Dubbelinterview: Stef Burns en Juan van Emmerloot
'World, Universe, Infinity' release v/d maand Slagwerkwereld.com
On Stage 04-02-2008 21:40
De Amerikaanse gitarist Stef Burns is in februari release van de maand op Slagwerkwereld.com met zijn nieuwe album 'World, Universe, Infinity'. Ondersteund met twee Europese tours, speelt hij wederom met Slagwerkwereld.com-endorser Juan van Emmerloot en bassist Walter Latupeirissa om zijn album live te vertolken. Beide artiesten zijn ook op de cd te horen en Van Emmerloot was verantwoordelijk voor een groot deel van de opnames die hij met Burns in Italië maakte. Slagwerkwereld.com was aanwezig bij de opnames en voelden beide heren nog eens aan de tand over het album, de opnames én de aanstaande tours.Juan, what was it like, recording in the studio with Stef for the first time?
"It was more then exciting working with Stef on a studio album. Of course, I am used to make live recordings all the time with my mobile studio, but during these recordings I had to focus on more levels then just playing. First there was the basic technical side of the recording process. Next to that I was also playing at the same time! Being a drummer and taking care of the technical issues is asking for 200% concentration.

But the most exciting part of these sessions were Stef's over dubs. Stef is such an experienced studio musician, and plays with an enormous level of precision and accuracy. Sometimes it was almost impossible to hear the difference between some of his takes. I've learned to work more properly and in a highly effective way."

Are you looking forward to go on tour with Stef again?

"Oh yes! It has been two years since our last tour that we have shared the stage together. A 2007 tour wasn't possible because Stef was occupied with Heuy Lewis and the News and Vasco Rossi. But we feel close, we made an album, are anxious to play again, and I already feel fully prepared for it. The new album is great and I can't wait to play the songs live. And of course we will be playing a lot of stuff from his first solo album 'Swamp Tea' as well."

A conversation with Stef Burns about 'World, Universe, Infinity'

Lets start off with a question 'for the record': Who are the other musicians performing on 'World, Universe, Infinity'?

Well, there are many... Juan Van Emmerloot (drums and recordings), Walter Latupeirissa (bass), Fabio Valdemarin(keys), Paolo Muscovi (drums), Giovanni Toffoloni (bass), Peppino D'Agostino (guitar), Lyle Workman (guitars), Huey Lewis, Sean Hopper (hammond B3), Bill Champlin (hammond B3), Marc Russo, Abe Laboriel Jr (drums), Jimmy Johnson (bass), Jeff Campitelli (drums), Josh Birnbaum (vocals), John Seppala (keys), Benny Rietveld (bass), Rob Sudduth (tenor sax), Johnnie Bamont, Louis Fasman (trumpet), John R Burr (electric piano), Jeff Babko (keys), Sarah O'Brien (cello) and me.

The title 'World, Universe, Infinity', does it summarize the musician Stef Burns anno 2008?

Could be, haha! It is also all of our address. All of us citizens of the planet. It's where we live.

You recorded the album with Dutch drummer/producer Juan van Emmerloot. Was it a natural follow-up of his live performances with you?

Yes. Juan is a great talent. I love to play with him. I later learned how good he is as a recording engineer as well. I can't wait to hit the stage with him and Walter Latupeirissa (bass player) again this year. Also, fantastic keyboard player, Fabio Valdemarin.

On this album you take care of the vocals as well. How did it feel doing this so prominently on a solo album?

It was very interesting. I liked it because it is something that I've always enjoyed but never really explored. It's like learning another instrument to express yourself with, but in a different way than with the guitar.

There is one song called Burns' Blues on the album. What do you think is the special 'Burns-feeling' of it? Any secret chords maybe?

Hmmm... Maybe the ultra dynamics, soft to intense and back. Also the twist in the chord change in the bridges.

There is also Jimi Hendrix' Little Wing on it. Can you give us three names of your biggest musical influences, and explain why? Let's start with Jimi...

It's impossible to name three. Jimi Hendrix was so fresh, so innovative, he had so much fire, soul and creativity that so many of us musicians and music lovers alike could not help but be influenced by him. I'll just throw a couple more at you.

B.B. King, The king. Phrasing, feel and tone. Unmatched.
Jeff Beck. I fell in love with his playing from the album 'Rough and Ready'. Since then he has always been one of my favorites.

I also love listening to singers like Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and sax players like Stan Getz and Paul Desmond.

Just one more song question: Mepukori is an interesting title. How did you come up with it?

Mario Riso (Italian drummer and founder of television station Rock TV) came up with that title. He is the writer of the song that Mepukori is based on, Spasimo from Rezophonic CD. (Great Cd and great cause. Go buy it!)
Mepukori in the Maasai language means "one who feeds the hungry"

A fun question: Your gear is fully mentioned on your web site. But what items do you always want near you or are afraid of getting stolen?

For sure my 91 Strat. Also my '68 Les Paul and Buscarini jazz guitar.

Besides your solo album and tour, Vasco Rossi and Huey Lewis and the News, are you working on other projects as well?

Soon I will start work on a second cd with Peppino D'Agostino. Besides that, and spending time with my family, I just want to sleep a little :-)

In February/March you will be touring Italy and Europe again. Do you have aspirations to get more foot to the ground in Europe on a solo level?

Absolutely! I would love to!
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