HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: April 2014. We had the great honour to talk with a legendary drummer: Terry Bozzio. He is known for his work with Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck, UK, Missing Persons and as a solo artist as well. He has also played with Robbie Robertson, Dweezil Zappa, Mark Isham, Dokken, Steve Vai and many others. A lengthy “An Evening with Terry Bozzio” North American Tour will start in August 2014. Read below the very interesting things he told us:
Which reasons made you to announce “An Evening with Terry Bozzio” North American Tour 2014?
I have had a lot of success in Europe and Japan, so I am trying to see if it will work in the US. At this point in my life I only want to play before my body or mind won’t let me. I don’t care about making a lot of money, just enough to survive. The reward is in playing music, being with my wife and tech/friends.
What fans should expect of your upcoming tour?
I think my musical abilities are getting better with melody, harmony and composition. And the MIDI set up helps the notes to be heard more clearly. And I’ll have my big kit and my art work as a stage set.
Are there any plans to continue with “An Evening with Terry Bozzio” tour in Europe and Japan?
Yes. November through January in Japan, and Europe next year.
Are you involved in other projects or recordings?
I am composing all the time, and will be releasing my “oeuvre” as I can.
You recently toured with U.K. Did you enjoy playing again with Eddie Jobson and John Wetton after 32 years?
Yes, it was fun.
What was the most important thing you learned during the period you played with Frank Zappa?
Was Frank Zappa an easy-going person to work with?
No! That’s why it was such a fantastic learning experience!
How difficult was for you to play “The Black Page”? Is this most challenging piece you have ever played?
It is difficult! But I just chipped away at it for 20 minutes a day before rehearsals. In a week or so I was able to play it for Frank. I found Fantomas’ music very difficult as well, in a different way.
“Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop” is my second favourite Jeff Beck album (only after “Wired”). Had you realised when you recorded that album that you had created some amazing and timeless music?
Well, I like it a lot! But that kind of thinking is best left up to others and history. For me I enjoyed the process, and the sonic results. I’m grateful to Jeff and Tony (ed: Hymas –keyboard player) and learned a lot.
In early August 1978 you auditioned for Thin Lizzy. Why you didn’t get the job?
It was not the right Chemistry! Gary Moore wanted me, but the rest of the band did not think my personality fit with their “drink, fight & fuck” lifestyle! They were correct!
How important is improvisation for you?
It’s everything!, Even composition comes from improvising!
Are you happy with the amount of coverage that your music receives from mainstream American media and radio stations?
Do you think social networks like Youtube and Facebook, can really help an independent musician, particularly an instrumental musician?
Yes I think so, I think that the truth is: If you are really talented, authentic and unique you will succeed in gaining a following.
With who musician do you have the best musical and spiritual connection on stage?
Most all of them!
Are you happy with the triumphant return of the vinyl?
I really don’t care about that.
You got to jam with Stevie Ray Vaughan. What do you remember the most of him?
He was a beautiful soul. His sound really jumps out of the radio and you know at once it’s him. I miss him.
Is there anyone you would like to play with and hasn’t happened yet?
No not really. That’s why I play solo! Miles (ed: Davis), Zawinul (ed: Joe Zawinul, keyboardist and co-founder of Weather Report) and Frank are gone.
Can you describe us the influence that The Beatles performance on The Ed Sullivan Show had on you?
That was just teenage energy telling me that I needed to be a drummer! I love the Beatles and still think they are tremendous song writers and talents. And the phenomenon was truly real in its effect and transformative nature. Many of us became musicians at that moment because of their influence.
Do you like today the new wave sound on Missing Persons albums?
I stand by what we did as the best that we could do at the time!
Do you have happy memories of the Athens, Greece Zappa Plays Zappa concert with Steve Vai and Napoleon Murphy Brock in 2006?
No, I was not there due to concerts I had to do with Amsterdam Percussion Group. I did enjoy Athens on a drum clinic tour way back in the ’80’s!
A huge “THANK YOU” to Terry Bozzio for his answers and to Billy James for his valuable help.
Terry Bozzio Official Website: http://terrybozzio.com
Terry Bozzio Art Website: http://terrybozzioart.com
Terry Bozzio Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Terry-Bozzio-Official/327746222189
“An Evening with Terry Bozzio” North American Tour press release here