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Dreadnaught

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Bob Lord of Dreadnaught from 2018

MSJ:

It's been about three or four years since we did an interview with you. What's been new in your world?

First of all, congrats on your anniversary, that is no mean feat!  Dreadnaught is about to hit our 22nd anniversary, and it’s a bit hard to believe.  Since we spoke last (which was right after the release of our Have a Drink with Dreadnaught EP), we released another EP called "Gettin' Tight with Dreadnaught" in 2015. Both of those were intended to be preludes to the full-length Hard Chargin', which we finally released in 2017.  It’s a crazy record, definitely unusual even for us, with elements of ‘70s rock, jazz, avant-garde, country, prog, comedy, and straight up noise.  In many ways it is a summary of everything that makes us what we are, and even at this late vintage I think we’re doing our best work yet.  I say that every time, don’t I?

MSJ:

What's the best thing that's ever been said about your music?

Since 2005 we’ve been the house band for a live series called “Writers On A New England Stage” at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which is recorded and broadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR).  It’s a great gig, and we’ve played with and for folks like Dan Brown, Stephen King, Salman Rushdie, Supreme Court Justices Sotomayor and Breyer, and many more.  One of our favorites was John Updike, who, upon walking out onto the stage after our performance to speak about his new book Terrorist, said to the audience, “I’d like to thank the band for what I take to be the sound of terror.”  He was right.

MSJ:

What's ahead for you?

We’ve just come off performances of Hard Chargin' in its entirety with an augmented band. We’re usually a trio and have added some of our buddies to help out with all the parts, because there’s a lot of ‘em.  It’s like Queen on ‘roids.  That was a ton of fun, and I expect we’ll do it again, possibly along with the EPs, too. And we’re beginning to think about the next recordings.  It never, ever ends.

MSJ:

What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

Music...lots of music.  I’m the CEO of PARMA Recordings, which I launched in 2008. We’re the parent company of several record labels specializing in classical, jazz, electronic, and new music.  This past summer we marked our 500th release, and we are in a constant state of production on new orchestral, chamber, and choral recordings both domestic and abroad. Since we spoke last our team has worked in more than two dozen countries. So I end up hearing a ton of outstanding stuff, from classical repertoire performed by European orchestras to brand new big band charts by the best Cuban musicians.  Other than that, it seems like I can’t turn on a car radio or walk into a TJ Maxx without hearing “Lightnin’ Strikes” by Lou Christie.

MSJ:

Have you read any good books lately?

I recently re-read the short story collection The Book of Sand by Borges and found myself even more entranced by his material than ever before - what a writer.
MSJ:

What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

It’s not the most recent, but this past Fall I saw Matej Meštrovi? perform his bonkers Vivaldi arrangement 4 Seasons for 3 Pianos at the National Theater in Zagreb, Croatia.  My label released the album of this piece, but I was there purely for my own enjoyment, and enjoy it I did. Matej and his fellow pianists came out onto the stage of this historic space driving tiny mini-Renaults, zipping around like they were clown cars.  The encore was the “Spring” theme played by each of the pianists on a xylophone shaped like a wiener dog.  It was amazing.

MSJ: Do you remember your first concert you attended?

I don’t, but I’m told it was Sha-Na-Na.  I’m cool with that.

MSJ:

Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?

Since we spoke last I picked up an Alembic 8-string bass, nice old model in incredible shape. And if it didn’t make my back scream in pain after each rehearsal I’d probably keep it on all the time.  I’d wear it to the market, that’s how good it sounds.

MSJ:

Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

The sun will rise, the sun will set, and I’ll have lunch.

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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