From: "James D. Strange"
Subject: Steve Morse Interview Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 14:56:59 GMT Message-ID: This is an interview from last August or September broadcast by KOZZ in Reno, Nevada. Steve gave this interview live in the studio a few hours before his gig with the SMB. <---- (Another official acronym?) I'll try to fill in the detail AMAP. I cut all the station identification crap and did a bit of clarification where necessary. Steve brought his guitar into the studio and gave most of the interview while casually plucking on his guitar. Of course his casual plucking is completely friggin' amazing...but to the interview. -------------------------Steve Morse Interview------------------------ KOZZ: Glad to have you here. Just got off the plane apparently? SM: Yeah, literally KOZZ: Live and in our studios Steve Morse playing live tonight at Easy Street. And basically just the best guitarist in the world in my opinion and in many other's opinion. So why don't you tell us what you are doing now. SM: I've gone around the world already with Deep Purple playing gigs. After that we went into the studio and are still working on a new album. I've finished my guitar parts and it is going to be a very new album. This hasn't happened for years and years...all the original member's except for me. KOZZ: What style are we talking about here? SM: Well...it's Deep Purple with a touch more eclectic I'd say. They filter the ideas I bring in. (Laughs) Some of the stuff I brought in I said "This is probably too wierd but..." and they'd say "We love it!" KOZZ: Now who's in Deep Purple now? SM: The original guys from...you know...Smoke On the Water. Ian Gillan singing, Roger Glover playing bass and producing. You know he's been that way all the time. Jon Lord the keyboard player. He's been on every single DP tune. Ian Paice the drummer. He's been on every single DP tune. [Not true. IP did not play on "This Time Around".-Ed.] KOZZ: So just basically Ritchie Blackmore is gone. What about your solo stuff? SM: This year we released Structural Damage. It has the same breadth and spaciousness as High Tension Wires which is one of my favorite efforts. So we are here in town. We love playing in Reno. Reno is not a typical gig. It takes an extraordinary promoter to say "We want you guys here." It is not a typical Rock n Roll town. KOZZ: I remember the last time you were here you said on stage "Wow...this is really a happening place. I din't expect Reno to be like this." The audience was really thrilled. I guess you didn't know what Reno would be like. SM: A lotta times we go to the Southwest and not go to Reno because everybody here is appealing to the tourist audience. KOZZ: You have your guitar right here. I think people want to hear you play. Why don't you give us an example of something you might be doing tonight. SM: OK...that's litterally putting me on the spot. KOZZ: Sorry. SM: That's OK. Let's see...dave does the setlist...he might know. (Begins shredding on the guitar. I mean shredding!) That's a little bit of...that's one tune we'll be doing. (More shredding from various SMB and Dregs tunes.) You have to imagine a backbeat and stuff. KOZZ: How about a little Cruise Control? SM: Cruise Control? (Shreds a bit) That's really a Bass thing... KOZZ: What really inspired you...got you started? SM: Every kind of music that I heard that had anything to do with Rock. KOZZ: Like the Beatles? You know..."I want to get a guitar and be like Paul." SM: Well...it wasn't them. It just that the guitar was a much more interesting instrument then say...the clarinet which is all we had around back then. (Laughs) KOZZ: So what about the Dixie Dregs? Are going between them and DP? SM: Well...I had a pretty extensive trial period with DP. I had to draw the line somewhere. It was the end of the Dregs tour. So we just put it on hold for a while. KOZZ: This is facinating. All the time you are talking to me you are playing your guitar. SM: (In a dejected voice) Well...I havn't played it since yesterday. KOZZ: Ahh...so you are practicing then. SM: I have to make sure my fingers still work. Normally I take about an hour to warm up. KOZZ: We are going to play a song from the Dixie Dregs called Ghostwind. Can you tell us a bit about this song? SM: It's a really wierd, eerie, huanting song that came about as a result of me spending the night in a haunted house. That is what they said. I didn't know the house was haunted. But I couldn't sleep all night. I just came up with this tune. It seemed like the right title for the song. It was a dark, stormy night. KOZZ: Edgar Allen Poe? Here we go with Ghostwind. (Cut to song) KOZZ: Just was talking to Steve a few minutes ago about all the people he's played with. One of them was Eddie Van Halen. Eddie said "I've learned all there is to learn on the guitar". You said that was an odd statement. SM: Well...I don't think that's the way he feels now. As you get older you learn how much there is to learn. (Laughs) He is a very talented guy. He has the natural talent. For sure. I know that just watching the way he plays just rhythm guitar you can see a lot of the artistry there. The deeper you get into it, the longer you are a musician the more...you know...like wow! KOZZ: The more there is to know? Just layers upon layer of... SM: Yes, exactly KOZZ: What is your favorite kind of guitar to play or do you have a favorite? SM: [I think he misheard the question here.-Ed.] A fair kind of guitar player is one who is kind to people and young players and extends a helping to people. KOZZ: You were talking about guitar workshops you have been involved in. What is that about? SM: Well, they are called guitar seminars of guitar clinics and are free to the public and usually sponsored by local guitar shops and the company that makes my guitar Ernie Ball. We have a couple this trip. I am surprised we didn't have on in Reno. The company just decides where and when. I really like doing them. People who can't get into a drinking-age club and, you know, a lot of this music happens at clubs. Because of that we do the guitar clinics. We play music and explain things. Like someone will ask "What is the lick you played in this tune?" and I'll...(Play a spontanious run on his guitar.). Or "What position did you play the intro to this song?" And so on. People will ask questions and I'll demonstrate it right there. I'll give the a reality check answers on music. KOZZ: Do you find that you really have to have a certain amount of natural musical talent or do you think anybody cane become a really excellent guitar player? SM: I think what you have to be able to do is hear music in your head. Imagine what the music sounds like. If you have that vision, that audiovision then you will know if you are on the track or off the track. What you need to do. It helps if you have good work habits and are able to be objective and keep a clear head all the time. All that stuff helps. And good instruction is very improtant for most people. The more you know the easier it becomes. KOZZ: Steve Morse played with a lot of people including Kansas. SM: (Plays the guitar theme to Carry On Wayward Son.) Uhh...played that one a lot! KOZZ: I bet you did. Do you get tired of playing "Cruise Control" and all the ones people always request? SM: No. Maybe if we play two shows in a night. It is sometimes a lot. You know.."Man that was a great show! Let's go get something to drink. Oh...there's another one." If there is enough improvisation in the music then you don't get tired of it. KOZZ: As far as other people who listen to you your playing seems so technically perfect and precise. Does it bother you when you make mistakes or do you hold yorself up to that level or are kinda easy going about it? SM: Well I keep a hari-kari (sp?) sword next to the amp in case I...(Laughs) Sure it bothers you to make mistakes. But if you are not making mistakes then you are not really trying. If you are only playing stuff that...well if you are playing a solo and you are only playing stuff that you know is going to work then you are not really soloing. Soloing is where you are epressing the angst you have with whatever...life in the 90's. But you try to manipulate it so it is musical and people get off on it rather than saying "Oh, here is another guy whining about life." You can express it in such a way that you are saying what you want but it's in terms that makes people feel good. KOZZ: We are going to play a tune called "Too Many Notes". Do you want to tell us something about that? SM: Yeah. It is a sort of busy arpeggio exercise. It is a very classical...(Plays some shredding minor and diminished arpeggios). It is busy all the way through. We'll be playing that tonight. It is a fun tune. (Cut to song) [This song is completely amazing! Holy shit! Sit down Yngvie! And it is very tasty too!-Ed.] KOZZ: 105.7 KOZZ (Cheers come up from the background) That was hot! Steve Morse playing along with himself! SM: Playing with myself, huh? (Laughs) KOZZ: (pause) A play on words there. This is just really a thrill. Thanks for coming Steve. Do you want to play us out? SM: What are you going to play? KOZZ: We've got "Aftershock". SM: Aftershock? Ok..the intro on that one is fun. I'll do that. (Shreds. Cut to song. Following "Aftershock" is a cool tune called..."Highway Star". A fitting honor to DP and DP fans!) jim ~ ~ (@) (@) |-------------------oOO---\_/---OOo---------------------| | | | Just another skidmark on the underwear of life. | | | | email@example.com | |-------------------------------------------------------|