NEWS Behind The Beat
The first in a series of interviews
by writer Paul Deegan.
Interview: Angus Murray
Paul Deegan: What
was the first record you ever bought?
Angus: The Stranger by Billy Joel. I have a lot of respect for his music and songwriting. I just love Scenes from an Italian Restaurant. He has also written some great albums.
Paul Deegan: If you could have dinner with three other contemporary musicians or composers, who would they be?
Angus Murray: I would choose Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis and Jay Kay. I love singer Diana Kralls voice and the way she plays with the phrases of a tune. Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is a great ambassador for both jazz and classical music: as well as being Artistic Director for the Lincoln Centre Jazz Programme in New York, he is under contract to Sony as a classical artist. I would invite singer Jay Kay (from the band Jamiroquai) because I respect his originality and innovation.
Paul Deegan: Which restaurant would you take them to?
Angus Murray: Even though I am not strictly vegetarian, we would have to visitAnjelica Kitchen in Manhattans East Village; a fantastic vegetarian restaurant. The atmosphere is so laid back and fun, we would have a riot. Even if youre feeling down, you would end up having a great evening as the place has got lots of positive energy and a great vibe.
Paul Deegan: If you were forced to listen to the same album non-stop for 24 hours, what would it be?
Angus Murray: No question about it, it would have to be Kind of Blue, by Miles Davis. Ive had it playing in my car for ages. Im still hearing new things on it and holding up lines of traffic in the process!
Paul Deegan: Do you think you have written your best music when you have been in or out of love?.
Angus Murray: I think my best material has been written when I have been in love, but I dont think being in love is a pre-requisite for a good song. Strong material is borne out of emotion and that can be stirred and brought to music in any number of ways.
Paul Deegan: What is your most treasured (non-musical) possession?
Angus Murray: My Palm Pilot digital assistant. I bought it a year ago. The Palm is great for keeping track of my sixteen musicians and crew when we are on tour. I have also used it for finding a replacement musician for a sick trombone player an hour before going on stage.
Paul Deegan: If you had to learn to play a new musical instrument, what would it be and why would you choose it?
Angus Murray: The bass. I love the sound of both the acoustic and electric bass. And the bass player gets to play those cool riffs that underpin so many great songs. Ilove 70s jazz funk where the bass player drives the whole band.
Paul Deegan: If you could spend one week on holiday in a place you have already visited, where would you go and why?
Angus Murray: The Fujiya Hotel in Hakone, near Tokyo. I visited Japan earlier this year and loved the tranquillity and peace of the Fujiya, the oldest hotel in Japan. It is situated high in the mountains and the views are stunning. Add hot spring water piped direct from the hills, wonderful walks and fantastic Japanese food and, well, its heaven.
Paul Deegan: Which one word best describes how you feel when you are making music?
Angus Murray: Uplifted.
Paul Deegan: If you raised £1000 for charity, who would you give it to?
Angus Murray: Sargent Cancer Care for Children. This charity financially supports families who have children suffering from cancer. The band has recently performed several benefit concerts for Sargent Cancer Care.
Paul Deegan: If music did not exist in any form, what job do you think you would do?
Angus Murray: I would like to be a psychologist. I am by nature fairly analytical, and so find the workings of the mind and soul very interesting. The power and influence of the subconscious mind is truly amazing.