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A Dirty Dozen with OTABEK SALAMOV of NEEDSHES – May 2019

According to a recent press release: “NEEDSHES, are proud to share their brand new album, Truth Power, out via AWAL. The 10-track album is infused with a signature alternative rock foundation, with glistening elements of blues, funk, soul, punk and R&B. Lead vocalist Otabek Salamov (Beck) conceptualized the album by intertwining the power of truth and how truth is power. Throughout, the listener will discover hidden metaphors, life stories, and easy-to-follow imagery underlying within the collection.” We get singer Otabek to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We like to put information between the lines and make people think. We’ve connected the name and concept of our album with an ancient story of our great ancestor. This is a story which inspired me throughout my life from early childhood. In my country, it is what every child must know, it’s a matter of national proud. We’ll reveal it on our socials after the release so head to our page now for details. If you look closely in the album cover, you may find a few hidden messages. Every object has its own historical meaning and a huge importance, that is personal to me. The lyrics have many treasures too, but I think you’d better find it yourself.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

There was no specific moment when I immediately realized something like that. I have been playing music all my life, since childhood. I started to play the piano at the age of four and by the age of ten, I already had several of my own compositions for piano. Then I studied as a clarinetist at Music Academic Lyceum in Tashkent. And one day I just decided to create my own band. So as you can see, me and music were always together.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

World music has greatly influenced my musical taste. I listen to different genres but most of all I am keen on rock music. I grew up listening to my uncle playing guitar and listening to all this great stuff like The Doors, Rolling Stones, David Bowie and so on. So I think I soaked up an interest to this genre because of him.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

James Brown, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Jack White, The Killers.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I would be happy to be one of James Brown’s drums or work with Amy Winehouse. As for the duets or collaborations, I’m not a big fan of it. Only one duet song coming to my mind which I love is “Under Pressure”.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would describe our music as a “soundtrack to life”. In more detail, we are multi-genre rock band, concentrated on solid songwriting and lyrics with a message. I don’t like when people compare me with anybody at all or think that different songs or artists can really compete with each other. There shouldn’t be competition. One song can’t become worse just because you found another one. They both exist, each one with its own characteristics and music fans. So please don’t compare creators of music. They don’t deserve it.


7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We mostly meet as a band during rehearsals, music video shoots or discussions of our future plans, i.e. when there is a valid reason to get together. We don’t like spend time hanging out with no reason, except for something special like a New Year party or somebody’s birthday. Then we can all cook and drink together to celebrate. That’s a lot of fun! We don’t usually arrange singalong when it comes to relax time.

8. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

It was Lenny Kravitz with his album “Raise Vibration”. I’ve found it really well crafted.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I adore the science in all its manifestations. I really admire people involved in it. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to start a path of scientist at the middle age when you’re not so young. But I would like to. I can’t imagine any other occupations for me except for my music. It’s my mission and I will never refuse it for whatever reason.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

We are a little bit tired of answering to “What does the name of the band mean?” People always want to find some linkage, consistencies. It’s in our nature. It’s difficult to imagine that something can exist with no special reason. The question I would be happy to hear is “How have you managed to make all this stuff”?) It’s funny but I don’t have any answers for it.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I would not make any changes in my past.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I wish I was the one who recorded Vera Hall “Trouble So Hard” which Moby used later in his “Natural Blues”. By the way, I think he is a genius, without him we could never hear this masterpiece.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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