman with John Lord and one of the cool things I found out was that in those early days…he would have trouble hearing and being heard when they played live. Richie Blackmore always played threw a couple of Marshall stacks and that was the problem, he was always louder then everything else ( Ian Gillian many times would profess too )…so John had this brilliant idea to get his Tech to wire up his Hammond B3 to the new Marshall Amps that he got, things changed dramatically and for the better for him, the sound and the reputation of Deep Purple.
BKA: I guess then what you are saying is that you were influenced by his Hammond sound?
NB: Most assuredly, so after messing around a few nights playing the Roland found the Leslie sound that I was looking for and in turn ran the keyboard threw my guitar amp with a Marshall Amp Sample sound to get the tone and texture I wanted.
BKA: This all seems quite complicated…how do you keep it all straight?
NB: …It all comes in bits and pieces I guess…I usually see and hear the whole sound…I’m fated that way and maybe it’s not a good thing for all creations in music, they used to say…”Close enough for Rock and Roll” so I’ll leave it at that, my problem is that I wouldn’t make a very good Jazz Musician…my mind doesn’t think or feel that flowing attribute but I can lock on to a beat and a rhythm with determination…
BKA: It has been said that Deep Purple was a Jam Band even though they produced some really great songs, this track is a little over three minutes long and most of their tracks are from five to seven minutes in length…that’s a big difference?
NB: I understand what you are saying and yes you are correct…for my purposes in recording this song in a shorter time frame was mostly due to time management…what DP could afford was to elaborate the window of opportunity by reaching into solo’s for each of the members…me on the other hand need to be conservative due to the nature of the writing process….when you listened to the song, speaking of the last measure and ending, did you get a sense that the song could or would continue? I did that on purpose because the way the verses and the bridge changes it leaves an open end to continuing or stopping, fading out or with a finale. I think it would be a Great live song to perform!
BKA: Ian Paice, the world renowned Drummer for DP…this brings up the question of drive, the energy of the song…The Power. Seemed like there could have been more percussion…tell us about what you were attempting.
NB:…I will let you in on a little secret, I don’t own a Drum Kit…I have to improvise with things so in saying that I’m going to leave it at that. Percussion is one of the great thing in a Rock song…in remembering Ian all you have to do is remember Keith Moon, Tommy Aldridge, Ringo Starr. all a vital component in the history of a great song.
…I can’t say that what I do is great but it does excite me to create and produce original ideas that I hope others might like and if they don’t I am ok with that too!
BKA: I know you have other things to attend to but before you go I’d like to ask one final question.
NB: no problem, fire away…
BKA: If you had the chance to do what you do all over again and I don’t necessarily mean record this song but be where you are at in you musical life, would you want it any different?
NB: Wow…heavy though but easy to answer. My answer is no. My Karma has me going in the right direct, sometime I’m envious of what others have done and what toy’s they get to play with but you know it’s not about having the most of anything and in the end bragging about it…it’s about using what you have resourcefully and sharing what you can give to others. I can only hope that that is what I have done.
*Burt K. Arthur has a long time affiliation with NorthernBandit…dating back to their beginning in 1953, in 1964 things changed dramatically for both as a result of the influence of the British invasion and ‘THE BEATLES’ who played a positive and everlasting effect in their lives. You can listen to and check out all of NorthernBandits songs by visiting http://www.facebook.com/burtk.arthur , and http://www.reverbnation.com/NorthernBandit
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- Just for Fun
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Jethro Tull, Nazereth, Led Zeppelin, The Who, AC/DC
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I'll just say I play guitar, have played Drums and percussive instruments, Some KeyBoards...and sing quite well, both lead and backup...