Monday, August 16, 2010

Interview - Rusty Anderson - The Paul McCartney Band - Consol Energy Center - 8/17 & 8/18 - Pittsburgh - Show Preview

Rusty Anderson is the lead guitarist for The Paul McCartney Band who will be performing this Wednesday and Thursday to open the Consol Engergy Center. Anderson has been touring and creating music with McCartney since early 2001. He has contributed and recorded on several of McCartney's previous albums including Driving Rain and Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. He is also on several of McCartney's live dvd's.While Rusty is well known as a contributing member to several acts he also produces and creates his own music.

Anderson just recently released his second solo album entitled Born On Earth. The album ranges from power pop to jangly folk with driving guitar rifts. The song and lyrics are melodic, influenced by several of his peers he has played with. Rusty was kind enough to answer a few questions about his new album Born on Earth and what we can expect when the Consol Energy Center opens on Wednesday.

Where Would We Go by Rusty Anderson

How did working with Paul Mccartney come about?

A producer that I'd worked with a lot, David Kahne, brought Abe and I in to record with Paul in 2001. We started doing shows and now it's been almost a decade.

Your new album Born on Earth (out 8/3) is 5 years since your first solo album. Why the long break?

There are a few reasons actually. Fitting the writing and recording time in between working with Paul slows things down quite a bit. Also, as a solo artist making a record, there are many choices to be made and I want it to be right. Following your muse is not always a quick process.

Your album is a conceptual record. Could you explain what the album is about? What made you decide to create it?

The concept chose me, actually. The fact that we are living in the digital age with computers, airplanes, satellites, oil spills & climate shift seems to me against all odds. Of all the times that we could be alive on this little planet here we are! The lyrics float between a birds eye view of our situation and my personal, slice of life experiences. As the songs started coming together I noticed a pattern and that's how the tapestry came out!

What album or show made you want to dedicate your life to music?

It was never a conscious decision. When I was 5 my older brother Mike passed away at age 19 (he was the oldest and I was the youngest) right about the same time my older sister Hope was playing Beatles records and it hooked me instantly. From there I listened to Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, early Genesis, etc. but my focus on music became tunnel-visioned. If I didn't have music I don't know what the hell I'd be doing now. Looking back I think I preferred the intangible, beautiful, gritty, ineffable world of music to anything else.

Your music career has stretched many decades now. Is there a highlight and lowlight that you have experienced?

So many highlights: playing live gigs with Paul McCartney at the Colosseum or with the Rusty Anderson Band at a theater or even my first official teenage band Eulogy, writing or tracking a song and feeling the excitement of a new creation coming into existence.....I feel so blessed.

I've had many bad times too - bands breaking up, the realization that something isn't working and scary things are around the corner, getting fired from a warehouse job and having no money, doing a record company showcase and finding out that they passed, trying to work in the studio after a relationship goes south. I've gone through long periods of depression.

Will you be doing a solo tour on supporting the album?

I did an LA show for the record release. I'd love to do some more dates. I'm just waiting to find out the Paul schedule to start booking them. It's a quality problem, right?

You are performing 2 shows in Pittsburgh. How different will the shows be?

You'll find out.

You have been performing with Paul McCartney for quite sometime. Have things changed in that time with performance and how you contribute to albums?

It's always in flux and unpredictable.

Did you have help in creating the album or were these mainly fleshed out by you?

Yes, I love making music with others. Many of the songs are co-writes....usually consisting of me having most of the song together but the lyrics were unfinished or sometimes starting from a lyrical theme as in Julia Roberts. I also co-produced it with Petur Smith, Andrew Murdock and Curt Schneider.

This will be Pittsburgh’s first show at the new Consol Energy Coliseum (big deal her in pgh). Is there anything special planned? What can we expect?

That's a good question.

Do you perform with McCartney abroad as well? Or just US? Who else do you perform with?

Yes, all over the world. Between playing and recording with my own band and everything with Paul my time is very filled up. I did produce an alt-folk band called The Scarlet Furies recently and squeezed in some guitar studio dates here and there.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

Yes, I can't wait to see what kind of noise y'all make. And check out the Born On Earth record....see what you think!