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Blurred Vision

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Ben Riley,  Sohl Osley and Sepp Osley of Blurred Vision from 2015
MSJ:

Who would you see as your musical influences?

Ben Riley:

Doug Riley (composer, arranger, pianist/organist, producer, conductor)
Bob McLaren (jazz drummer)
Vito Rezza (fusion drummer)
Terry Clark (jazz drummer)
Jeff 'Tain' Watts (jazz drummer)
Bernie Senensky (jazz pianist,composer)
Adrean Farrugia (jazz pianist)
Allan Holdsworth (guitarist)
Vinnie Colaiuta (drummer)Brahms, Bartok, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Bach, Van Halen, Yellowjackets, Miles Davis

Sohl Osley: Classic rock artists like Beatles, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Stones...New wave artists like Depeche Mode, The Cure, XTC...etcetera. Classics...Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Stravinsky...

MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Sepp Osley: We’ll be spending much of 2016 on the road and on tour which is very exciting cause that’s where we love to be! We’ll also be heading into the studio to begin recording album two, which we have the luxury of saying has already been written!
MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play in the future?
Ben Riley: John Scofield, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin, Kenny Barron, Sonny Rollins, Sting, James Taylor

Sohl Osley: Can't think of any at the moment...but collaborations and jams are always welcome.

MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
Ben Riley: It should be the choice of the artist to give their music away for free, not the listener. The amount of time, money and most of all artistic creativity that goes into the creation of a piece of music is seriously under appreciated, and has undervalued its worth. So buy our album!

Sohl Osley: Illegal downloading of music has caused a lot of damage when it comes to the value of this art. Not only musicians are undervalued/underpaid, but the illegal downloading of music has greatly contributed to the degeneration of artistic expression and integrity of music.

MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?
Ben Riley: Doug Riley, Christian McBride, Chris Potter, Jack DeJohnette. The ultimate constructive wavelength, freedom of expression, and powerhouse jazz quartet!

Sohl Osley: This is a tough one...just because you put a bunch of fantastic musicians together doesn't necessarily mean you're going to have fantastic music. It all comes down to chemistry, camaraderie, like mindedness and parallel vision between all involved, therefore this is an impossible question to answer.

MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Ben Riley: Last album (on vinyl!)- John Coltrane Ballads

Listening to lately: Boards of Canada, Bruce Hornsby, Stravinsky, Doug Riley

Sohl Osley: Hmmmmm....no idea what the last CD I bought was, but I have been listening to a lot of jazz/funk/fusion lately...Snarky Puppy jumps into mind.

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
Ben Riley: Umberto Eco Baudolino

Bruce Chatwin Songlines

Charles Ives Memos

M. Scott Peck The Road Less Traveled 

Sohl Osley: Recently re-read Fear and Loathing in America by Hunter S. Thompson...and classic Persian literature.

MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Ben Riley: D'Angelo. Phenomenal power funk set, and the heaviest musicians! 

Sohl Osley: Last concert was Roger Waters The Wall...absolutely brilliant!

MSJ:

If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?

Ben Riley:  My Dad, Quincy Jones, Barack Obama 

Sohl Osley: Duke Ellington, Fredrick Nietzsche, Hafiz.

MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you’d like ot get out there?
Sepp Osley: There seems to be a great deal of division and hate spreading and creeping into the psyche as we’re constantly told to be scared. We hope our future will not entail the contagious and brutal disease of fear within our hearts and our minds. All we can do is play rock ’m’ roll and do everything in our power as a band to use this great entity of music to rival all the hate that blooms with nothing but love! That, we suspect, will consume most of our lives and our careers as artists, but hopefully it doesn’t, cause that would mean we as a global community would have achieved what many generations have set out to achieve…peace!
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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