I am not a band,although I have played with many bands.I'm a musician and a record producer,who may occasionally be an artist.I haven't been on any track,lyrically,since I was 17 or 18 years old but,I wouldn't mind trying it again.
Why this name?
I earned my name.Back in 1982.I was the only 1 of my boyz who knew about music back then.I was 12 years old at that time and had already been playing piano for 9 years.We were living in Longview,Texas in a rough spot called Jerusalem Apartments.My boyz would come up to my apartment to listen to me play and make beats.All I had then was 2 tape recorders and my sisters organ so,I thought I was the sh.t because I could lay 6 tracks without the signals crossing...lol.I would be running around my room hooking sh.t up and banging on whatever I could find that would make some noise so I could make some beats and one of my boys was like,"Man,your like a mad scientist."That's how I got my name,although I didn't go by it until around 1995 or '96.
Do you play live?
I was 20 years old the first time I played live.I was just out of the navy and wasn't doing sh.t when one day my godfather came by and asked me if I still played piano.His name is Blues Boy Willie.He's famous on the chittlin' circuit so,I was like hell yeah,man!!At that time he was into his 3rd or 4th album and blowing up pretty good.I toured with him for almost 8 years.In that time,we criss-crossed the country a few times and I realized dreams I've had since I was a kid.I've played on shows with Johnny Taylor,Denise LaSalle,Millie Jackson,Tyrone Davis,I think.You name it.Clarence Carter offered me a job with his band when he heard us play at a blues festival in Biloxi,Ms,at a colosseum on the beach.I hung out with his keyboard player that day looking at paintings by black artists and we gave a few television interviews.He and some of his band watched our show,we watched theirs and later on that night I met Mr.Carter in his hotel room.I'll never forget it.He asked me how old I was.I said 23.He said,"boy,you play like you got the devil in you."...lol.I also played in a band from Amarillo,Texas called Blue Sativa.I did that on and off for 20 years.We handled classic rock,blues and r&b,rap and funk.They still play today and I sat in with them from time to time.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
I think the mp3 format has been the most significant thing to happen for music since the beatles landed in America.No doubt!This format has brought the music to the masses in a way that running down to the record store and buying a record never did.It's effortless,on the user-end anyway,and it's versatile.You can take an mp3 formatted song and drop it in a DAW and manipulate it as far as your imagination allows you to.It's portable and can be played in just about any multimedia hardware device.The files are extremely small and so can be transported across the net quickly.It absolutely has changed the way we deal with music.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Maybe an album deal with a 1 year option.I couldn't commit myself to a long-term deal with a major label these days because labels don't look out for artists the way they used too.I mean,even back in the day,the label-artist relationship wasn't all too good either.They bleed you dry and render you obsolete so fast that a week after your career has been over,you've forgotten you ever were an artist.I love indie labels though.You can stretch your legs out a lot.
Blues Boy Willie,Blue Sativa,Sativa(because someone stole our name,Blue Sativa,and had it copywritten),and I have sat in with more bands than I would care to remember.
Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix are my hugest influences.Ray Charles because he's one of very few pianists who intimidates me with his complex simplicity.I can play almost anything I hear.But,for the life of me,his style continues to evade my understanding,because he almost plays backwards and it's sounds so simple when your just listening to him play but,when you try to play his music yourself,your left wondering,what the hell was that?!!Jimi Hendrix because I really wanted to be a guitarist but it looked too complicated so,I kind of play piano like a guitarist plays a guitar.
Wherever I am at the time.If I just gotta be there,I might as well make it my favorite spot.
Yamaha YPG-525 portable grand midi'd up to windows xp home edition dual-core processor and 4Gigs of ram.Magix Music Maker 15 Premium and Propellerhead Reason 5.0.Waves Complete 8.I moved up from 7 a few months ago.T-Racks 3,Arturia V2 collection,Izotope Ozone 5 and pretty much everything by Izotope.I use BBE Sound D82 sonic maximizer from time to time.Every once in a while I'll mix and match DAW's,depending on my needs.Like,Presonus 2,Fl Studio 10 Producer Edition,Adobe Audition 3,Nuendo 4.3,Celemony Melodyne Studio Bundle if I need to work with vocals.I use just about everything by Native Instruments on various occasions.Kontakt 5,Guitar Rig 4,Massive,Traktor Pro 1.2 for turntable work,I use Nexus 2.2 on a lot of work.I have quite a few of Antares products I rarely use anymore because autotune is indeed dead.I also have a lot of little things I work in and out of a mix.Do not sleep on Magix Music Maker 15 Premium!!!!
All of my setups have been simple.I just midi up my keyboard to my pc and open my DAW and go to work.It's no harder than that.I see people make this thing so complicated.They'll route their instrument or vocal tracks 50 different directions through 50 different ins and outs and it sounds little better than it did before processing.I have a lot of software but,I use it all very sparingly.Most of it I haven't used at all.I just keep the track clean,keep my levels in check so they never peak out and I use very little eq and compression.Very little!People always say,"I use industry level compression."I have never understood that.I don't even know what that means.Why would you squeeze the life out of your sound?Don't let the industry decide for you how to produce a record.There are certain standards that do need to be applied but mostly at a basic level.There was a time(the 50's and 60's)when the kids who listened to the music drove the market.They decided what was good or bad music and authentic or fake.Now,it's the industry that decides these things and drives the market.That's the reason we have accepted mediocre artists and have elevated them to superstar status after only one record when it used to take 20 years for an artist to earn that same status.You had to consistantly prove and improve yourself and your music.When we get back to that,you'll start seeing revolution.