HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: September 2011. We had the great honour to talk with one of the most talented musicians of our times: Nick Beggs. Nick is a genious bassist and Chapman Stick player.He has played with Kajagoogoo, John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin bassist/keyboardist), Steve Hackett (Genesis guitarist), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree leader), Kim Wilde and with many more.. Read below the interesting things he told us:
I met Steven Wilson last year whilst playing live with Steve Hackett at the High Voltage festival. Shortly after he invited me to contribute to his new solo album “Grace for Drowning”. I was very happy as I think his music is great.
You’re always busy. Which are the other projects you’re involved in?
I play for Kim Wilde a lot. She is also a wonderful person to work for.
Are you doing any recordings this period?
I have a new band that I am recording at the moment. The music is a reflection of what is for me,“the golden age of recording”, 1971 to 1973.
“The Maverick Helmsman” is your last solo album released in 2004. Are you satisfied by the recognition your solo albums had received by fans and press?
I am very grateful for anyone who listens to my music and likes it. However both of my solo albums are experimental and make a lot of demands on the listener!
My new band will release an album next year.
During the last years you are working with Steve Hackett? How is performing and recording with a so great person and musician?
I have always been a fan of Steve’s music and when he called me and invited me to tour with him I was simply honored. He is an iconic musician with an amazing compositional skill. He lets his musicians contribute in a very natural way. I love being in his band. They are all great guys.
My favourite album you have participated is without doubt John Paul Jones’s ‘The Thunderthief’! How creative were these sessions and being in the same room with J.P.J in general?
Robert Fripp called me about this project just after he had signed John to his Discipline label. Trey Gunn (ed:ex-King Crimson Warr guitar and Chapman Stick player) was originally going to do it but he became busy with Crimson. Working with JPJ was like going to music college because of I learnt so much. The time I spent with him was very formative because up until that time I had been a pop artist. He is actually a brilliant teacher though he is far too modest to admit such a thing. He composed amazing parts for me to play on the Stick and recorded them in his studio. John always calls me if he’s playing a show that he thinks I might like… The Zeppelin reunion or the Them Crooked Vultures etc.
I don’t think I’ve recorded any other stuff with John. Though I would love to.
How you started playing Chapman Stick?
The remaining members of Kajagoogoo suggested that if I became the new singer of the band after Limahl left, they would have a Chapman Stick made for me. So I agreed. It changed my life for ever.
Were you a fan of Tony Levin (bass and Chapman Stick guru)?
Tony is one of the greatest musicians ever born. I am only glad that I was able to discover him when I did as he taught me so much about music. Yes I am a fan of Tony Levin. Isn’t everyone?
You have played with many great artists. Is there anyone you’d like to play with and hasn’t happened yet?
Yes. Too many to write in an interview.
What music do you hear this period?
I just bought “An American Prayer” by Jim Morrison and the Doors. This album is so powerful. I love it (ed: an extremely underrated album!).
What fact about you (musical or not) would surprise fans?
According to my wife, the answer to this question is: I am just plain weird!
Have you ever been in Greece? Send a message to Greek fans.
Yes my first wife was a Greek Cypriot. I also played in Athens a few times. Greece, you have great food, wonderful weather and also wonderful architecture. So fuck the IMF!
A huge “THANKS” to Nick Beggs.