April 2006 - YTSEJAM.com (an interview by Rita Bayer) - Europe
Dave won the first, prestigious ’ÄúGuitarist of the Year’Äù competition in 1991, and since then he has written, transcribed and recorded for practically every issue of Guitar Techniques in the last ten years, as well as hosting his own ’ÄòKiller Licks’Äô column in Guitarist. He has recorded and toured with (former ’ÄòAsia’Äô and ’ÄòKing Crimson’Äô vocalist/bassist) John Wetton, drummer Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) and (ex ’ÄòUriah Heep’Äô keyboardist) Ken Hensley, to name only a few. In 1996 he recorded the classical guitar album ’ÄòPlaying With Fire’Äô, along with former student Fraser T~Smith, and he has just finished recording his solo album ’ÄúScarlet’Äù. He’Äôs also writing, recording and touring with keyboard legend Keith Emerson. As if that’Äôs not enough, he has his own Sky TV show on M~Channel called ’ÄòKiller Guitar’Äô, featuring both his electric and acoustic playing. Dave is going to tour with Roger Waters in June/ July through Europe, so I have sent him a few questions regarding to this subject. .
Rita: You’Äôll hit the road with Roger Waters in June/July through Europe. (Except Germany!!!! :( )
Dave: Actually we play Berlin on the 8th June!!! :0)
R: You’Äôre a lucky devil, no doubt about that, I’Äôm nosy like always, so how did the contact with Roger Waters come about?
Dave: My friend and manager Martin Darvill received a call from Snowy White, saying that Roger Waters was looking for a guitarist... Martin mentioned it to me, and of course I was very interested, but I wasn't going to go for it, as the Keith Emerson Band had a short American tour already booked and I knew the dates would clash.
Then about two days later I had an email from Keith’Äôs manager saying that the KEB American tour was cancelled!!
Well, I took this as a sign from my little Guardian Angel (she sends me messages sometimes and keeps me on the right path!) and so I went for the audition!!! :0)
R: What does touring with Roger Waters mean to you? What do you expect to get out of this tour? (Regarding to your career and any other aspect that comes on your mind)
Dave: Well, it's an INCREDIBLE opportunity for one... you really don't get gigs like this very often. It's going to be totally AMAZING playing to so many people... and also playing music that is such a huge part of people’Äôs lives and consciousness...
From a career point of view hopefully it will give me more confidence on the vocal front... and also it'll great publicity for my solo album 'Scarlet', which WILL be finished before the tour kicks off!!! :0)
R: If I have a look at the musicians along Roger on stage:
Andy Fairweather Low ’Äì Guitar
I’Äôve to admit, I don’Äôt know everyone, YOU?
Dave: I'm aware of all of them through reputation... it's a veritable who’Äôs who of the session world!! They're all really top class musicians....
R: It’Äôs a big band line up. Did you ever tour with such a big band line up before?
Dave: No never... I guess it'll just be like a huge family though... I'm really looking forward to it... :O)
R: What do you prefer: working/playing within a small band line up or a big band line up and why?
Dave: It really depends on what sort of music I'm playing to be honest... If you were playing big band music, you'd need all that brass... trumpets, trombones, bassoons etc... and the overall sound would be just incredible. But if you're improvising and want to get a certain chemistry flowing then it's easier with just a few elements.
R: Dave, apparently you’Äôre going down very well with legendary musicians. :) We all know, you’Äôre extremely gifted on guitars as well as on vocals, you’Äôre much valued as a teacher and journalist, you’Äôre very ambitious, self critical, lion-hearted, ’Ä¶even so I guess, these abilities are nowhere near enough to impress/ convince old hands at your biz such as Keith Emerson and now Roger Waters who belong without any doubt to the top of world class in your biz.
What do YOU think, sets you apart from other master class musicians, what makes you so attractive for them?
Dave: Oh God... I've no idea.... It helps to be easy going I think. To be respectful, not just of the people, but of the music too...
R: As you mentioned yourself,[former email] you’Äôre going to play the Dave Gilmour parts and you’Äôre going to sing all his bits.
Dave: Yes... We have very different voices, but I'll try and adapt my vocal approach to sound a little closer...
R: Does this mean that you’Äôre going to play exclusively Floyd material on tour?
Dave: I'm assuming that we'll play some of Roger’Äôs solo stuff too, but I don't know for certain as they're still deciding the exact set list!!
R: How are you going to prepare for this tour?
Dave: I'm gonna visit the Gym most mornings!!! Play squash, that kind of thing. Musically it helps if I just listen to the tunes in the car whilst driving around... I can practice singing them too, and hopefully learn the lyrics that way as well!!!!!
R: How long will it take to learn all stuff by heart or maybe you are already familiar with every single note?
Dave: I'm not overly familiar with the material, but I'm a quick learner. :0)
R: What is your favourite Floyd song and which one the biggest challenge? (Both: on vocals & guitar)
Dave: I really don't have any favourites... there's far too much great stuff to choose from!!! But I think 'Have a Cigar' might be a little challenging vocally, as it's a different style of singing to what I'm used to.
R: I’Äôve read on Roger Waters’Äô website that there is a strong possibility of Roger doing a US tour in Fall 2006. Did you already get a request for joining him on this leg as well?
Dave: Yes... although if I mess it up too much he might re think his offer!!!
R: If so, I’Äôm wondering how you’Äôll balance all your projects / working fields/ private life without going to feel burn out. Your thoughts, please. (I mean, there are 2 sides on every sword, right?)
Dave: I guess I just LOVE what I do... I love life... and I'm very happy.
R: Finally, is there still anyone of the music giants left on your wish-list? (You’Äôd love to play with, too)
Dave: Yes... there're loads of people I'd love to play with, from all music styles and backgrounds... I don't go looking for these opportunities though, they just seem to fall out of the sky into my lap... I must lead a charmed life!!!!
Note: Special thanks to Dave Kilminster for taking the time answering to my questions. I've already received this part of the interview on April 2, 2006. One part is still missing. Hope, Dave will find the time to get back on these questions as well.