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Non-Prog Interviews

Tim Russ

Interviewed by Gary Hill and Mike Korn
Interview with Tim Russ From 2005


MSJ:
This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 4 at https://garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2005.

Which came first for you, music or acting?
Music came first for me. I started playing guitar when I was 14 years old. My brother was playing the drums and sitting in with club bands at 14, and later we played in the same groups. I started acting my last year of high school.
MSJ: Is there one you prefer over the other?
I enjoy both. I like acting in live theater more so than film. And consequently, I enjoy playing live music. It's the thrill of working in ensemble with a live audience.
MSJ: I'm sure a lot of people lost track of you after Star Trek Voyager ended. Could you catch everyone up on what you've been doing?
I've been directing for Discovery Channel and TLC's "FBI Files," "Critical Rescue," and the new TLC series, "Psychic Witness." I have also directed several short films, one in particular is entitled, "Roddenberry On Patrol." I have also been playing music in two different bands, acting, and doing voice over work.
MSJ: Your latest CD is a children's collection in collaboration with two other Trek alumni. How did you decide to work with them, and why a children's album?
My partner, Jedda Roskilly came up with the idea and I helped her put it together. We thought it would be fun to have a couple of other Trek actor's voices on it, so I asked Ethan and Chase if they wanted to participate.
MSJ: I hear a lot of Cat Stevens in a good deal of your music on your "grown up" discs, and you even covered one of his songs. Are you a big fan?
I was influenced by him when I was younger. I used to play a lot of solo acoustic guitar while I was in college and for a while afterward. His and other acoustic folk artists of the day were on the menu of covers.
MSJ: Your sound seems to cover a lot of territory ranging from near progressive rock to Cat Stevens and the blues. Who would you see as your musical influences?
I have been influenced by artists ranging from Santana, Sly and the Family Stone to Peter Gabriel and Bruce Hornsby. I was raised on rock, R & B and folk.
MSJ: Are there any musicians out there with whom you would like to work?
Definitely some of the artists I've already mentioned. I also wouldn't mind jamming with Johnny Lang, or Eric Clapton.
MSJ: From the acting side, what about actors/directors?
I would love to work with Ridley Scott from the directing side and Peter O'toole, or Christopher Walken, William Marshal, David Allen Grier just to name a few.
MSJ: Looking to your Trek history for a bit, did you get any resistance to the idea of an African-American playing a Vulcan and how important was your ethnic background in putting your own stamp on the character?
There was only mild curiosity. The test for the fans was how I played the character in the series.
MSJ: The final episode of "Enterprise" was considered a disaster. How happy were you with the wrap-up on your own series "Voyager"?
Some people liked it, some didn't. Most of the folks I've talked to liked it. I thought it was unique, and of course unexpected. That's the quality that makes the show - to explore the unknown.
MSJ: What was the last CD you purchased?
I've been buying "best of" or collection CD's lately. I think I picked up one from Santana the other day. Rather than just trying to get a song or two from the groups I've been listening to over the years.
MSJ: What was the last concert you attended just for your own enjoyment?
Peter Gabriel and it was a great show.
MSJ: What movies have you seen lately?
"Flight Plan," at the theaters and "Solaris."
MSJ: What do you watch on TV these days?
Mostly History, Discovery Channels, and A & E. I don't watch episodic TV anymore for the most part except for a few comedy shows like Mad TV etc...
MSJ: In your music career, what has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
I played a show once that featured a number of acts. My band was the headliner so we went on last. But the show started over an hour late. So by the time my band got on stage the audience was getting tired and they had already endured a few lousy acts and a very noisy band before mine. So I decided to keep my set really short. After I finished my set we left the stage and on the way back stage the MC, who had all the best intentions, ran past me and went out on stage trying to rally the audience to give us an encore. The people in the audience were damn near out the door when he did that.... it was quite embarrassing. We had to go back out there and do another song.

MSJ: How about the same question in regards to acting?
I have been fired from a couple of different acting jobs. But I still got paid, and it was no surprise to me. In both instances I knew I wasn't right for the parts.
MSJ: What is ahead for you - in the coming year or two - either in acting, music or both?
A little of everything. I hope to be directing a feature next year some time. I'm working on getting a project I've written with my partner, Jedda Roskilly entitled, "Mythe." I'll be playing music, probably going to conventions now and then, acting and doing voice over.
MSJ: Is there anything else you'd like to say to the readers at the moment?
That about covers it. If people want to keep up with what I'm doing they can go to www.timrusswebpage.com
 
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