banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

A Dirty Dozen with GIDEON KING from GIDEON KING & CITY BLOG – April 2020

| 19 April 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Creative destruction. That’s how Gideon King describes the process of making music with his all-star band, Gideon King & City Blog (GKCB), and it’s easy to hear why. The group’s remarkable new EP, Love Knot, is a musical wrecking ball, tearing down walls and obliterating convention as it forges its own exhilarating path through the worlds of jazz, rock, folk, and soul. Hinting at everything from Seal and Lianne La Havas to Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan, the collection is both sophisticated and accessible, weaving its way through unexpected changes with lush arrangements and addictive hooks. King’s gifts as a writer and instrumentalist are on full display here, but more than anything, Love Knot is a testament to the chemistry he’s able to generate with his bandmates in GKCB, an ever-evolving group whose virtuosity adds up to more than the sum of its parts.” We get Gideon himself to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

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

I’m hoping fans listen a few times and say they haven’t heard love songs like this before. I hope they find the lyrics to be different than most, abstract but relatable at the same time. I hope they hear what an amazing bunch of musicians make up GKCB, and I hope they can’t come up with a tidy genre description for the music.  Also, if you listen to the tunes backwards there are a number of soup recipes that are laid out in detail.

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

My brothers and sisters got me into music. My brother is a world class jazz musician. Listening to him smoke the piano was inspirational. My sisters listened to hippie music. I would not admit to my bro that I loved this music, but the truth is Neil Young’s lyrics truly have literary merit. Also, my parents loved classical music which definitely engaged me, although admitting that to my friends who liked hip hop and Pink Floyd was not in the cards. I always wanted to be a musician at some level. But when I was 9 years old and I picked up a guitar and felt the resonance and the mystery of mistakes and creation, I knew this was a lifelong love affair. I’m not sure I am actually a musician. Depends on what it means to be a musician. I lack certain technical skills that might disqualify me. Whatever.

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

Steely Dan albums: Aja, Royal Scam. Neil Young lyrics on “Thrasher.” Dylan lyrics and finger picking on the whole album Blood On The Tracks. Sonic landscape of Seal’s album Kissed by A Rose. Pat Metheny’s Still Life (Talking). Snoop Dog… I love everything he does. Kacey Musgraves’ songwriting. But to answer your question without the abusive volume (sorry about that), Steely Dan is my greatest influence.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Steely Dan, Pat Metheny, Neil Young, Prokofiev, Snoop Dog, John Scofield, The Eagles, Amy Winehouse, and Hendrix. Sorry that is seven musical influences. Don’t punish me. Okay fine It’s eight. Nine really.

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

This question is downright disconcerting. Even unfair. I object. There are so many folks I would love to do a tune with. Hendrix. Barbara Streisand. Lianne La Havas. Fine, it’s your bat and your ball so I will answer: I think I would ask for Bono to sing one of my songs with Amy Winehouse (if she were alive). It would be a duet. Yes, yes, I know this is a decadent answer to your question, undisciplined in the extreme, but shit, at least I answered. Why? Because they are, and were. two of the most expressive and unique singers ever, and if I could write a song with good emotional content and some poetic merit it would be beyond fucking cool to have them bring themselves to it.

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?

Maybe pop fusion? Maybe pop folk funk fusion? Jazz? Not sure. One reviewer called it “easy listening” a few years back. Clearly they didn’t listen to the lyrics and music and should be killed.  As you can see, I am over it and was not at all affected by the language used. I’m too secure to be impacted by a review. NOT! And for the record, that was a joke not a death threat. I’m not murderous, just sensitive – but in today’s polite society a simple joke can be turned into a controversy.

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

I get the drinks. We do get drunk sometimes. We order in food and then pick away at the grub at a central table. It’s a little frightening, like feeding time at the Serengeti.  To be honest, we don’t really have singalongs. We all have musical Attention Deficit Disorder so anybody can kind of play a tune which triggers a kind of nonchalant communal recognition and then the moment is over. Maybe if we had campfires we would uncontrollably lurch into singalong mode, but we are not a campfire type of band. Is that bad? Should I disband the unit?

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

When I saw John Scofield play at the Cubby Bear in Chicago in 1990. When I saw Neil Young solo at the Garden. When I saw Seal at the Beacon. When I saw Michael Jackson at his 50th birthday thing. When I saw Pat Metheny at Ravinia. When I saw Michael Jordan dunk a basketball. When I sat court side to watch Roger Federer play tennis at the U.S. Open. When I saw Kurt Rosenwinkel at the Village Vanguard. When I watch Jude Law act every time. When I saw Robin Williams live in concert; one of the great geniuses ever. Not when artists start to talk about politics.

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 would like to be constantly inheriting large sums of money from unknown sources and then write mediocre poetry.  It would be fun to do a talk show like Letterman where you are simply not nice to the guests unless they actually are literate human beings.

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?

I would like to be asked who my favorite author is and who my favorite athlete is. Melville and Federer. Question I am tired of being asked is what is next for GKCB.  Who the fuck knows and that is a lot of pressure. Makes past efforts seem trifling.

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?

Yes. Some of my long meandering fusion tunes are lame. Also, I have said some really weird stuff to crowds which I can’t seem to account for intellectually or psychologically. Also, I keep saying Steely Dan is my biggest influence; even though its true it makes me seem old. Maybe  I should say Post Malone now.

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?

Shit, I am going to mention Steely Dan again. I am like some high-pitched frequency that rings in the ear.  Being part of Aja would have been amazing. Arguably the greatest album I have ever heard. Also, would love to have written that duet Kid Rock and Crow sang, “Picture.” Wait, I take it all back – being there for Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil would have been amazing. Wait, Jimi Hendrix “Fire.” That’s the one.





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.

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad