Interview with Blues guitarist Julian Sas. An interview by email in writing.
JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off?
Julian Sas: – I grew up in a small town in the netherlands between two rivers, which is known as the dutch delta. I am a country boy. When I was six, I saw this rock n roll documentary on tv, called the toronto rock n roll festival. That’s where I saw Chuck Berry. I was completely fascinated and blown away … I wanna do that too, I told my mother. Saw my interest in music grew from that on.After years of asking my parents for a guitar they finally gave in at my age of 12.
OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023
I started practising like a madman and absorbing every music I could lay my hands on. I never had lessons or anything, I play by what I hear and feel. Still doing it today…. It’s all ways music.When I had one of my first bands, when I was about seventeen i thought this could work, so I go for it. Best decision of my life, I did go to college and university, but life on the road all ways called me…..so here I am 52 years old and still playing my music.Proud man.
JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?
JS: – I grew up with Marshall amps eand fender and gibson guitars, I play everything that comes along, but they remain my favourite guitars. A dutch guitar builder,Patrick Koopman, has build me some signature strats with reversed headstocks, and they are a part of my touring equipment. great guitars. Finding your sound is finding your voice, I had this tone from the beginning, super happy about that, so you can say that my sound is very basic and hasn’t changed that much over the years.
JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?
JS: – I always play funky Hendrix and jazzy rythms at home and a lot of chord changes and jazzy structures. The harmony with me is a strange thing, it comes by listening to alot of music and the next day i can play all that harmonic stuff or tunes … And I am still playing these incredible pentatonic and chuck berry riffs to warm me up … also riffin like metal bands, gives you a powerful right arm.
JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?
JS: – I have become a more aggressive player over the years, more in the style of Gary Moore, If i can say this, because he is one of the best in my opinion. Bending strings is for me the most fun part of playing. So I work on that all the time … I hope to grow every time I pick up the instrument, that’s my goal. That will never change. I just love playing guitar. Why this change? I do not know, never thought about it. it is a natural evolution for me I guess.
There could be talk or advertising about your CD
JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
JS: – Intellect for me is more important in the lyrics and what the lyrics tell about opinions and thoughts. Soul for me, is the key for the music, go by feel, but I do not see them separately, more as combination that works. You cannot play without one of them in my opinion.
JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?
JS: – When it is alright you have the same emotion and it’s more like everybody is on the same train. I am not a crowd pleaser, but I like to take people on a musical and spiritual journey during a concert … it is entertainment with deep thoughts and feelings as far as I am concerned. Music with a message.
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in blues when most of standard tunes are half a century old?
JS: – You have to tell them the story and importance of this art form, and you gotta keep doing it. In every music form you can hear and feel the blues. It seems to be always there in some form. My guitar students all get the first few months, howlin wolf, muddy waters etc. Just the get a feel or notion of the deepness of this music. It is important music … after my Chuck Berry experience … I got in Howlin Wolf etc. It changed my life. when you listen to early Led Zep later on in life … you know, ok these guys!!! now I understand … every rock riff seems to be a Wille Dixon riff … I was fortunate to get into old blues before I went into the big seventies bands, because of my dad and his friends. But i f you have youngsters that talk about led zep or purple … tell them about waters and the wolf … they all love it. Powerful music
JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?
JS: – I guess he is right, If I do not have music, I would go crazy. For sure I can say that the meaning of my life is to be a good person and musician. We bring joy and emotion for other people, how cool is that, that is a blessing for me. Music is the thing that started it all for me, so guess it is my spirit.
JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?
JS: – Nothing, I do believe that everything has a purpose and is going as it should be, you can change and bend things a little but most of the time, everything has it’s own flow and way to move. Music is the same, it a constant flow of coming and going, and coming back. That is why the blues is always there and always finds it’s way … it is an interesting journey. For me personal, I would build a time machine, and see all these guys from the twenties until 1975 … just sit in front of the stage and look at Johnson, Bloomfield and Hendrix and so on! but That is more a psychedelic dream …
OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023
JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?
JS: – Right now, I am into old stuff, like Junior Wells, Jeff Healey, Miles Davis and a lot of Zappa again. New stuff … I really love them.
JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?
JS: – Atlanta Festival, Woodstock (Allman brothers with Duane, Hendrix etc.) and I would love to see some early Gallagher concerts and Ten years after shows …
Interview by Simon Sarg
Note: https://jazzbluesnews.com/2023/03/19/useu-jazz-blues-association-festivals/ You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here. https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/useujba/