Joe Browns Clearance

Friday, 12 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Ahead of their UK Tour, Adam @WakemanOfficial and @Damian_Wilson talk to Mark Rawlings and Joanne Oliver for the NORTHEAST MUSIC GUIDE

Ahead of their UK Tour, Adam Wakeman and Damian Wilson talk to
Mark Rawlings and Joanne Oliver 

I decided to draft in my old school friend, Mark Rawlings as he had a penchant for the clever side of rock. I remember him being the first person I knew with an electric violin. Mark is now an astrophycist. Thank you Mark for your excellent questions..

MR: Having grown up in and around the music business, what are your thoughts on how it's changed over the years? Is it more "business" and less "music" these days?

AW: Sadly, that's a sign of the times. When I was younger you'd get an album deal and advance payment. Nowadays you have to raise the money, be proactive with marketing, social media  and be a business manager as well as crafting your art as a musician. That said, I think it was a much bigger step since my dads days in the 70's. Personally, I like being more in control of what's going on and where every penny is being spent so it suits me. I definitely don't get as much time as I'd like to be creative though.

MR: Geeky synth musician question: A lot of musicians have favourite instruments that they're particularly fond of (guitarists are notorious for this). Culturally, synthesizers seem to be less of involved in this (although there are a couple of synths and drum machines that have become somewhat iconic in certain circles). Although electronic instruments, and synths in particular, have changed immensely over last few decades, are there any in particular that you're still particularly fond of, are are they all just different tools?

Seek for Adventure: Live

AW: They are always tools, but the exception for me is my 1964 Hammond C3 organ and Leslie 145 speaker. I love them like a fourth child. It has so much character and life in it. I've played hundreds of sessions and gigs with it and it makes me smile every time I play it, which is what it's all about in my book. It's such a diverse instrument too. I recently played on Stormzy's number 1  track "Blinded by your Grace part 2" and the tracks before that was a 70's rock tune. You can't get much more diverse than that!

MR: Second geeky synth musician question: Do you think the fact that it's now possible to make pretty much any sort of sound imaginable electronically has affected creativity in popular music as a whole? If so, for better or worse?

AW: I don't think so - the sounds are just tools for the song. If the song's not there, then you can cover it in all the new sounds available and it'll still be rubbish....

MR: This might be a good one for both of you, given that Damien's also done "Les Mis": Historically, there seems to be a lot of musical cross-pollination between prog rock as a musical genre, theatrical musicals, rock operas, etc. Do you see this as something that'll continue to happen in the future? If so, are there any literary works, films, etc. that haven't had the rock musical treatment that would be your dream project?

DW:I certainly hope progressive music will always be progressive although as many will point out it often isn’t. I can’t think of any thing off hand, I think if there was something then I’d be working on it now.

AW: I expect Andrew Lloyd Webber owns the rights to everything by now...

MR:How difficult is it to be recognised as an accomplished musician in one's own right, when there's the potential for being perceived to be in the shadow of a parent who's already very well known? (This is one that I've wondered about on and off for a few years now, having witnessed first-hand what wonderful musicians the sons of Willie Nelson & Frank Zappa were in their own rights, while watching them play their fathers' music).

AW: When I was younger, it troubled me but now not so much. Music's for enjoying and once I realised that, I stopped worrying about what people think of me, or my dad and making assumptions of why I was doing the career I'd chosen. I liken it to being a builder. I've got a pal called Kev who's dad was a builder. He might get a job where the client says "Hey Kev, I know your dad - he's a great builder" but the fact is, you wouldn't hire some blokes son to build your house just because his dad was a great builder! It may be a conversation starter but ultimately, people hire you or listen to your music because they like it. Or if they don't, they don't!

JO: How great is it to get out on the road, with music you’ve written together and to be the main attraction rather than offstage musician or just another band member?

DW: It’s great being on the road with Ad, a dream in fact, although he does get all the attention.

AW: It's great touring, and I'm really looking forward to getting on a British tour in a car again, driving up and down the country to all the places that I used to tour with my dad 25 years ago! Back then we'd do 50 shows in a row, no days off. It was great. 

JO: What can we expect from a Wakeman/Wilson live show?

DW: I’m expecting Ad to turn up and complain about there not being a grand piano...

AW: I'm expecting Damian to turn up and complain there's not darjeeling tea leaves on the dressing room rider..That aside, the audience can expect 2 old friends playing songs they've written together and played with other artists and some banter about life, the universe and everything in between.

JO: What do you reckon the chances are of Ozzy finally making it to Newcastle so many years after the cancelled gig when he had the legendary quad bike accident?

AW: Who knows! I just go where I'm told...first up is America in April, followed by South America and Europe. Ozzy wants to do a big tour so I guess there's always a chance...

JO: Do you think having songwriting experience over such a broad range of genres improves the quality of the music you release in your own name or does it make it harder to decide what your musical identity is?

AW: I think the more experiences you have in music helps the next music journey you take. As long as you're doing something you feeling genuinely about, then it's true to your identity. It all falls apart when you try and do something musical for the wrong reason....

JO: Finally, to both of you, what is your favourite cheese? This may seem trivial but your answers can reveal a lot about you, we find.

DW: A nice crunchy English Cheddar 

AW: Vintage cheddar, stronger the better.

JO: Cheese preference analysis: A desire for strength, quality, and dependable Englishness.

Adam and Damian will be starting their tour at the Washington Arts Centre 


Friday 2nd February         Backstage @ The Green Hotel Kinross, Scotland  
Saturday 3rd February     Town Hall Kirton In Lindsey, Lincs                          
Sunday 4th February        The Stables, Milton Keynes                                
Thursday 8th February     The Wharf, Tavistock, Devon                                
Friday 9th February          The Poly, Falmouth, Cornwall.                             
Saturday 10th February    The Accord, Penzance, Cornwall                           
Thursday 15th February   St Pancras Old Church, London                            
Friday 16th February        St Mary's Art Centre, Sandwich, Kent                  
Sunday 18th February      Acapela, Pentyrch, Wales                                     
Thursday 22nd February  Core Theatre, Solihull, Birmingham                       
Friday 23rd February        St Mary's Church, Lowdham, Nottinghamshire       
Saturday 24th February    Trading Boundaries, Fletching, Sussex                  
Sunday 25th February      Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich                                

MARCH 2018

Thursday 1st March          Huntingdon Hall, Worcester                                  
Friday 2nd March              The Chapel Bath                                                  
Sunday 4th March             Basement, York                                                
Monday 5th March            Theatre Royal, Dumfries, Scotland     

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