8 June 2006 - YTSEJAM.com (an interview by Rita Bayer) - Europe
As you might know, I’Äôm frequently sending Dave Kilminster, who is currently touring [view tour dates here] with Roger Waters, a few questions. Although he’Äôs on tour, he took the time for getting back on all the ’Äúleft over questions" from the past. (read his bio in brief and his former answers to the ’Äúupcoming’Äù Roger Waters Tour at this location). Apart from his musical talents and his humour, I highly appreciate that he’Äôs always true in his word. He replies as soon as he has the time. We talked about Dave’Äôs current status within the Keith Emerson Band, the European/Japanese KEB tours, his solo album SCARLET, other recent projects and many more.
Rita: First of all: How are you Dave?
Dave: Feeling pretty good at the moment thanks... Although a long holiday would be nice!!! :0)
KEITH EMERSON BAND UPDATE
R: How did Keith react on your tour plans [Roger Waters]? I mean, you caused some unexpected trouble.
Dave: He wasn't happy... But basically this is what happened; I heard about the audition, but because I'd already committed to playing some dates with Keith in America I wasn't going to go for the job. Then I had an email from Keith's manager, saying that the American tour was cancelled. I took this as a sign, so I went for the audition, got the gig, and then Keith's manager wrote another email saying that the American dates were back on again!!!!!
R: Are you still a full band member (recordings, follow up tours)?
Dave: That is a really good question!!! I would still love to play with Keith, Pete and Phil again... and to record the albums worth of material that we wrote together... I really, truly hope that it happens, but it's not entirely up me... As I said, fate seems to have my life mapped out at the moment... and I'm just enjoying the ride.
R: Do you think Marc Bonilla is going to replace you well on tour?
Dave: I don't know anything about Marc... He was at a gig we played in Los Angeles a while back, but we didn't talk.
R: If it were your job to take care of your replacement in the KEB, who would have been your first choice?
Dave: Hmmm.... I don't know... I guess I don't like the thought of being replaceable!!!!!
Keith Emerson Band Tour - Japan / Europe:
R: You finished the second leg of the KEB tour. As you know, I’Äôm reading your tour diary frequently and I got the impression that you all were in an extraordinary shape. Your tour diary proves that you guys live in kind of unique musical symbiosis, pushing & feeding each other more and more, Keith through his enormous live experience, fearlessness and his musical know how and you, Pete & Phil with your eagerness, your enthusiasm, your freshness.... finally, you all outdid yourselves every show, it seems there were no limitations.
Dave: I think that's pretty accurate yes... It definitely improves with every gig... Our last two shows in particular were great!!! Unfortunately just when we're about to jump to the next level we have another few months off... :0(
R: How did you prepare for this tour? Mainly practicing on your own, catching up with the band only for a couple of rehearsals?
Dave: There's usually a day or so spent relearning the parts, and then maybe another day or two rehearsing with the guys... We're never over-prepared!!!
R: Compare both tours (Japan, Europe), please. What were the differences regarding to the venues, the feedback of the people etc?
Dave: In Japan we played large concert halls (all seated), whereas in Europe the venues were smaller and a little more Rock 'n' Roll... I love both for different reasons... The Japanese seem to listen more intently to the songs, and then go crazy at the end, but Europe is generally more rowdy!!! :O)
R: Who is doing the set-lists?
Dave: Keith generally picks the set list, but he's up for any suggestions...
R: What was the best and the most unexpected/ embarrassing moment of the European tour?
Dave: The best moment off stage for me was being in Trento... Just walking around the main square in the snow, with the bells chiming... It just felt like the perfect Christmas... I felt like George Bailey (James Stewart) in 'It's a Wonderful Life'... Obviously after the attempted suicide bit!!!!
Probably the most unexpected moment was watching Keith play the piano with his ass cheeks!!!! And it STILL sounded great!!!!!!!!!!!! Definitely a fabulous memory... :0)
R: You lost your heart to Italy. What makes it so attractive for you?
Dave: The beauty and grace... the architecture... the climate... It feels like a very artistic place, I mean think of all the famous Italian artists, sculptures and composers...
R: Do you already know when & where you’Äôll hit the road next?
Dave: I'm on the road at the moment (somewhere in Berlin) with Roger Waters!!!
Solo project SCARLET:
R: Since we’Äôre in contact you’Äôre busy with your solo album SCARLET. I hope, it’Äôs not like last year, where you decided to scrap everything and to start again. An update on Scarlet, please.
Dave: Well, it should have been finished by now, but the Roger Waters thing came up, and so I had to learn three hours worth of new material for the tour!!! But saying that, I should be able to finish it when I get back mid July... I have all the vocals to do, one guitar solo and some string arrangements for a string quartet that I've booked to come in... It's sounding great so far though... I'm very happy with it!!! :O)
R: Are there any other projects you’Äôre recently involved in apart from writing for a guitar magazine, your teaching at Academy of Contemporary Music, playing in rock cover bands, touring with Emerson, your teaching spots on Sky Channel 465, the KEB-album & Scarlet?
Dave: Well, I've been filming quite a few instructional DVDs recently...
R: Last summer you performed a few songs with your acoustic guitar at Hammersmith (you were supposed to play some lighter stuff while the judges of this contest, Jimmy Page, Brian May & Dan Hawkins had to do their job) You played LZ as well as your own stuff, AND you were so lion-hearted to play and SING ’ÄúGrace’Äù by Jeff Buckley. Respect!!! I had loved to hear that!!!!! I( I can’Äôt wait to see, hear & meet you ?). You did a superb job because your performance was critically acclaimed by the audience & by no one other than Jimmy Page.
Would you say that such lion-hearted action is one of the positive effects of working together with Keith or is it simply one of your characteristics given by nature?
Dave: I guess it's in my nature to push myself... I never play it safe... ever.... It's one of the things that makes you feel alive!!! There's an advert on British TV at the moment, that says 'do one thing a day that scares you'!!! It's only a butter advert or something, but it's basically saying live life...
R: Would you call yourself a daredevil?
Dave: Not especially... but I'm always up for a challenge... :0)
R: You’Äôre already experienced in catching up with legendary musicians, nevertheless, is it possible to stay cool in such a situation? How did you feel when you were asked to come over to Jimmy, what did you reply to him and what did these compliments mean to you?
Dave: It was actually really lovely to meet Jimmy... he's SUCH a great guy!!! :O)
Ordinarily I wouldn't have tried to talk to him, because I'm sure he gets people come up to him every day saying 'yeah I play guitar too'!!! But the fact that he actually wanted to meet me!!! It made it so much easier... It meant that we could talk on the same level... musician to musician... I'm not saying that I'm on the same level as him, but it was just nice to chat about stuff... definitely a treasured moment... :0)
R: You know, I’Äôm a huge fan of your tour diary, now I discovered your guest-book. (haven’Äôt signed yet, sorry, but I will, promised ) [In the meantime, I did ;) ] A girl posted the following message:
’ÄùWow! You are so, so sexy and your music is passionate! I want you to take me, take me, take me!!! I'll do anything you want me to, anytime, anywhere! I dream about you! I love you! I want you!! You are my dream man, can I be your dream woman?! I promise to be everything you want and do anything you can think of’Ä¶..’Äù
R: How do you feel when you read such pick up lines?
Dave: I think it's great!!! I find it very flattering... where did she say she was from again?!!! ;O)
R: Your favourite ELP song and which one is the biggest challenge?
Dave: I guess, ’ÄúTarkus’Äù is pretty challenging... mainly because it's about 25 minutes long!!! There are so many ELP tunes that I love... I'd love to play 'The Endless Enigma'...'Take a Pebble'... 'Pirates'!!! I sometimes play 'Still You Turn Me On' in my solo acoustic sets... Who knows what the future holds...
R: Biggest triumph in your life?
Dave: Nothing printable!!!!!
R: For which luxury do you spend the most money?
Dave: Clothes probably... I really love Roberto Cavalli's (another Italian!!) designs. I have about ten pairs of his jeans, and they're pretty expensive.
R: What things drive you crazy and how do you release anger?
Dave: I don't really get too upset with stuff.... I'm pretty easy going!!! But squash is actually a great release for general stress.... I try and play about three of four times a week if I can...
R: What is your least favourite thing about yourself?
Dave: My face!!!
R: What class in High-school was totally useless?
Dave: Most of them to be honest, I didn't go to a very good school... One of our male English teachers was put in prison for playing with little boys (not me!!!!!), another two teachers (both married) were sacked when they were caught with two six form girls... another teacher there had a nervous breakdown... The place was a total disaster area!!!!!
R: Are you a womanizer?
Dave: No... but I usually find I get on better with woman...
R: Any New Year resolution?
Dave: I made a New Years resolution years ago never to make any New Years resolutions!!! :0)
R: Where are you going to spend your holidays this year?
Dave: I've no idea at the moment... but I'd like to take a couple of weeks out and go somewhere hot!!!
R: How would you rate your level of happiness on a scale from 1-10?
Dave: At the moment it's between six and seven...
R: Is there anything you’Äôd like to add finally?
Dave: Yes, why aren't you coming to the Roger Waters gig in Berlin?!!!! :O)