Jazz interview with jazz guitarist and composer Steve Oliver. An interview by email in writing.
JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?
Steve Oliver: – I grew up in Northern California a little town called Pleasant Hill, I knew from Birth I wanted to do music.
JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?
SO: – I am a fan many genres of music from rock pop jazz classical electronic music world music I am constantly listening to music and I think I have a little bit of all These styles in my writing and playing.
JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?
SO: – Yes rhythm to me is everything I do play drums and percussion I hear a song instantly from creating a great rhythm I do practice every day at songwriting, at the same time I am writing a song I’m practicing all the instruments guitars keyboard drums bass.
JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now? You’re playing is very sensitive, deft, it’s smooth, and I’d say you drift more toward harmony than dissonance. There is some dissonance there, but you use it judiciously. Is that a conscious decision or again, is it just an output of what goes in?
SO: – I love Harmony and I always hear a great melody with nice chord changes so I’m really sensitive about The song and what the song needs, I also love dissonance try to add it we needed.
JBN.S: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?
SO: – I am an open vessel and ideas are always coming to me so I never worry about influences or it sounding like something else because I always try new things with sounds and combine many styles together, I am in endless explorer with music.
JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album 2018: <Illuminate>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.
SO: – I wanted to play lots of guitars and use my synth guitar on most all tracks along with my singing voice as a instrument. I also got to engineer play a lot of instruments and I really like the songs on illuminate especially the title track. Right now I’m writing jazz with pop and electronic music and finding a nice balance between live players and electronics, it’s a great combination. I also dedicated the illuminate album to two amazing guitarist Mr. Chuck Loeb and Alan Holdsworth.
JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
SO: – You have to have both, to me they work hand in hand.
JBN.S: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?
SO: – Yes, I am OK with giving the audience what they want, but also I’d like to educate them and do different things musically. Bring the audience on a journey.
JBN.S: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
SO: – Wow, every gig recording session, traveling has a new story, I did record at Capitol records studio in Hollywood California with Vinnie Callilutta and Leland skylar they played on my last album “pictures and frames”. Amazing time. I also played at the Playboy Jazz Festival. That was amazing.
JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?
SO: – I think if we add more electronics sounds with Jazz it’ll bring the younger demographic over to listen to this music, Young people like sounds, EDM music is instrumental, So if we add some of that to jazz I think it is good!!
JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?
SO: – Yes, we are all spirit, I am channeling every day when I’m working on music. When your open you get messages and ideas. I am also a very positive spirit.
JBN.S: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
SO: – For music to bring peace to all People.
JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?
SO: – Agnes Obel, D’sound, Beady Belle, Pat Metheny, King Crimson, Paul Simon, John Mayer, Diana Krall Dirty loops. Anouska Shankar.
JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?
SO: – Let’s go to India …
JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…
SO: – What is your Bliss?
JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. Many things …
JBN.S: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?
SO: – Thanks sooo much Simon for amazing questions!! Let’s hook up soon.
Interview by Simon Sargsyan