Blesok no. 24, January-February, 2002
Interview with Scott Henderson
I'm one of those guys who thinks everything I've done in the past is crap
1 Tell me more about your musical beginings, like when did you start to play, was guitar your first instrument?
-I started when I was around 10 – liked what I was hearing on the radio -Hendrix, Zeppelin, etc, and that inspired me to start playing guitar
2. Was there any musical tradition in your family, so that you could proceed with it sort of natural?
My dad had an accoustic guitar that he played for fun so there was always a guitar in the house
3. Who were your earliest influences and did they define your musical path?
Hendrix, Beck, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore. They didn't really define my path but they taught me to play the guitar through listening to them
4. Are you a self taught musician or somebody taught you the basics of your instrument or maybe you have taken some music course at the time?
I'm self taught until college – then I took music courses and then studied at GIT in 1980
5. Which time period do you consider personally as the most satisfying for you as musician or you think it's still to come?
Still to come I hope
6. You seem to have three ways of musical expression these days, one with Tribal Tech, one with Vital Tones and the blues one. How do you manage to do that, do you find so much inspiration to express yourself through these projects at the same time?
Tribal Tech doesn't really work that much – just one album every 18 months and one Europe tour a year. VTT is only a studio project and each album ony took 10 days each and I don't play live with them. My main gig is the trio, which I'm on the road a lot with, and we will go in the studio for a new record this month
7. Who were, if any, your guitar heroes when you started out and why?
All those guys I mentioned and the reason is just that they're really good
8. Do you have any favorite players, not necessarily guitarists at the moment?
I like Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Mike Landau, John Scofield – many many more
9. What do you think about the current music scene that you're involved with, is it progressing and how do you project it in the future?
I can't really comment on that – I really have no idea about stuff like that. This is a hard business to play non-commercial music and try make a living at it and it probably always will be
10. Could you name your five “desert island” albums?
Birds of Fire – Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Nitefly – Donald Fagen
Atlantis – Wayne Shorter
Night Passage – Weather Report
Band of Gypsys – Jimi Hendrix
11. Since you also play the blues, are you familiar with the current bluesscene or you prefer to do it without too much of its influence?
I know nothing about the current blues scene
12. Your top five favorite guitar players and why?
Jeff Beck – great phrasing and tone
John Scofield – great songs and jazz lines
Michael Landau – great modern hendrix style guitar
Alan Holdsworth – amazing technique and tone
Stevie Ray Vaughan – great feel and tone
13. How and where do you get inspiration for writing music?
I'm never inspired to write music. I don't like having an exuse for not writing like “oh it's been a hard week – I'm not inspired to write”. I just do it because it's my job – I do it whether I feel like it or not. I've written some of my best stuff on days where I didn't really feel like doing it
14. Do you think that musicians have complete freedom to create music or music industry in a way dictates how it should be done and where it should go?
Depends on what kind of deal you have with your label – I imagine in the pop world it's really hard. I've always had 100% artistic freedom with the record companies I've worked with. I guess I've been lucky
15. Are you satisfied with what you've achieved as a musician so far or believe that you still have a lot ideas to create music in the future?
I'm one of those guys who thinks everything I've done in the past is crap.I like my records for about 6 months after I make them. Then I never want to hear them again. I still like Rocket Science, but probably for a couple more months.
16. Being so involved with music, do you get enough time for family life?
Family what? Just kidding – well, Sanja says we should go on vacation…
17. Fans in Macedonia know that your wife Sanja is from Skopje, how did you meet her?
We met at La Ve Lee, a club I play at here in LA.
I want to see where she grew up and meet her dad and see her mom again
19. I understand you are also an animal lover and have several dogs at home?
20. Dou you have your own recording studio or do recordings somewhere else?
I have a studio at home – digital recording
21. Guitar players usually have collection of guitars, how about you? What models do you have and which do you use most?
I use John Suhr guitars but I also have a Les Paul and some Danelectro guitars.
22. What is your basic studio and stage equipment?
All that stuff is on my web page at www.scotthenderson.net
23. What are your future plans in music?
Finish this record and get back on the road!
24. Looking forward to meet you in Macedonia soon!