...BECAUSE SOME OF US THINK THAT THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT
What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?
Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.
Thursday, 11 October 2012
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Michael Des Barres
I have received so many emails over the past few days about Michael Des Barres and his current projects, that I felt that we should do an interview with him quickly before his life got any more complicated. So I dropped him a quick email, and ten minutes later we were chatting. He began by saying all sorts of nice things about the Gonzo Daily...
MICHAEL: I love your preambles because it puts me in a place....I am in a centre of madness right now, you can imagine. So I think of you guys down there and it just makes me feel good.
JON: I am really glad to hear that because we try to create a nice vibe
MICHAEL: And I do at the centre of the hurricane. I try to calm it down, it’s an amazing time, but in terms of the song, I am really excited about it ‘cos it’s a rock and roll song of course and my prime duty is to get people off and entertain them and at the same time it’s a time worn wonderful thing about rock and roll which is you can reach people with music and this is an issue that I am terribly into which is the deportation of families that love each other. These archaic and legislation that prevents, they are not immigrants, they are refugees from a third world war is really the quote.
JON: I tell you what, I prefer the Spanish version to the English version
MICHAEL: So does my son. It’s just got so much power. It’s the same track as the album and what I did was, I got a guy to translate it into Spanish and it’s an amazing story. The guy who did it was a Greek guy who moved to
Los Angeles when he was six years old and
fell in love with the Latino culture and it was engineered by a Chinese guy and
sung by a Brit. So in the middle of
singing it, I looked around and thought My God what a world, what a melting
pot, what an amazing experience this is in taking on an issue that is so
contentious and controversial and doing it with guys who are ... who really
exemplify what America is and singing this song, so I think it had a particular
kind of focus and balls to it and meaning to it that transcended just a
performance. I felt every syllable of it
and I think that translates into the track.
JON: I don’t know if it is just because of the emotion that you are singing it with but the guitars sound harder and the drums sound crisper.
MICHAEL: Yes, it is a different mix. It’s a mix by this other kid.
You know I’ve never been really interested in the sonics of my records until now, but I suddenly became super aware of how important that is but yeah we learned to grow as a band, we learned how to translate the band over a period of time and it’s all been very quick. My god we have only ever done a dozen gigs and worked in a studio for a week as you know so it’s a very young enterprise. It’s grown leaps and bounds and I think what you are hearing is the growth of the band really and the understanding of what that band should sound like.
JON: It’s a fantastic record. Absolutely wonderful .
MICHAEL: Thank you man. You know I really want to get it out to the people in
America and I’ve got this girl, Duran Duran digital empire and I’d hired her to do exactly the
same thing for me in terms of Twitter and so because it’s all about penetration
and you know the thing last night on CBC (?), it’s 23million people saw that
and there’s been an amazing response to it and that’s been getting me in the
background and now all of this stuff is coming up, you know...I’m going to sing
with The Boss and come back and do the Slash thing, and the Zeppelin thing ...
I mean you know, it’s ....
JON: So first of all you are going to
New York, isn’t it, tomorrow?
MICHAEL: Tomorrow I am going to host the first and only screening of Led Zeppelin’s new concert movie from ’07, and I’m hosting it for the media, then I go to New York on Friday morning to rehearse with the E-Street Band and perform with Steve van Zandt , Elvis Costello, Dion, Sam Moore from Sam & Dave, Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine, Darlene Love and possibly Springsteen to honour Steve Van Zandt and his work with Little Kids Rock, which is an organisation that provides instruments to inner city under-privileged children. Then I come back and that night I go sing with Slash, Gene Simmons and Richie Sambora in a rock and roll jam Gene put together, and asked me to sing at. Next night I play a charity show for Irving Azoff’s daughter’s charity which is for homeless people in LA, and that’s my next few days Jonathan.
JON: Where do you for from there for god’s sake?
MICHAEL: You know, the toppermost of the poppermost – to quote the great John Lennon – I don’t know man, it’s just really exciting and the thing is I just want people to hear it, and while all of this is going on of course, we’ve got this big Grammy campaign which I have so many people who are going to vote for this album and you know whether I get nominated or not, it’s all part of just making people aware of what I’m doing. I have already written the next album which I am calling Drop the Needle.....
and because I am a rotten sod, I am leaving it here, and we shall continue with part two tomorrow...
If you have not done so already, check out Michael's Gonzo Artist Page