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blld

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with blld from 2010
MSJ:

Can you catch the readers up on the history of the group and your involvement in music?

Ric: I've known about Markus for years as I have followed touchstyle playing from my days as a Chapman Stick player (I play a Touch Guitar U8 these days).  About two years ago, I approached Markus about putting some sort of project together but his schedule was a bit full at the time.  Last year he posted some soundscapes on Youtube and I approached him again as I really liked what he was doing., blld is the result of that.

As to my involvement in music, well suffice it to say I've been doing music for 30+ years in various guises...

Markus Reuter:  Ric contacted me a few years ago to start a recording project with me, Pat Mastelotto and Gavin Harrison. This never happened, but Ric never gave up asking me to work together and so blld (pronounced build) started out by me sending Ric files of my playing.  This was in early 2009.

MSJ: Certainly King Crimson seems to be a big influence on the sounds of blld. Would you agree with that? If so,why?
Ric: Yes for sure, I loved the double drumming that KC did on Thrak, the whole idea that drums could be used as a texture as opposed to predominantly for rhythm.  With Markus's soundscapes, and polyrhythmic within the instruments, I personally wanted blld to explore these possibilities even more.  The soundscapes and the double drumming where the foundation for the songs, as the songs took shape some of the double drumming did not fit and was left out but I always started with it.

Markus Reuter:  King Crimson are a big influence on me as is Robert Fripp, since Ilearned a lot from meeting him on Guitar Craft courses from 1991 til 1998. Musically blld is extending approaches and sounds that were hinted at by King Crimson, but its not a music that King Crimson would have ever played.

MSJ: What other influences do you hear in your music?
Ric: I am a big Bowie fan as well as Bill Frisell,  Holdsworth, Mick Karn, Gavin Harrison, Terry Bozzio.

Markus Reuter:  A big part of the music is Ric. What makes it so special in the context of blld is the harmonic and emotional grounding that happens to Rics ideas by basing them on my soundscapes.

MSJ: With what projects outside blld are you involved?
Ric: I am in a project called "GH05" with Gavin Harrison, and I have a side project with some mates in Cambridge.  I gig mostly as a freelance drummer.

Markus Reuter: Centrozoon, TUNER (with Pat Mastelotto), Syntony, and many collaborations with people like Ian Boddy, Tim Motzer, Robert Rich, Toyah Willcox, Chrysta Bell, etc. I also work as a producer for artists outside my immediate family.

MSJ: If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?
Ric: Quite possibly finding a spot of land doing the self sufficiency thing but more likely I'd be in a coffin.

Markus Reuter: Healing.

MSJ: How would you describe the sound of blld?
Ric: The sound of exploration.

Markus Reuter: Futuristic, exciting, listenable.

MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Ric: I will be completing my next album with Gavin Harrison, and then on to another blld album, and seriously considering putting a band together to start touring.

Markus Reuter: Im currently finishing off quite a few projects, including TUNERs FACE, which is a major piece of work. Ric is working on another album with Gavin Harrison at the moment. Once thats done well start working on a full length blld album which might include guest musicians. Thats the plan.

MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?
Ric: Yes , but at the moment I am quite happy/content to play with whom I am playing/recording with right now and discover who I am as a musician/composer/person and let the future present itself ...

Markus Reuter: Mike Oldfield. Other than that Im about to start my own band and in the near future I would like to have more ensembles/orchestras play my music without my involvement as a player.

MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It's been said by the major labels that it's essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales - would you agree? 
Ric: Loaded question - the majors have lost money because of this, but I believe the real reason that labels have lost money is that they gave up looking at the big picture in pursuit of short term profit and after 10 years of pushing boy and girl bands and of not nurturing artists well.... I believe that the illegal downloading issue is being used to cover up   the consequences of their poor decision making.  There are other issues as well such as the maltreatment of artist by the majors being made public etc ... Sharing of music has been around ever since I can remember, when I was a kid I used to record off the radio on to cassettes.  The other side is that illegal downloading had definitely affected how much money I see from sales.  When I type in 05Ric on google I see so many torrent sites, it can be a bit discouraging.

Markus Reuter: I agree that it is a major problem, even more so for independent artists than the majors. Unless youve had at least one mainstream success it is impossible to reach enough people to make your work worthwhile financially. The fact that all digital data is being pirated doesnt help.

MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?

Ric: I can't answer as I am undecided

Markus Reuter: Thats fine if the recordings are not used for making money but for promoting the artist.

MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
Markus Reuter: Mozart. Hes mostly commerce thats being sold as art to the mainstream. Mozart is just a placeholder, of course. Anything thats being marketed as something that it is not is evil, because the mass media will make it look like its the truth.
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band, who would be in it and why?
Markus Reuter: The ultimate people for my ultimate band need to live in the city that I live in. Im already friends with or playing with some of the greatest musicians. At this point it is more important to me to have a band that can work in a disciplined way on a regular basis.
MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?
Ric: Led Zeppelin, Jeff Buckley, any Kenny Garrett lineup, Jeff Beck, King Crimson, Pat Metheny, Allan Holdsworth (with Jimmy Johnson and Gary Husband), Polytown, Steve Coleman, M'shell.... really too numerous to mention!

Markus Reuter: Only one act, but for 12 hours: Nik Bärtschs MOBILE.

MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Ric: Tim Miller Trio 2 about to purchase Stick Men and the latest Jeff Beck.

Markus Reuter: Pekka Pohjolas records. Hes my hero.

MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Ric:  The Humans (Toyah Wilcox, Robert Fripp, Chris Wong & Bill Riflin) in London - very good show it was!

Markus Reuter: Nik Bärtschs RONIN at EXIL Club, Zürich.

MSJ:

Do you have a musical "guilty pleasure"?

Ric: The Archies and the Mammas & Papas.

Markus Reuter: There is no need for remorse in a world of music.

MSJ:

What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?

Ric: Ladies flashing their breasts at shows.
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
Ric: Thank you for the gift of your time and attention.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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