Vol. 11 Trevor Rabin / May 2012 - English Translation
MUSE ON MUSE (Japan) - Trevor Rabin Interview
It’s been 23 years since your last solo album “Can’t Look Away” back in 1989. How do you feel now after completing your new solo album “Jacaranda”?
How and why did you decide to record “Jacaranda”? Please tell us about the concept of this album. Also, why did you decide to make this an instrumental album, despite the fact that you’re also a great singer?
You have been successful in the field of film music. How and why did you get into that field? Did it give you a different feeling, in contrary to what you’ve experienced with RABBITT, YES, and your solo career?
How long did it take you to record the new album?
My first impression on the album was not only the great perfection of music but the fact that your amazing guitar performance and technique were still alive and kicking. Knowing that you must have been busy working on film music and probably having less time to play (as you did during the YES years), how do you keep up your chops and techniques? Did you have some kind of warm up period before recording this album?
On the opening track “Spider Boogie”, the slide guitar on the acoustic and the freely bouncing rhythm guitar were impressive. It almost sounded as though there were two different guitar players playing on the same track. Was this just you doing an overdub?
“Market Street” has an interesting approach with the rhythms of the various instruments, also creating an addictive vibe that makes you want to listen to the song over and over. What are your thoughts when it comes to the rhythmical approaches to a song?
We were able to listen to the intro of “Annerly Road” on your website. Was this a song idea you had from quite a while ago?
“Through The Tunnel” has a soft piano and acoustic guitar part, then has a strong rhythm with distorted guitars. I find this contrast very interesting. What are your views on thissong?
Listening to “The Branch Office”, as well as the rest of the songs on the album, there seems to be a key phrase on the guitar that makes up the core of each song. These key phrasessound very intricate and difficult, and not something that you can just play when you’re improvising. In that sense, this album seems to have a very high level of technical performance. How do you personally feel?
“Rescue” sounds very beautiful and sublime, with a sternness on the guitar chords, and a mystical feeling by the female vocals. What is your perspective on this song?
“Killarney 1 & 2” has a beautiful piano part to it. Did you play this piano part? Do you use the piano or the guitar more often when writing songs? I recall listening to “90124” that included a demo track where you were humming to an acoustic guitar.
“Me And My Boy” starts out with a guitar riff with a great hard rock feel, and has a great impact. What do you think?
Songs such as “Freethought” and “Zoo Lake” are very melodic with a pleasant fusion vibe. Although, it doesn’t have the long solo parts that fusion songs usually have, thus making it nice and compact, and easy to listen to. Was this done in consideration for not only the instrumental listeners but for more mainstream listeners as well?
Where do you get your imagination when you write songs? Obviously, being able to write songs doesn’t come from just learning music theory. I’m sure there it has to do a lot with life experiences as well. What is your perspective regarding song writing?
Please tell us about your gear. What guitars, amps, effectors did you use for this recording? What kind of guitar picks did you use (including company name and thickness)? What kind of guitar strings did you use (including company name and gauge)?
When you recorded “Can’t Look Away”, you used the KORG A1 Multi Effector, which was new at the time, for making your guitar sound without using a guitar amp. Nowadays, amp simulators and software have become common, but it seems as though you were a pioneer of the modern digital sound technology. Do you still experiment a lot in making your sound? What do you think of modern music in which a lot of the guitar sounds are made with digital technology?
What are your future plans? Do you have plans for touring with this album? A lot of the songs on the album are made with multiple guitar sounds, and may be hard to reproduce on stage, but I definitely would like to see these songs played live.
Please give a message to your Japanese fans that have been waiting a long time to listen to your new solo album.