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Progressive Rock Interviews

Edgar Gabriel’s StringFusion

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Edgar Gabriel from 2008
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

How has the area you are from affected your music?
We are from Chicago. Chicago is the shoulders of America. Jazz and Blues  were brought up from the
South and developed here. Chicago has more than a 100 year history of classical music performance at a world class level. This rich history of Chicago music allowed me to submerse myself with diverse musical
experiences at the highest level. Finally, I am deeply steeped in the blues and my songs tend to reflect this.
MSJ: Tell me, who is in the band?
The current members of StringFusion are: Kevin O'Connell-Keyboards, Maurice Houston-Bass, Mike Levin, Sax/Clarinet/Flute, Sarah Alexander-Cello, Dave Rush Drums, Inderjeet Sidhu-Percussion, Steve Doyle-Guitar.
MSJ: What's the greatest thing that's ever been said about your music?
That it is true ART.
MSJ: Who do you see as your musical influences?
J.S. Bach, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Jean-Luc Ponty, Mark O'Connor, John Coltrane.
MSJ: What's the last album you bought that you're enjoying?
Victor Wooten's "Soul Circus"
MSJ: Have you seen any great live shows lately?
We have two very small children at home which makes it difficult to get out when I am not gigging. I have
tickets to Return to Forever which I am looking forward to.
MSJ:  If you're life was a song, what song would it be?
If you mean by text, "Feelin Alright"
MSJ: What was the first album you ever bought?
When I was young I bought only classical albums. The first rock albums I bought when I was 13.  I bought
three at the same time: Ronnie Montrose "Montrose", Black Sabbath "Paranoid" and Blue Oyster Cult's "On Your Feet or On You Knees"
MSJ: First concert you ever attended?
UFO -1978 Chicago Ampitheater. The concert was recorded and turned into the Album "Strangers in the Night"
MSJ: Are you working on any music right now?
I have been hired to write theme music for a local Chicago PBS television show entitled "The Spirited
Gardener". We go into the studio later this week to record it.
MSJ: If you could craft an all-star band, who would play in it?
If I had ultimate power to create a band with anyone,I would have something like: Jimi Hendrix -Guitar,
J.S. Bach-Keyboards, Frank Zappa as Frontman, John Lennon and Tina Turner vocals, Lenny White- Drums, Stanley Clarke -Bass, Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Severenson and Miles Davis Trumpets, Michael Brecker, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane-Saxes,Jerry Goodman, Jean Luc Ponty, Mark O'Connor, Niccolo Paganini and Jascha Heifetz violin section, Quincy Jones - arranger/producer
MSJ: Mac or PC?
Mac
MSJ: Do you read any online music magazines, if so, which ones?
No but I will, now that I am getting acquainted with them.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Probably when a group I was working with for several years decided to go into therapy as a band. I realized
through this therapy that I didn't want to work with with these guys anymore.
MSJ: The major labels have said that downloading of music is at the heart of the problems they are having with
lower sales - do you think downloading is a help or a hindrance?
I think this is a double-edged sword. On one hand it does hurt CD sales especially for major labels. On the other hand, it is weakening the  power of major labels, so that there is room for independents.
Illegal downloading has nurtured a mindset of many of the younger generation that they feel no need to pay for recorded music. If musicians are not paid for their work then their music suffers, because they have to devote more time to other things to earn a living. Downloading also tends to eliminate liner notes which carry important information such as band members and songwriters. For instance, many young listeners cannot tell you the name of the bass player or drummer on their favorite songs. Finally, technology has always posed problems for the music business, and the music business always adapts. When recorded music and the phonograph first  became popular,  the musicians union forbade its members to record records for fear that it would put live music out of business. This obviously did not happen. I believe someone will figure out a way to make a lot of money on legal downloaded music, or with a new technology. People will always want good music.
MSJ: How do you feel about fans recording and trading shows?
If you are talking about my music, I'm OK with it as long as they don't put it on the web without my
permission. I work hard to have high standards and I prefer to not have my music presented or compromised in an inferior format.
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