Intervjui

Steve Hackett - 'Ne smemo dozvoliti sebi još jednog Hitlera'
15.03.2017. | |

Legendarni gitarista Steve Hackett, koji se proslavio po radu sa prog rock veteranima GENESIS, posetio je Srbiju gde je snimao spot za pesmu sa svog predstojećeg, dvadeset petog solo albuma pod imenom "The Night Sirens". Tim povodom popričali smo sa njim o novim pesmama, aktuelnoj imigrantskoj krizi i drugim interesantnim temama.

Vaš novi album izlazi uskoro. Koncept albuma prati jednu interesantnu i krajnje aktuelnu temu. Možete li nam reći nešto više o njemu?
Steve Hackett: Album se zove "The Night Sirens". Ploča konkretno govori o miru, ili o ratu. Snimljen je sa muzičarima i pevačima sa svih strana sveta. Na njemu Izraelac i Palestinka sarađuju zajedno sa muzičarima sa Islanda, iz Mađarske, Azerbejdžana, Velike Britanije i SAD. To je nešto najbliže Ujedinjenim Nacijama na albumu što sam ja ikada video. Mnogi instrumenti možda neće biti poznati ljubiteljima rock muzike, kao što su čarango, tar ili didžeridu. Čuju se i uobičajeni instrumenti kao što su sitar, violine i viole, ali i regularni rock instrumenti kao gitara, usna harmonika i pevanje.

Ovo je album koji ignoriše granice i pruža konstruktivnu alternativu političkoj desnici i ekskluzivistima. Na ovom albumu nema predrasuda, na njemu su dobrodošli ljudi bilo kog porekla. Sve je ispalo brilijantno. Sjajno sam se zabavio snimajući ovaj album. Ponekad licem u lice sa ljudima, a ponekad provodeći dane i noći šaljući fajlove napred-nazad putem Interneta. To je sjajan način rada.

Album će biti objavljen 24. marta i već smo na turneji u sklopu koje predstavljamo neke pesme sa tog albuma, plus solo stvari tokom dva seta po večeri. Radimo set solo numera i set pesama benda Genesis, sa posebnim akcentom na proslavu albuma koji smo snimili 1976. godine pod imenom "Wind & Wuthering", što predstavlja veliki deo nastupa. Koncert traje dva i po sata, a prvi smo zapravo održali sinoć. Putujemo širom sveta i nadam se da ćemo doći i u Srbiju.

Pored toga ponosan sam na to što sam čuo da je Srbija među vodećim zemljama po prihvatanju izbeglica. To je sjajno ne samo zato što na albumu imamo jednu pesmu o izbeglicama, već su i moji preci sa majčine strane bili izbeglice iz Poljske i bežali su od pogroma i strahotnog nasilja. Isto i sa mojom suprugom Jo (Lehmann) koja piše sve pesme sa mnom; njena porodica sa očeve strane takođe je izbegla iz Poljske. To nam je zajedničko, taj sinhronicitet naših predaka.

Steve Hackett

Pomenuli ste sve te instrumente; da li mislite da će novi album privući malo širu publiku od ljubitelja rock zvuka i vaših dosadašnjih fanova baš zato što meša različite stilove, različite žanrove i sve te kulturološke osobenosti?Steve: Da, mislim da je komponovan sa tim na umu i reakcije su vrlo, vrlo pozitivne i pre nego što je prodat ijedan primerak. To pokazuje da će verovatno biti najveći hit koji sam imao. Ne mogu tvrditi zasigurno, ali poruka albuma je mir i pokazuje da je multikulturalna različitost moguća u pesmi, što ima šire implikacije sociološki, politički, ekonomski i idealistički.

Pomenuli ste da se na albumu pojavljuju brojni gosti, a verujem da su imena Kobi Farhi (Orphaned Land) i Troy Donockley (Nightwish) poznata našim čitaocima. Kako je došlo do ovih saradnji, i da li ste čuli njihovu muziku pre nego što ste ih pozvali da se pridruže snimanju albuma? Da li je njihova muzika presudila da odlučite na taj korak?Steve: Da, čuo sam muziku koju stvara Kobi, a verujem i da je on zaslužan što je divna palestinska pevačica Mīrā ‘Awaḍ takođe na ovom albumu, kako nas je Kobi povezao. Naravno, oni su sarađivali u bendu Orphaned Land i sa ljudima iz Arapsko-jevrejskog teatra (Theater of Jaffa) koji rade na zaceljenju rana između dveju strana.

Gulli Briem, koji svira bubanj na par pesama, je sa Islanda a znamo se preko benda Djabe. Prethodno je svirao sa bendom Mezzoforte, stvara svoje albume koje objavljuje za izdavačku kuću Gramy iz Mađarske. Čuo sam ga kako svira u bendu Djabe tokom zajedničkih nastupa a čuo sam jedan od njegovih albuma koji zvuči prosto neverovatno. Taj album je bio ogroman uticaj na novi album na kome radim. Tako da ne samo što svira na njemu, već je i izvor inspiracije.

Ovaj album je predivna kombinacija magičnih, alhemičnih elemenata. Sve ono što volim: izvijajanje žica, ne samo na gitarama već i u orkestru, kao i upotreba raznih horova, glasova i dečijih horova. Postoji oštar kontrast između ovih elemenata. A definitivno ima par iznenađenja na albumu. Nekada su to instrumenti sa kojima sam upoznat, nekada instrumenti koje nikada ranije nisam svirao ili imao prilike da držim u rukama: čarango iz Perua, kejnar takođe iz Perua, tar iz Azerbejdžana, duduk iz Jermenije, naravno trube, regularne akustične i električne gitare, sitar, podaci prikupljeni sa svih strana sveta. Nekada smo razmenjivali fajlove, nekada snimali licem u lice. Dobio sam sjajnih iznenađenja u pošti i bilo je divno raditi sa tako posvećenim, raznolikim timom.

To je zapravo jedno od pitanja koje sam nameravao da Vam postavim. Često pitam muzičare o procesu snimanja albuma, i većina njih priznaje da materijal snimaju na moderan način, deljenjem materijala putem interneta ponekada bez ikakvog ličnog kontakta. Da li Vi više volite ovaj način ili tradicionalni rad u studiju?
Steve: Za pisanje mislim da je najbolje raditi to licem u lice. Za snimanje vam nije potrebno da vam neko gleda preko ramena dok pokušavate da uvežbate pesmu i date sve od sebe da snimite deonicu. To je kao kada bi neko rekao slikaru: ’Želim da mi naslikaš planine’. Dajte mi vremena da vidim šta mi je potrebno od materijala, i naslikaću vam planine najbolje što umem. Ali mi ne treba neko da mi daje smernice dok slikam. Na kraju, ako budete hteli da vam dodam još planina hoću, i vi iskoristite samo ono što vam se sviđa. To se podrazumeva sa deljenjem podataka putem Interneta. Ako vam se svidi, iskoristite ga. To su samo podaci. Koristite ih. Radite sa njima šta hoćete. Ako vam se sviđa kako to zvuči, iskoristite. To praktikujem sa dosta saradnika. Naravno, nešto snimim i pošaljem njima. To tako funkcioniše. Ako želite gitaru, ili čak usnu harmoniku. Kad smo kod toga, ima dosta interesantnih deonica sa usnom harmonikom snimljenim u nekom indijskom ili arapskom stilu, tako da možda ni ne prepoznate zvuk usne harmonike.

Dosta muzičara koji se pojavljuju na albumu su inspirisani Vašim radom. Da li postoje neki aktuelni i mlađi muzičari, bendovi ili izvođači koji inspirišu vas?
Steve: Da, jako volim ono što stvara Joe Bonamassa. Radujem se ideji da ćemo možda nekada sarađivati zato što je sjajan gitarista. Naravno, gitaristi ne trebaju jedni drugima, ali ponekad donesu nešto novo muzici. Kao na primer kada sam sarađivao sa Anthony-em Phillips-om koji je bio moj prethodnik u bendu Genesis. Znam da je on verovatno najbolji gitarista na dvanaestožičanoj gitari. Tako sam ja svirao električnu gitaru dok je on svirao dvanaestožičanu, zato što je to njegov fah.

Pomenuli ste prethodno da je koncept albuma baziran na aktuelnim događajima, ali i inspirisan onim kroz šta su Vaši preci prošli u devetnaestom veku. Kako činjenica da su čak i u 21. veku ljudi primorani da beže iz svojih domova iz razloga kao što je rat utiče na vas?
Steve: Rat nikada nije odgovor. Moramo da se prisetimo koncepta zajedništva i saosećanja tako da to ima ekonomskog smisla. Na primer: u Londonu gde sam odrastao, kada bismo kao deca kupovali hranu napolju uglavnom bi to bili riba i pomfrit. Nismo imali neku raznoliku ponudu pedesetih godina prošlog veka. Vremenom su se pojavili raznorazni restorani: karipski, jamajkanski, indijski, kineski, libanski i tako dalje. Italijanski, francuski, celu Ujedinjenu Naciju kuhinja. Po meni to je učinilo London življim, i ekonomski razvijenijim gradom. Ako dozvolimo ljudima da dođu možemo da delimo sve darove koje sa sobom donose u raznim sferama: nauci, muzici ili kulinarstvu.

Ceo svet mora da shvati da smo potrebni jedni drugima da bismo uspeli, ili će planeta Zemlja postati jedan ogroman propali eksperiment. Na pragu smo razmišljanja kakvo je bilo aktuelno tridesetih godina prošlog veka. Vi ste bili tu, osetili bombardovanje na svojoj koži i opet primate ljude raširenih ruku. Mogli ste ih odbiti i opredeliti se na desno. Naša braća i sestre su svuda, naša porodica se krije iza ćoška, preko brda ili iza ograde. Bio sam uključen u projekat pod nazivom Rock against Repatriation koji sam pokrenuo kako bih pokušao da pomognem ljudima iz Vijetnama. Uspeli smo da nađemo advokate da pomognu sa preglednima na granici, kako bi uverili vladu da se ne radi o ekonomskim migrantima. Mislim da je to pogrdan naziv, štaviše uvredljiv. Nadam se da će se svet urazumiti, ali kako stvari trenutno stoje hodamo ka ivici brda kao Leminzi. Mislim da su nam potrebni odgovorni državnici koji moraju preuzeti odgovornost, ne smeju biti iznad sudstva. Ne smemo dozvoliti sebi još jednog Hitlera.

Steve Hackett

Da, i ja pomno pratim vesti o tome šta se događa, posebno u Americi. Deluje pomalo ironično da jedna država izgrađena na temeljima ideje da ljudima pruži drugu šansu zauzme takav stav. Sa druge strane, fascinantna je pobuna protiv njihove politike po pitanju imigranata. Pročitao sam da je direktor lanca Starbucks obećao da će zaposliti 10000 izbeglica tokom ove godine.
Steve: Sjajno, to je najbolja vest koju sam skorije čuo!

I Google, Uber i ostale korporacije pružaju finansijsku podršku. Tako da u isto vreme vidimo ljude koji se zatvaraju i one koji dočekuju strance raširenih ruku i podižu glas protiv takve politike.
Steve: Možda neće doći do građanskog rata u Americi, ali vrlo lako može doći do ekonomskog. Videćemo šta će se njima na kraju najviše isplatiti. Naravno, iako je Amerika velika zemlja nije ceo svet. Ona je mikrokosmos. Ne zaboravimo da i druge zemlje razvijaju nuklearno naoružanje, tako da Amerika neće zadugo moći da ostane arogantna i odlučuje sama pod pretpostavkom da su najveća sila.

Vratimo se na muziku. Iako se prilično jasno zaključuje iz imena, možete li nam reći šta da očekujemo od predstojeće turneje Genesis Revisited with Hackett Classics. Hoće li biti nekih iznenađenja? Koliko novih pesama ćete predstaviti?
Steve: Sviraćemo tri nove pesme. Takođe proslavljam četrdeset godina od objavljivanja albuma "Wind & Wuthering" benda Genesis, zato što je to album u koji sam imao dosta vere, mislim da je sjajan album. Tako da uglavnom sviramo pesme sa tog albuma, samo dobre stvari.

Da li ste razmišljali da ceo album odsvirate uživo?
Steve: Razmišljao sam i o tome, ali uvek radije biram stvari umesto sviranja celih albuma. Radije bih svirao samo najbolje stvari benda Genesis. Ne želim da sviram one pesme koje smatram da su slabije, već samo one koje su ljudima ostavile trag na srcu. Interesuje me kvalitet, ne kvantitet.

Kako gledate na rock scenu danas? Da li mislite da su novi trendovi kao što su preslušavanje putem interneta, skidanje muzike i činjenica da je muzika dostupna u istom trenutku pomogli sceni ili uništili njenu magiju?
Steve: Mislim da je to stvar pojedinca. Ja stalno otkrivam novu muziku. Juče smo imali nastup sa bendom Dare, i mislim da su sjajni. Stvarno dobro su zvučali, a nisam se pre susreo sa njima. Ali nakon svirke juče planiram da nabavim sve njihove albume. Ima dosta bendova kao što su Muse ili Elbow i dosta interesantne muzike. Joe Bonamassa je za mene kao bluzera sjajan muzičar i snima izvanrednu muziku. To su neka nova imena, iako nisu toliko mladi. Otvoren sam za nove stvari. U svakom žanru postoji nešto dobro.

To bi bilo sve za ovaj intervju. Da li imate neku poruku za naše čitaoce i Vaše fanove u Srbiji?
Steve: Šta god da radite, radite to sa strašću!

Steve Hackett - 'We must not allow another Hitler'
15.03.2017. | |

Steve Hackett, the famous guitar player who made his name by playing with the progressive rock giants GENESIS visited Serbia, where he shot a video for a track off of his latest, 25th solo album titled "The Night Sirens". We caught up with him and had a little chat about the new material, the migrant crisis, and other interesting topics.

You have a new album coming out.  It certainly follows an interesting and rather current topic.  Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Steve Hackett: It's called "The Night Sirens". It is an album specifically about peace, or about war. The album is made with musicians and singers from all around the world. I have an Israeli and a Palestinian working together, musicians from Iceland, Hungary, Azerbaijan, from the United Kingdom and the United States. So it's the closest thing I've seen to the United Nations on a record. And many instruments might be unfamiliar to the listeners of the rock music like the charango, tar or didgeridoo plus more regular instruments like the sitar, violins, violas, and the regular rock instruments like the guitar, harmonica, and singing.

It's an album that ignores borders and provides a constructive alternative to right-wing politics, exclusionists. There are no prejudices on this record, we are welcoming people from everywhere on it. It all happened to be brilliant. And I’ve had a great time making the record, sometimes face to face with people, sometimes days and nights working with file-sharing backward and forwards.  And it was a great way of working.

It's coming out March 24th and I'm already doing shows with some of the songs from that, plus solo stuff and doing two sets per night. We do a set of solo things and a set of Genesis things, specifically celebrating the last album we did in 1976 called "Wind & Wuthering", and it's a big part of the show. The show goes two and a half hours of stuff, and we just did the first gig last night, in fact. And we're traveling all around the world playing it and I hope to come here to play. And apart from that, I'm very proud of what I'm hearing about Serbia being at the forefront of accepting refugees which is marvelous because not only is there one song about refugees, but my own family on my mother's side were refugees from Poland, escaping pogroms and grave violence. And my wife Jo (Lehmann) who writes all the stuff with me, her family on her father's side were escaping from Poland as well. We have that in common, you could say synchronicity with our ancestors.

Steve Hackett

So you mentioned all those instruments, do you think that the new album will appeal to more than just rock listeners and your previous fans as it incorporates different styles,  different genes, and all those cultural signatures?
Steve:
Yeah, I think it's designed this way and the response has been very, very good already before it sold a single copy. So it goes to show that it's probably going to be the biggest hit I ever had. I can't say for certain, but the message is peace and it shows that multicultural diversity is possible in song, which has wider implications socially, politically, economically, idealistically. 

You mentioned some of the guests, and our readers will likely be familiar with Kobi Farhi and Troy Donockley. How did collaborations come to fruition, did you hear their music before you asked them to join and why did you choose to work with them?
Steve: 
Yes, I’ve heard Kobi’s music, and believe it was he who put us in touch with Mīrā ‘Awaḍ, who is a very fine Palestinian signer. Of course, they have the connection with Orphaned Land and also the Arab people in the Theater of Jaffa which specializes in healing the rift between the two sides.

And when it comes to Gulli Briem, who is drumming on two tracks, he is from Iceland and he was working with the band Djabe. He’s previously been involved with the band Mezzoforte makes his own albums which the Hungarian record company Grammy have been releasing. I heard him playing with Djabe when we were doing shows together and I heard one of his albums which I thought sounded absolutely wonderful and was a profound influence on the new album that I’m doing. So he gets to play on it and be an influence on it.

It’s a wonderful combination of very magical, alchemical stuff. All the things that I love: strings that bend, and not just the guitars but the orchestra and the use of different choirs, voices, a children’s choir. There’s a sharp contrast to these things. And there’s certainly surprises on the album. Sometimes it’s the instruments that I’m familiar with, sometimes it’s the instruments I’ve never played before or worked with; the charango from Peru, the keynar from Peru, the tar from Azerbaijan, the duduk from Armenia, of course trumpets, regular acoustic and electric guitars, sitar, data collected from around the world. File sharing, or sometimes working face to face. Great surprises in the post and wonderful to work with such a dedicated, versatile team.

That was actually one of the questions I wanted to ask. I ask a lot of musicians about the recording process, and most of them admit to recording their albums the modern way, by uploading and sharing material online, sometimes never seeing other band members. Do you prefer to record this way or the traditional studio sessions?
Steve: 
I think for writing it is done best face to face. For recording, it’s not necessary to have someone looking over your shoulder when you’re trying to learn a song and give it your best. It’s a bit like if someone said to an artist: ‘Here you are, I would like you to paint me the mountains.’ So give me time to see what I think this painting requires, and I’ll give you the best mountains I can. But I don’t need you to make suggestions while I’m doing it. At the end of the day, if you want me to put in more mountains I will, but only use what you want. And that’s always the thing that’s implicit with file sharing. If you like it you use it. It’s just data. You use it. Do what you like with it. If you like how I’m playing use it. I do lots of playing with other people this way. Normally, I do something and send it to them. That’s the way it works. If you want a guitar or even harmonica. There has been some interesting stuff with the harmonica that is going to be on the album. Doing harmonica but playing it in a kind of Indian and Arabic style, and you may not even recognize the sound of the instrument.

Many of the musicians appearing on the album were inspired by your music. Are there any current and young musicians, bands or artists that you draw inspiration from nowadays?
Steve: 
Yes, I like the work of Joe Bonamassa very much, I like the idea that maybe one day we may do something together because he’s a terrific guitarist. Of course, guitarists don’t really need each other, but sometimes they bring something different to the pot. Like for instance when I worked with Anthony Phillips, who was my predecessor in Genesis. I know that he’s probably the best twelve-string player in the world. So I played the electric guitar while he played the twelve string guitar because that’s his specialty.

You mentioned in a previous interview that the concept is based on the current events but also on your ancestors in the 19th century. How does it make you feel to think that even in the 21st century people are forced to flee their homes for whatever reasons like war?
Steve: 
Well war is never the answer. We need to reinvent the concept of fellowship and compassion so it makes economic sense for everyone. I figure it’s like the following: in London where I grew up most of the time if you bought food outside it was fish and chips. It was the 1950’s, not a great variety. Over time, we got everything: Caribbean, Jamaican, we have Indian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, Lebanese, and so on. Italian, French, it’s the United Nations of Cuisine. It seems to me that it made London a more vibrant, economically successful place. If we allow people to arrive and develop all of their gifts will be ours to share in every field: science, music, cuisine…

The world needs to realize that we need each other in order to succeed, or else this Earth could be a huge failed experiment. We’re at the doorstep of 1930’s thinking at the moment and you’ve been on the front line of it here, you’ve experienced the bombs and at the same time, you’re allowing people in. You could’ve turned them away and said we’re going right wing. Our brothers and sisters are everywhere if only we took the time to look for our extended family just round the corner, over the hill or behind the fence. I was involved with a project called Rock against Repatriation, I started it to try and help Vietnamese people. We managed to get lawyers to help with the screening process to dispel the notion of economic migrants. I think it’s a pejorative term, insulting to people. I hope the world comes to its senses, but at the moment we’re going over the cliff like Lemmings. I think we need responsible statesmen and we must hold leaders to account, they must not be above the judiciary. We must not allow another Hitler.

Steve Hackett

Yeah, I’ve been following the news lately about what’s going on in America, and it seems rather ironic that a country founded on the idea of people making a new life is now doing what it is. But on the other hand, it’s the uproar against this policy and the new laws is fascinating. Yesterday I read that Starbucks CEO pledged to hire 10000 refugees over the course of this year.
Steve: 
Fantastic, it’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time!

And Google, Uber, all of them are pledging financial support. So at the same time, we are seeing people close and people open and raise their voice to fight this.
Steve: 
Well maybe there won’t be a civil war in America, but there may be an economic one. We’ll see what benefits America eventually. And of course, although America is a large country, it’s not the entire world. It’s a microcosm. Don’t forget that other countries are gaining nuclear capabilities, so America can’t act alone arrogantly and assume they are the greatest.

Although the name is pretty self-explanatory, what can the fans expect from the upcoming Genesis Revisited with Hackett Classics tour? Any surprises in store? How much of the new material are you going to present?
Steve: 
I’ll be doing tree songs from the new album. I’m also celebrating the 40th anniversary of "Wind & Wuthering", which is an album I believed in very strongly, I thought it was a great album. So I’m doing mostly songs from that album, I’m doing the good stuff.

Did you consider playing the album in its entirety?
Steve: 
I thought about that, but I always decided to cherry pick and not play entire albums, but play just the best of Genesis. I don’t want to do what I consider to be the weaker tracks, I want to do the tracks I know were deeply felt in people’s hearts. So I’m interested in the quality of the work, not the quantity of it.

How do you see the rock scene nowadays? Do you think all the latest trends like streaming, downloading and the fact that music is instantly accessible to anyone have benefited the scene or took away from its magic?
Steve: 
Well I think it’s up to the individual. I’m hearing new music all the time. I had a gig with a band called Dare yesterday, and I thought they were marvelous. Really great I thought they sounded, and I wasn’t familiar with them. But I played a show with them yesterday and I want to get their albums. There are bands like Muse or Elbow and very interesting things, Joe Bonamassa for me as a blues guitarist is doing extraordinarily good stuff. Those are the new people, although they are not that new. I’m open to new stuff. In every genre there’s good stuff.

That’s all the time we had. Do you have any messages for our readers and your fans in Serbia
Steve: 
Whatever you do, love it with a passion!

Autor: Jovan Ristić
Fotograf: Jovan Ristić

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