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Billy Sherwood

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Billy Sherwood from 2011

MSJ:

You are an incredibly busy guy - between producing and working with Circa:, Yoso and more. Did you have yourself cloned or is there some other secret to how you can get so much stuff done as just one guy?

I love my work. Work is my passion. I own my own studio where I can create at any hour of the day or night. Whenever the inspiration hits the ideas can be flushed out in real time. Where some may have to wait to document their ideas, I can go in and begin the creative process. I think for all those reasons I can get a lot of things done. I also love my coffee- "rocket fuel," as I like to call it.

MSJ:

How do you see the new Circa: CD in comparison to the earlier ones?

And So On is another chapter in the life of Circa:, which has now seen three studio CD releases and a Live DVD as well as material left over from records one and two which were collected and released via iTunes called "Overflow.” The new record is edgy in places and subtle in others, very dynamic and very progressive in its structure and song length. Along the way there are some memorable hooks that get into your head and don't let go. It's the evolution of the band and I am very proud of the path taken for Circa: .
MSJ:

What about Yoso?

We made what I considered a really solid record, did some touring, but at the end of the day Tony Kaye and I always knew we would be moving Circa: forward. So, we decided after the Yoso Euro tour to shift focus back to our main focus.

MSJ:

You just did some shows in Mexico with Circa:. How did those go?

Fantastico! We played in Mexicali and Ensenada. Both shows went very well, it was the first time we have played the new music from the And So On CD. I am a strong advocate of playing the newest freshest material a band has to offer, in other words play the new CD. To that end, we played most of it, as well as some of the earlier Circa: works from the debut CD and Circa: HQ. The material plays very well and delivers a uniqueness that has become known as the Circa: vibe. The audiences react to the material as it is played, when sections shift from one to the other the crowd responds and knows what's coming next. It's a very cool feeling to see the music working as it was designed for the stage. It is after all a theatrical, musical event and so to have the crowd with you from beginning to end is very cool!

MSJ: And, will there be more touring with Circa:?

Yes, we have plans to tour in the making, at present October in southern California. For info go to www.circahq.com and the venues are listed with ticket links, etc.

MSJ:

Will we ever hear anything else from World Trade?

I highly doubt it. one can only have so many bands operational at one time. Circa:  is my passion. World Trade had its moment and I am proud of what we did, but to gather those forces again in the way it would need to be done seems a long shot from my point of view. I did recently get access to our one and only video for the lead off single "The Revolution Song.” Here is the link. While you are there please subscribe to the page.

MSJ: Have you come across any new bands you think the world needs to know about?

Other than Circa:? (laughter)  Check out Mars Hollow, a band I recently worked with in the studio and they came along on the Mexico runs and opened for Circa:.  There is another band project called "Flaming Row" I worked with, very cool stuff. Mixing a band at present called "Breathe." {Not the band of old} Working on many things. For anyone interested you can get updates via my facebook page, I admin it, so come on over and take a look at what's going on.

MSJ:

What about new gear? Is there any new stuff you've found you think is especially essential?

I love gear. I am a big fan of the new Line6 HD 500. I use it extensively when playing guitar live. You can hear it in action on the Tony Kaye/Billy Sherwood Live from Japan DVD coming soon. Here is a song from it... dig the guitar sounds.  

MSJ: What words of advice would you have to the aspiring musician or band looking to produce their new CD?

I always tell people asking me that question: Do what you love and do not pay any attention to the naysayers. For every bit of creation there will be those who seek to find the negatives within it. Negatives mean nothing, they are like dark clouds on the horizon. Simply go the other direction and drive to clear blue skies. Believe in what you do. If you don't believe in what you do no one else will, and if you do believe in what you do then the opinions of others have no consequence as to the creation of the art itself. If I had listened to negatives about my art I would never had made a second record after Lodgic's Nomadic Sands.

MSJ:

When it comes to production, what do you look for in a project?

The music... the people making it... the passion. I am always looking to assist people in seeing their musical dreams come true and in the studio is where that begins. I have opened my studio up so to speak. I do sessions now for folks from all over the planet via file sharing. I play, mix, sing and or whatever is requested of me, in a work for hire manner. This has opened many doors and many new roads for myself and those I have worked with by proxy. Anyone out there needing profession assistance; let me know. I love working on music and helping others with theirs so find me on facebook and simply ask. Anything is possible. 

MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
"Battlefield 2 company of heroes" (laughter) To be honest, I work on so much music daily/weekly/yearly that when I get a break in the schedule the last thing I want to do is listen to music. I prefer video games at that point. I do listen to a lot of new music via radio, I am digging the track from "Foster the Kids" {hope I got their band name right} and a track called "Pumped Up Kicks.”
MSJ:

What about the last concert you caught for your own enjoyment?

That would be Peter Gabriel with the orchestra, absolutely amazing. Gabriel is fantastic.

MSJ:

Have you read any good books lately?

Only manuals for gear... Interesting reading if ya like that kind of stuff.

MSJ:

Is there anything you'd like to add?

I would like to invite your readers to find me and join my facebook page, I admin it so come on over and say "hello" and keep up to date on all things Circa: and more. I have been producing videos for tracks from my previous solo CD’s and I'm building a channel for my youtube content.

The first track running is a preview of the title track for my new solo cd coming very soon What Was The Question?. In addition to that video there is another for a song "Neutral Ground" from the same CD. Tony Kaye and I co-produced a video for the new Circa: CD for a track called "Cast Away."

Making videos has become a passion and I plan to produce a lot more. I was recently asked to produce a few videos for some other bands, I may be adding video producer to my list of things that can be done over here at Circa: HQ studios. For all info on concert dates please visit www.circahq.com and, other than that, thank you all so much for the support for the music and the art. It is an honor to have an audience for my passions. I am grateful and thankful for that and hope to see everyone in person at some point, Circa: show or in passing at a Starbucks (laughter).

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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