Yes, it was entirely recorded live as documented in the film ‘The Ringmaster General’. We played it all in one huge room at Blackbird Studios.
I didn’t have any completed songs when I went in to the studio, just a few ideas. I wrote all thirteen or fourteen songs during the five days of recording!
Well, the world has speeded up and things change so fast, now one year is like three years. There are no rules anymore. I’m making a new album every year as that feels natural to me right now. I love writing and recording and the whole process.
This album, ‘The Ringmaster General’, is a continuation of the last album, ‘The Blackbird Diaries’, and was recorded with the same musicians in Nashville. It has a slightly more rock feeling but you’re right, it’s rooted in Blues and Americana.
I just write songs and then it becomes apparent whose voice would sound cool on a particular song or, in a Orianthi’s case, a guitar sound. Having these artists guest on my album is a special thing and I feel honored to have them, and I love them as people as well as artists.
Well as a record producer I would be diverse as usual and say Bruce Springsteen as well as Stevie Wonder!
It usually comes together in one rehearsal – I only ever rehearse a band for one day! I will have, say, forty songs that I’ve chosen and depending on the players we’ll knock it down to fifteen or sixteen that seem to fit together best. Usually it’s fifty percent my solo work and fifty percent songs I’ve written with Annie or Tom Petty or Stevie Nicks.
Well I have different people jump up all the time! Last weekend it was Colbie Caillat and John Mayer who got on stage, as well as Delta Goodrem and Venessa Amorosi from Australia. Then on stage I also had Jimmy Z – the original Eurythmics harmonica and sax player – as well as Orianthi, Amy Keys, Dana Glover, Kieran Kiely, Randy Cooke on drums and Nik West on Bass. Also my twelve-year old daughter and and my two sons played and sang on a couple of songs…
I have two TV shows and an internet show going on at various stages at the moment. One show I created, ‘Malibu Country’, starts on ABC primetime in the US in November. I also have two movies in production, we just made the new Deadmau5 video, and we’re in the middle of producing an epic A.R.Rahman video with my production company Weapons of Me.
I have no idea at this stage! Obviously we have a load of great songs that we wrote together and I would love for them to be heard in different ways, one of which would be along with a great story in the theatre. Nowadays people play random selections on their laptop or whatever, but putting twelve great songs together in a context with a narrative, and with theatre sets, actors, actresses and so on, all dedicated to it is one possible way of those songs having another life in a different form, just like a script becoming a movie…
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