I liked it. I did find it interesting that the guys are kind of more
self-deprecating than they are critical of anyone else in the band. Perhaps
itís an English thing? I also enjoyed some of the ďread between the linesĒ
Well, while heís never negatively criticized in the book, there are sort of
off color comments by various band members about how Peter [Gabriel] could
be easily distracted, as an example. Heís painted a bit like a very dominant
figure that didnít stay focused on any one project too long without being
lured in another directionÖ but in a polite and respectful way.
To me, it makes total sense though. I mean, anyone Iíve ever met who is as
creative as Peter is Ė theyíre usually, like, flyiní. The ideas just seem to
come so fastÖ those ideas that get captured and grabbed on to become
brilliance. People who are like that, theyíre flyiní all the time.
How did you hook up with Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere for the Nudge
It Up A Notch album?
CT: We all
live in Nashville. Felix has called me for several things. Steve knows my
playing as well. The beauty of Nashville is that itís this really small
place, but you have this density of musicians there. They know stuff Iíve
done and fortunately they like it.
The bass player is a good friend of mine, so it was a pretty good fit. There
has been talk of doing something else, but so far nothing has happened and
thereís not been any touring or anything like that with it.
new projects on the horizon that we can look forward to? Itís always
difficult to research new projects youíve done on the Internet because of
the organ player Chester Thompson, who is also a big session player.
WOG: What are your
thoughts on improvisational playing when touring versus playing an
instrument exactly as it sounds on the album?
CT: Well, I
think it depends on what you are there for. In the case of Genesis, they are
there to recreate something the fans have embraced and expect to hear. My
impression of it is that out of respect to their fans, they try to give an
audience that thing they have come forÖ which means, it needs to sound like
the album. The way I deal with it, most of the time that I have been with
them, is that I keep a practice kit back stage, and before the show Ė Iíll
spend maybe half an hour or forty minutes, playing anything and everything I
want to play. Sometimes pretty exotic stuff, sometimes pretty technical
things, but it gets me in a place where Ė once we start the show Ė I donít
feel like Iím missing anything.
I feel like my job is to focus and play that lick, and itís still never
exactly the same two nights in a row. Iím sure youíve seen enough live
shows to know that. When I do my own stuff, itís never the same way twice,
and when I played with Weather Report, they never wanted it the same way
twice. That would be the last thing they ever wanted, actually. So, it depends. In
this case, I look at it like Iím playing an arrangement. If Iíve got a big
band gig and I have an arrangement, I play that arrangement. Thatís how I
approach the Genesis stuff. They are arrangements.
(Laughs) Thatís true! You know, years ago we threatened that we were going
to do an album together at some point. We both worked with Santana together
at one point. Between his schedule and mine, itís never happened though.
Heís a fantastic [Hammond] B-3 player, oh man! ÖEspecially with the bass and
the whole deal. Heís amazing at that stuffÖ which is what I grew up doing,
so weíve even talked about doing some of that. Although, if and when that
ever happens, I have no idea.
Iíve been doing so many sessions these days. If you donít have a big budget
for an album, most people end up putting things out themselves. There is a
bass player called Bernhard Lackner that I got to play on some tracks with
[for the album In Between], which was really fun. Itís a really good
project! He just kind of put it out on his own. There is a piano player in
Nashville named Tim McDonald who was originally from New York. He did kind
of a jazz trio thing and, man, that was really fun, but again, his is on a
small label. He sent me some final mixes, but I donít know where they are
being distributed. Of course, if youíre not doing big pop singles these
days, it hard to get major label attention.