May 24, 2024

Website about Jazz and Blues

Interview with David Preston: Until someone invents a ‘soul-meter’: Video

Jazz interview with jazz guitarist and composer David Preston. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

David Preston: – I grew up in London, UK and been interested in music as early as I can remember.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the guitar? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the guitar?

DP: – My aunt gave me a guitar for my 5th birthday. I progress the most when I spend a good amount of time playing with a really good musician. The whole time i’ve been playing and working with Kevin Glasgow has probably shaped my playing and conception about music more than any teacher.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

DP: – It all has developed really slowly, but composing and playing original music with good musicians is a big factor I think.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

DP: – I just try to chip away at all the various musical problems I encounter. I’ve found that the more aware I am about how bad my time is and the more I play with really good musicians (especially drummers) it gets better.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now? Your 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?

DP: – I’ve noticed you have asked this exact same question in a number of other interviews?. In short, I want to have a unique harmonic style. I think the two PGL albums are good examples of the formative stages of that.

JBN.S: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

DP: – Why would i want to prevent this? Why wouldnt i want to colour what i’m doing?

JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

DP: – I understand and respect your question but I find this topic incredibly boring. Some of worst music i’ve heard, people will describe as ‘soulful’ and some of the best music i’ve heard people will describe as intellectual and vice versa. Until someone invents a ‘soul-meter’ then its just a useless way of categorizing music that plays into musicians, critics and audiences laziness … people talk about this topic as if we have to listen to one type of music or artist for all eternity. Luckily however we can listen to many different types of music which means its a pointless discussion … but the short answer to your question is John Coltrane.

JBN.S: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

DP: – When I was younger, I played a gig with a really awful sax player. He got lost on a tune and shouted at me onstage blaming it on my comping. It’s pretty hilarious, very unprofessional (and sad) looking back on it now, but at the time, what he did made me feel pretty bad and insecure. I’ve since gone onto to work (and be hired by) some incredible, world class musicians and made an (albeit small) career out of playing. I’m not sure the point of this story other than that sax player, needless to say is a fucking asshole and if there are any young musicians reading this then don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you’re in the wrong for playing music that someone else doesn’t like or understand. Fuck that sax player and fuck anyone who’s mind is that small.

The other was when Preston Glasgow Lowe supported Dave Sanborn. He came backstage after and told us how much he liked our set. It was pretty surreal.

JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

DP: – You’ve answered your own question! But I think one answer is to write and play good original music that is of its time.

JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

DP: – Can I get back to you on this when I turn 75?

JBN.S: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

DP: – Better written charts with no C♭or F‘s.

JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

DP: – Anything. I dont care.

JBN.S: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

DP: – There is plenty of great music I love to listen too that doesn’t contain any (or one) particular message. I find that infinitely more fascinating than music that does. Often times I find the musicians, audiences and critics that need to talk about all the incidental stuff around the music have the least to offer.

JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

DP: – 30 seconds forward to when i’ve finished answering these questions

JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

DP: – I accidentally travelled to question 18 in my time machine sorry.

JBN.S: – Thanks for answers …

JBN.S: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?

DP: – I don’t completely understand the question, but I think i’d try using some rope and a couple of bungee cords.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan


Verified by MonsterInsights