Coryell Auger Sample Trio Talks Funky Lounge Rock, Vinyl and Xanadu
Tue, 08 Nov 2011 18:38:04
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If you want to get to know Coryell Auger Sample Trio, just take their DVD, Coryell Auger Sample Beginnings, for a spin, out November 2011.
Julian Coryell has been playing and recording music since childhood with everyone from his father (legendary jazz guitarist Larry Coryell) to Carole King, Jewel and Aimee Mann. Karma Auger’s musical education began close to the beginning of his life. His earliest memories are of his father, legendary jazz keyboardist Brian Auger playing electric piano at the house in London. Nicklas Sample began his musical education as a young child watching his father, jazz legend Joe Sample. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nicklas has gained over 20 years experience in the music business learning all creative and business aspects of the industry first-hand. Together they make the Coryell Auger Sample Trio bringing powerful and compelling music in an eager-to-please manner for listeners across all genres.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com, Coryell Auger Sample Trio discuss the FLR movement, songwriting and so much more. Check it out!
Tell us about the FLR movement. Where do you want to take it?
Julian: To the stars!
Nick: We want to take it around the world. Share the ability to listen to different types of music. You don’t have to pigeonhole yourself into one style. You could actually open up your soul and your mind to different types of music and different flavors and elements because that’s how we grew up. We were introduced and raised with such a wide blend of styles and ages of music from classical to modern to even our parents’ music, which we loved and accepted because most people have tried to refuse that. Funky Lounge Rock is a blend of all different styles we basically grew up with.
Karma Auger: The idea really grew out of the fact that…The first time we got together and started making music we realized that we were all drawing on all of these different styles that we all know, love, and were influenced by and we were putting them all together into this pot and we quickly realized that there wasn’t a label of music, not a label in terms of a record label, but a label to label music by that exists currently that really fit what we were doing because everything was too limiting. And what we also realized at the same time was that by using a current label of music be it jazz or rock or funk or whatever the label is, that we were pigeonholing ourselves to one thing and we were creating a pre-conceived idea of what our music was by calling it that just by you know we realized this just by talking to our friends. Oh what kind of music, we’re in this new band, what kind of music are you making? Oh well it’s kind of jazz. Oh! It’s jazz…Everyone already has an idea of what jazz is; everyone already has an idea of what rock is and so we quickly realized that there wasn’t anything in the current musical paradigm that actually fit what we’re doing other than say jam band, but again pre-conceived idea. Everyone already had a pre-conceived idea of what that means to them. So we figured out that we needed to come up with something that was different, fresh, that gave not a specific necessarily label to our music but that gave an idea of what the music would be on an emotional sense. Where as when you hear Funky Lounge Rock, the reaction to that 99 times out of 100 has been “cool” or “wow” or “oh, ok.” There’s an acceptance, there’s an idea, there’s these three different words that create an emotion in somebody and then they have an emotional response to that, and what it leaves them with is curiosity and open-mindedness, which is really at the end of the day what our goal was, was to open people up to a different idea.
Can anyone steal that name?
Karma: Of course. If you play funky lounge rock you are part of the movement. And we hope that many bands become funky lounge rock. That’s definitely the goal is to create something here, it’s not just a one band deal. It’s you know our goal. We were talking about this today. We would love to get to the point where we have the type of name and the type of following that we can bring bands that we like with us on tour and they can be the support acts, then we can help break those bands and we can you know put the hand down and pull somebody else up and bring them along on the ride too and not just for ourselves but for whoever else is making great music that doesn’t fit into the current musical paradigm in terms of the labeling game. ‘Cause the thing about the labels is you call something this, the way music, in terms of the old way that things have been done, things are a little more open now with the internet and with the changing times we live in. But in the past you had to be this or you had to be that or else the label doesn’t know what to do with you; publicity doesn’t know what to do with you and we have to specifically market you in this way or that way and if you’re this band, then we got to put you in these magazines and these radio stations and bla blabla blabla. Right? So how do you break out of that? We’re saying no, it’s just good music.
You have second album titled Live In 2009. Are you guys working on a 3rd album?
Julian: Well, the new record is going to be the watershed record for us. It’s where the concept of Funky Lounge Rock is realized. I don’t even know if it’s ambitious in this day and age. I think creatively things are wide open. But our goal is to make three records. One’s funky, one’s lounge, and one’s rock. They’re all part of the larger package, so they will all be released; at least the plan is for them to come out at the same time.
In one summer or over the course of a few years?
Karma: As one product.
Julian: Although we have been talking about different marketing ideas.
Nick: We plan to embark on a tour again and by that period we should have the completed Funky Lounge Rock three-album packaged cd’s so we could actually bring that out with us and that’s more of like the souvenir, something that people could buy, we could sign it. In the meantime we will be, with these new marketing ideas as Julian has said, release free mp3’s of a funky sound, a lounge song, a rock song through the course of January til November. So if you’re in the mood for “I’m a little funky right now” then you could put on a funky record. Or when you just want to relax and have a glass of wine, you could put on the lounge record. Or if you’re about to go to a party and you want to rock out on the way there, put on a rock record. Whatever it is, whatever your choice is. Or go running.
Karma: Put the rock record on, get amped out.
Nick: It’s the listener’s choice.
I’ve never heard of a band that’s done that before!
Nick: The great thing we’ve been touring Europe you know, the last tour was our fourth tour and a lot of these ideas and concepts come to us when we’re on the road. We had an experience the last concert or gig that we played that sparks a lot of ideas and thoughts of ok now what can we do to enhance what happened and take it to the next level. We wake up in the morning, have breakfast; the beautiful thing about Europe is you can have a good breakfast in a hotel. And all of a sudden these ideas start flowing.
Karma: Part of it is that we’re actually all together finally ‘cause we all work in a lot of other musical projects to kind of pay the bills for right now and our goal is for this to be that vehicle as well soon, as soon as we can make it that. When we’re on tour, you’re in the experience actually in real time living it. There are fans every night and in the morning you’re talking about the show the night before, you know, you’re having the experience. So your ideas are you can implement stuff immediately. What if we did this during the show tonight, what if we put this on, there’s all those things you can immediately start to do. When we finally get together and go on tour we call it the “think tank.” The “think tank” is officially opened.
What other records or bands shaped you?
Karma: I personally kind of went through periods where I listened to not exclusively per say this or that or the other, but there were times when I really got into one thing. For example in high school I really got into 50’s kind of doo-wop music for a period of time, but that wasn’t necessarily, you know it was only one piece of the puzzle. For me, what I can say is my dad always had this big giant jazz collection. I listened to a lot of jazz as a kid. My dad was always playing in his house obviously his music and stuff he liked, but he didn’t always listen to jazz. I listened to Nick’s father, I listened to Julian’s father ‘cause my dad had their albums and he would play those too and also some rock, but not so much. It wasn’t ‘til later on that I met kids that were listening to rock n’ roll. I remember I have one funny experience where I was in high school and listening to a Led Zeppelin album in the car and I was like this is amazing! Who are these guys? And they’re like who ARE these guys? This is Led Zeppelin man! It’s like one of the greatest bands ever! I got really into Led Zeppelin. I came home and was like dad, I just discovered this band Led Zeppelin, do you know who they are? My dad was just laughing at me like of course I know who they are. He points to the wall and there’s a poster “Led Zeppelin with Ms. Avacado with Brian Auger opening for Led Zeppelin on his first US tour and I was like oh my god, so cool! Funny how things come around.
What about you guys? Any favorites? Were you ever into metal?
Nick: Well, I remember it was late elementary school, the music that I was hearing was considered classic rock now like The Eagles and Zeppelin. I remember when I was fifteen I was introduced to Bob Marley and fell head over heels for Bob Marley and then in the same year I fell head over heels into The Smiths and The Cure, all that great music from England. And then coming back there was Madonna. And then in between that there was The Beatles and The Rolling Stones ‘cause they still held a strong light, a strong candle to everything. And then there was the introduction of hip hop and for being here in LA there was N.W.A and also at that time The Red Hot Chili Peppers were still just a local band so we would go see them or Fishbone. Being here in Los Angeles there’s always, ’cause I was born and raised here, so there’s always some great music. It was definitely a span of great era of music, but also genre of music, which is fun! I love it. It’s great.
Julian: When I was a kid, my mother turned me onto the Beatles and I spent a large part of my childhood digesting the Beatles, I really took to them and my brother who’s older, had the best record collection. Through him it was everything else. It was the Stones, Bad Company and then new wave was popular at the time so bands like XTC and Elvis Costello and I got all that through him. And then in high school in the 80’s it was metal ‘cause that’s looking at L.A. in the 80’s in high school like if you were a guy you had to like metal unless you didn’t want to get beat up. So I got into Metallica and Megadeth and to a lesser extent, the bands that went under them, and of course Van Halen. Everybody was into Van Halen, old Van Halen of course not the other Van Halen. And then college I really found my love for songwriters and that was Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Tod Rumbrandt, Randy Newman and then all the disciples of them which are too numerous to mention, but I got into these more fringe guys that people don’t really know about. Guys like Emmett Rhodes, people don’t really know who he is but he’s great and a lot of people that deserve more attention then them. But of course because my dad was a guitar player and I was a guitar player there was always this responsibility to study all the guitar players. So all the jazz guys, all the rock guys, all the fusion guys that was a little bit more like a job for me something I had to do, family responsibility if you will. Some kids are raised with a religion and they don’t really ask for it, it was just kind of hoisted upon them and that was sort of how guitar music was for me. I didn’t really ask for it, but it’s kind of my responsibility to be aware of it, to learn it, so I did. And then at a certain point I just stopped listening to new music because I was full. My tank was full I couldn’t take in anymore. I needed a break.
Was there any point you hated your fathers for teaching you their skill?
Karma: I did. I rebelled against it. I started on piano when I was ten. I learned this one song called Sister Sadie, a really classical tune, it’s an Art Blakey jazz messenger’s tune on piano. I learned it and my dad was doing a gig in Keystone Berkeley, I think I was nine or ten at the time and I went on stage and played it with the band on piano. My dad played organ; I played piano. The craziest thing of all was I was playing with Mike Clark, drummer for Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters and Paul Jackson, the bass player for Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters. They were my dad’s band at the time. I went on stage and actually played with them at nine years old or ten or whatever it was. And then after that my dad started to send me off to lessons and he got super serious and everything just got way too serious. I stopped studying, a month in a half into it I just hated it. I didn’t play piano for two and a half years. Drums came much later. I was twenty actually when I started playing drums. I literally just woke up one morning and I knew that was what I was supposed to be doing. I told my dad I’m gonna learn how to be a drummer and he was like “uh hu” super sarcastically. So then I went out and got a drum set and started practicing and playing.
Julian: When I was a kid I wanted to be a guitar player, but it was too intimidating ‘cause my dad was…even as a child I recognized his greatness so I played every other instrument. I went through the whole band of drums, piano, violin, bass, and then I was about fourteen or fifteen and I realized intimidating as it is, I’m a guitar player and I need to just kind of own that and deal with it. I switched to guitar exclusively, but again being a teenager and it was the 80’s and what it was I didn’t want to be a jazz guitarist, I just wanted to play guitar. I remember my dad would say you’re a jazz guitar player and you’re wasting your time. I was writing songs and singing and he’d say you can’t sing, you have a horrible voice and your music’s awful and you should just play jazz because that’s what you’re supposed to do. We didn’t see eye to eye for many years. We had a great lack of sympathy because of that. That was really tough actually. You want to be supported by your family and your parents; you want them to be proud of you. I really felt like I was wasting my time listening to XTC records and Elvis Costello records in my bedroom and writing pop songs. But also too, that’s how you find out who you are too. I used to say well I’m doing this anyways even if no one believes in me. It was very hard. At some point I started making money. My father treated me differently. He started to respect my choices, but until I made money he didn’t have much respect for what I did. Until they can see the value according to their value system, I think it’s just inherently difficult to make anyone understand. When I came home with a check, I had gotten a record deal, and I got a publishing deal, and I made a lot of money, more money than he was making. When he saw that, his whole attitude changed. Until that point, he really belittled what I did, he made fun of it, he made fun of me at every turn, discouraged me at every turn. But you know, it’s like Nietzsche says. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and it just made me so strong. I just wrote thousands and thousands of songs and I took vocal lessons, and I practiced singing everyday for ten or eleven years and I just was determined. At some point everyone will get this test of fate if you will, and that was mine. And here we are where our style of music is a rich pastiche of the traditional combinations of afro-influenced music, which is blues and jazz and rhythm and blues and soul and the Anglo influence, the British influence of pop and a certain type of pop and so it all makes sense now. We’ve taken it all, we’ve kept it all, we’ve puréed it into this new drink all for people to enjoy, but it didn’t come without friction.
Nick: A smoothie.
Julian: Yea, it’s a new kind of smoothie.
Karma: A California Venice Beach smoothie.
Julian: Great things aren’t born out of ease, they’re born out of struggle. That’s why they call them growing pains.
Karma: It’s pretty rare that something becomes great just out of the blue for no reason. No one says “Oh I just woke up today and I just thought of this genius idea.” Typically I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s the struggle that makes things cool. If you look at nature it seems to be the same way right? Animals change, things change because there’s a need for them to change.
Julian: All the great stories that reflect that. People like Romeo and Juliet is a timeless story because it’s about people from the opposite side of the tracks and they were discouraged to come together. And of course this is an unforgettable story because we think of how their love triumphed in spite of all the discouragement. That’s what’s interesting. It isn’t two people that came from the same side of the tracks that get along great and they get married and everyone’s happy, that’s boring right? This is a band that’s been forged through quite a bit of friction even before we met. Here we are now on tour, touring out every night dealing with people coming up to us of some kind where they get it because they’re reacting emotionally not intellectually and then you play a show in Vienna for instance, and someone comes up and is very critical and very rude because they’re like your grandfather or they’re like my father. They have a mioptic point of view and they’re looking at you through the lens of the past and not the future. You’re gonna come up against those people so many times until that tipping point when you can universally accept it. I guarantee you those same people will always come back to you after the fact and say I always thought you were great, ‘cause that’s just how it works.
Nick: My pops left me alone. He says I will help you once you ask me. When I was ten, he suggested I take piano lessons just ‘cause it was in the house. I always played around with it. It’s just a good thing to learn. The only thing he would do was sort of give me his wisdom of whatever he felt was on his mind because his friction of experience that he was dealing with.
Did you ever have any kind of friction growing up?
Nick: No my pops left me alone. He says I will help you once you ask me. He always you know when I was ten, suggested I take piano lessons just 'cause it was in the house. I always played around with it and he says it's just a good thing to learn. The only thing he would do was give me his wisdom of whatever he felt was on his mind because of his friction of experience that he was dealing with 'cause he, as our fathers, they all had their own friction with record labels or band mates or whatever it was. He would relay those experiences and stories to me in the best way as lessons. The majority of those lessons were to listen and hear and when you're playing music with other people you need to be able to hear everybody and when you're all supposed to meet together, play that song as a unit instead of individually. And it wasn't until, God I was thirty or twenty-nine, I finally said "dad, I've been through a couple record deals with all these bands, went to music school and I'm still not learning a darn thing or I've learned as much as I can, I need some assistance, I want to learn more." And that's when he said ok and he bat some pretty heavy balls at my side that I asked for it and I wanted it was the greatest thing for me because I would've been a damn fool to not take advantage of his forty years, forty five years experience in the business. It's been a great thing, a blessing. And then it's also been a blessing that we've been able to record with our fathers because they're here, they're alive. If one of them had passed away it would've been a real loss that we didn't take advantage of that. There's so many connections on both ends, from our fathers ends and from the three of us, musically that we share through years. Gathered it's a hundred years of experience through everyone right?
Nick: Now we get to take the torch and carry on.
How do you guys feel about vinyl? Will you guys come out with vinyl records or would you stick to online distribution in the future?
Julian: I think we could do vinyl.
Karma: I would love to put out a record on vinyl. That would be the coolest thing that we could do.
Nick: I think there's a market for that. It'll be fun just to through a vinyl at home, yea.
Karma: I would freak out to have one of our records on vinyl.
Julian: Our music was made for vinyl. Our roots are from the golden age of vinyl, you know the 50's and the 60's and the 70's. It doesn't really get much better than that as far as an era for vinyl. Even the 80's to some degree had good vinyl.
Nick: My mother organized a field trip for my class in my fifth grade or fourth grade and we went to a vinyl pressing place in North Hollywood.
Julian: Oh, how great!
Nick: You know, it was still a flourishing business in vinyl. We were all in a hall and you know, how they do it the plastic that they started with looked like a big hockey puck, then they pressed it. So we all came home with this little hockey puck all proud and happy.
Julian: That's great.
Do you still have that?
Nick: I think so, I hope so. There's a chest full of stuff I have at my mom's.
Julian: The vinyl hockey puck.
Karma: See that's a good use of oil. It shouldn't be burned up in our cars, we should be making albums and making music.
Is there anything in particular that inspires or influences you guys to write a certain song? For instance family or kids or a really good ice cream at an ice cream shop? Or do you just kind of think of it or do you jam out first and it comes to you?
Karma: A lot of our writing happens, I mean it happens at home too, but for example if we're on tour, we'll be in a place and the place will just be throwing a certain kind of vibe about us and next thing you know a song is written. It could be that Julian starts some kind of melody on guitar and all of a sudden Nick follows along “what’s that chord you’re playing?” and then all of a sudden they’re playing and maybe I finish setting up the drums and I jump in with a drum part and then we make a chain and come back and next thing you know we have a song. It could happen very easily like that or maybe I play a beat or maybe Nick plays a bass line and then we all jump in and basically next thing you know we have a song and was written kind of about this place in this place and a lot of the the titles for our songs come from the inspiration of that song and someway relates.
Nick: Or where we were, right?
Karma: Or where we were, yea.It’s pretty mystical though. It’s not like this conscious effort, like I ate this ice cream and I’m gonna write a song about an ice cream that I ate. It’s really like I ate this ice cream and I feel like this and as I’m in this state of feeling like this, this thing comes out of us and that’s what born from that ice cream or that venue or that day that we had or that person that we met.
Julian: I mean this is for me, I’ve written literally thousands of songs and this is the least conscious song writing process I’ve ever been involved in. I was a signed writer at Warner Chapel and I used to get assignments like can you write a song in the style of Buffalo Springfield or can you write a song in the style of Mary J. Blige or whatever you know. That’s work. That’s literally you sit down with a goal. But this band, it’s you know for me, here’s an example, we played a gig in Santa Barbara one time and we were sound checking and we just started to jam because I had a little bit of a superstition about when you sound check playing one of the songs from the show, for me it was like a voodoo thing for years. I don’t play a song in the show at sound check because it’s bad luck and these guys are like that’s not true, what’s wrong with you? But maybe in an attempt to humor me, I don’t know, we just started to jam on something instead because I was pretty uncomfortable playing like the first song of the show at sound check it just didn’t rub me the right way. So this great song just flew out of the air and we had to move on, there were kids in the other room. Life was calling us so we didn’t have a lot of time to think about it too much and we said well what do we call that? And one of us said well let’s call it “Saint B”right? ‘Cause it’s the word Santa Barbara. So you know short hand, it’s like the “Saint B,” whatever, fine. So we wrote this song “Saint B” and this song lives as an instrumental song for months and months and months and then we’re on tour, March this year, and lyrics start getting written to the song. That song became “Saint Bad,” which is slang for saint bad, ain’t bad. It ain’t bad, in fact it’s real good, it’s a good thing. That song is all about the beauty and the power of music and love and being present, being in the moment. The lyric from the song, the refrain is “let this moment take over,” so be here now basically, don’t be anywhere else, now. I never could have sat down premeditatedly and written that song. Never in my wildest dreams could I have come up with that, it’s just something that happened over time and it’s so organic, so to me our writing process is very mystical in that way because I love where it ended. I’ve always wanted to write a song about being present and being in the moment and about the power of love and the power of music. But to me that premise was always so ambitious ‘cause you can end up sounding really corny.
Karma: Or contrive.
Julian: Or contrive right? Or anything cliché.As a result I was never able to succeed writing a song like that. Now I’m learning the way you get a song like that at least in this organization is you let it happen. You just let it show up. Like children, music is in the air and you just have to be present and know when it’s coming through the portal, right? And then you have to be astute enough to catch it like a butterfly. So that’s kinda how we write.
What’s something on your mp3 player you’re embarrassed about or no one would expect?
Julian: Xanadu soundtrack. It’s great. It’s Olivia Newton-John and E.L.O. and John Farrar and it’s amazing and The Tubes, there’s a great California band called The Tubes. All those artists were hired by some movie studio in 1979 to do the soundtrack for this Olivia Newton-John film. The film after Grease, which was like a huge hit, and Xanadu was the next film she did and it was a total flop, bomb, but the soundtrack was a smash because it’s great and it’s cheesy as I’ll get out and extremely embarrassing and that’s been on my ipod since day one. It’s a great movie in its own weird, horribly catchy way.
Nick: I don’t know if I’m embarrassed by anything on mine. I’m listening to a lot of soul music from the 70’s; Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Isaac Hayes, The Isley Brothers, that’s what I’m into right now anything to get my groove on.
Karma: I don’t know if I’m embarrassed by it, but there’s some cuts off the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack that are unbelievable, sort of groovy, funky, that I’ll listen to. There are times where I listen to get my groove on.
Have you had any inspiring touring acts that have played with you in the past?
Nick: We’ve played with a great group in Detroit. It wasn’t necessarily an opening act. They were called The Hot Club of Detroit. They were sort of a gypsy jazz type group which plays accorrdian, acoustic guitar, instrumental, it was actually a great pairing with us. And then we had a group in Germany that we worked with called Drei Egzimmer. It’s the three construction workers or so ‘cause they’re building this music, these three guys, so that’s their concept of the name.
Karma: It was a double bill thing so we were playing together. So from Hot Jazz Club of Detroit to Drei Egzimmer which was this super heavy metal fusion band, they were rock, a rock fusion band. That was fun because they were just so different to us musically and yet we all got along really well, we all had a great time. It was actually fun to meet them, they were good guys and at the end we all kind of became good friends and we were all lots of hugs and we hope we get to see you guys soon and it was fun.
Nick: We played a couple festivals with some groups. The one in Seattle we didn’t see...Julian, did you see the group before us?
Julian: I did actually, they were a jazz trio and the name escapes me of course, but Bumbershoot we shared the stage with Weezer, Mary J. Blige and Bob Dylan, and of course at High Sierra it was The Black Crowes and Ozomatli, Fela Kuti, it was just honorable company to be in. I think one of the great things about this group is we’re not really out of place anywhere and we’re not really in place anywhere. We’re just kind of our own little world and we’re a seasoning that seems to blend nicely with others. We can play with a lot of different people and it seems very complimentary. Doesn’t seem like a bad fit or a...
Karma: And we don’t step on any toes. We can open for pretty much anybody and it’s ok. They’re not gonna get rubbed the wrong way or get intimidated or get weird because our music kind of has its own thing.
Nick: Our music reflects who we are.We listen to all these types of music. You just heard 70’s, soul and Xanadu and The Smiths and jazz and Led Zeppelin, you’ve heard a wide range of styles of music and Elvis Costello, which was one of my favorites as well. Billy Bragg was a great songwriter who I met at Bumbershoot. He was a singer/songwriter from England, a real sort of political kind of writer.
Julian: Influential guy.
Nick: He found his main heyday in the late 80’s.
My favorite song is “Nadine.” Is there a story behind it?
Nick: Nadine is a woman we know in Venice beach who had a cross to bear and she approached us, Coryell Auger Sample Trio, she wanted to have a conversation with us so we said yea, sure come in. We put on our first record, opened up a bottle of wine, and we discussed what was on her mind that evening and by the end of the night she was comfortable and felt resolved. All just by the love of Coryell Auger Sample Trio.[Laughs]
That’s very vague.
Nick: And that’s all you’re gonna get. It expanded when Bumbershoot, we were pressed this question before by John Cumberford, and he says who is Nadine?
Julian: But she likes to keep a low profile so we don’t want to compromise that.
Karma: She’s got a day job, she’s you know. She’s got a cross to bear as it is.
Julian: She’s got a cross to bear as it is, yea.I mean that’s the bottom line with Nadine is she’s got a cross to bear and if you can be sensitive to that then I think you can get along with Nadine real well. And if you’re not, man heaven help you, it ain’t gonna be pretty. The less interesting answer is Nadine is a guitar I own that I play in this band sometimes.
Karma: Nadine is also a guitar that he owns, that he plays in this band sometimes, but the name came from the song. The inspiration for the song was not the guitar. The inspiration for the guitar was the name of the song so actually historically speaking, Nadine goes back, she is all the things Nick just said.
Julian: All of it is accurate, but if you are...should one find that answer to be too intimidating, it is also the name of a guitar that I play in this band.
Nick: That song is not so simple to play because it has a very swing type of feel, but yet really playing three notes right? It’s this pattern [pattern noise]. If you don’t approach it with that swing, you’re not gonna play it correctly. And that’s why she has a cross to bear. You really have to give her all the attention that she’s asking for.
Julian: The thing about this music is it’s really hard to play it correctly.
Karma: But when it’s played correctly, it sounds incredibly simple funny enough.
Julian: That’s the paradox is that when you get it right, it sounds real simple and it goes down real easy right? But to get it right is a lot of work. And we’ve had these nights as a band where we’re out and we’re in a groove and man we get it right and you know it ‘cause the audience knows it and then we have nights where we don’t get it right and it just falls flat on its face and its really humbling. Something that is seemingly is simple is actually so difficult to get right and then the irony being when you get it right it sounds simple and seems simple but it’s anything but.
Nick: So that’s the motivation for us. Individually like with all our music is to really thriving to make it work each time. It doesn’t happen every time. We can get close, but that’s just life.
Karma: As all things do, it requires a lot of presence of mind. You have to be really in the moment and the nights when it does seem to fall flat is nights typically when we have a plane to catch, we didn’t sleep, there’s just too much going on and we’re too tired and for me and my part of the group falls flat when I cannot seem to stay 100% focused. My mind tends to drift a little bit and I constantly have to pull myself back and it’s so much work to keep myself centered and where I need to be in order to make the thing go.
Nick: And then there’s the balance of not being too focused and too serious because you have to let it breathe. You want to be fluid on the dance floor, you don’t want to look like some stiff person. But that’s the excitement that we have and because of our past experiences we are able to bring that to the table. We’re not some young guys trying to figure it out, we actually bring a set of tools with us to the table.
Do any of your songs remind you of any films?
Nick: They remind me of women and cars actually. “Lila” is a movie in my mind, I’m not sure if I can match it to a particular movie, but “Lila” is the most stunning woman on the other side of the room at this bar or crowded area and the focus is directly towards her and how does one get through this mass of people to her and say the right thing without being scared or intimidated and it’s that whole journey. That’s my vision of “Lila.”
Julian: For me it’s “Coolidge Returns.” It’s these action TV shows like Starksy and Hutch who have the white shadow or something. When I hear “Coolidge Returns,” I see Starsky and Hutch driving in that big, beautiful red car with the white stripe chasing some criminal and Huggy Bear is on the corner there’s a whole thing that comes along with that. There was a song we wrote that reminded me a lot of Terms of Endearment, but I don’t think we ever played it live.
Karma: There was a song once that we played that reminded me of Golden Girls as well. I don’t think we played that live either.
I’m excited to hear the next few albums.
Julian: It’s different. There’s no gettin’ around the band has changed. It’s kind of like who you end up with romantically. The person you end up marrying and making kids with is usually not the person you thought you’d end up with, but you realize it’s the right fit. And I never thought I would be singing in this band that’s for sure ‘cause we never got together under those circumstances, but man if it isn’t working! It’s just working out great, the music is working out great, every night I kind of go jeez I don’t know why it works, but it does and it’s not broken so I’m not gonna try to fix it, just keep going with it.
Karma: We’re on a journey, we’re taking the journey, not shutting any part of the journey down. We’re open to whatever and that’s kind of what we’re asking the listener to do with us, which is come take the journey with us and be open and listen to whatever the kind of music is, not just from us, but from anybody. Don’t pigeon hole yourself into any one particular style, but be open to whatever. We have stuff that sounds real ska kinda punk and then maybe have a section of a tune that makes it some soul groove. Whatever it is that turns the song in the moment, we just go for it and the beauty is the journey, I don’t think there’s gonna be a destination with this band. I don’t see that we’re gonna end up somewhere and that’s gonna be what we do. I can’t imagine that because I think there’s just too much strong influence from all of us and we all have this playful love of music and we all none us are ready to stop anywhere. We can stop for a second and take a couple snapshots, but we’re very shortly gonna be getting back in the car and get back on the drive and see wherever that takes us. That’s actually the most exciting part for me. We have a lifetime of music to play together. It’s never gonna get boring ‘cause we’re never gonna let it get boring ‘cause we’re just gonna throw...there’s constantly gonna be more stuff getting thrown into the pot and we’re just gonna keep following the road to the journey lead us to wherever we’ll continue to go.
They will also release a DVD titled Coryell Auger Sample Beginnings, out November 2011 and are leaving for another European tour! Check out their tour dates:
Wed Nov 16 London, UK Ronnie Scott's
Thu Nov 17 London, UK Ronnie Scott's
Fri Nov 18 London, UK Ronnie Scott's
Wed Nov 23 Warsaw, Poland Club Capitol
Thu Nov 24 Riesa, Germany Riesenhügel
Fri Nov 25 Wendelstein, Germany Jegelscheune
Sat Nov 26 Heilbronn, Germany Jazzclub Cave 61
Sun Nov 27 Schorndorf, Germany Jazzclub Session 88
Mon Nov 28 Leverkusen, Germany Topos
Tue Nov 29 Unna, Germany Lindenbrauerei
Wed Nov 30 Hamburg, Germany Downtown Bluesclub
Thu Dec 1 Sigmaringen, Germany Bootshaus
Fri Dec 2 Hard, Austria Kammgarn
Sat Dec 3 Schwandorf , Germany Felsenkeller
Check out their saucy "Bit by Bit" music video here!
Check out their free download of "Saint Bad"!
Have you heard the Coryell Auger Sample Trio yet?