Blesok no. 46, January-February, 2006
Interview with Innes Sibun
– Something about your musical beginnings, what got you into music?
Hearing BB King when I was 12 years old, I had to play the guitar when I heard him, then Freddie Albert Jimi etc. I'm still blown away by all these guys. Also Peter Green when he was in Fleetwood Mac, WOW?!!
– Your early influences were…
B.B. King, Albert King & Freddie King, but also soul stuff like Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin etc. I also listened to a lot of punk stuff like The Clash. Led Zeppelin and Free were also big influences.
– Who would you regard as your biggest influence so far?
I have to say again B.B., Albert & Freddie, the three kings and Peter Green.
– Is there anyone you would like to work with?
I would love to play a small blues club with B.B. King ,maybe we could get Stevie Wonder on piano.
One of my favorite soul bands ever were the Average White Band and last week I played at a Jimi Hendrix tribute gig in London with Hamish Stuart from the AWB which was a thrill, his voice is amazing. I wouldn't say no if Aretha Franklin asked me to play guitar for her either.
– What unfulfilled ambition do you have?
To play football for England. (ha ha)! I would also love to play in Macedonia!! I've been to Croatia & Slovenia & loved it, great PIVO?!!!!
– What was the first record you bought?
Ray Charles – Live At Newport. My first record was B.B. King – Live At The Regal but I had no money and was so desperate for it that I stole it from a shop I'm afraid to say. ( I was only 12).
– What was the last record you bought?
I bought 3 yesterday : The Magic Numbers CD, a 3-CD Gospel Collection and The Average White Band re-issue CD.
– Five desert island albums of your choice would be…
B.B. King – Live At The Regal.
Donny Hathaway – Live.
Stevie Wonder – Innervisions.
Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland.
and any Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac album
– Beside your material, which covers you usually do on stage?
Otis Rush – All My Love, Tampa Red – Don’t You Lie To Me, Willie Dixon – I'm Ready, Albert King – As The Years Go Passing By, B.B. King – Everyday I Have The Blues.
– What do you think about contemporary blues scene?
I think in the UK it's pretty healthy at the moment, I am on a label called Blues Matters here which is dedicated to putting new blues stuff out which is great. A lot of young people are getting fed up with manufactured music and like the rawness of the blues.
– Is it hard to get blues gigs in the States?
Yes, it's all down to money. We played in New York a few years ago with Peter Green but that was when I was with a U.S label.
– For a while you played with Robert Plant, what's your experience?
Amazing, we played a lot of Led Zeppelin stuff as well as Robert's solo material. I got to hook up with Buddy Guy and James Cotton in Chicago. We jammed down at Antone’s blues club in Austin Texas after our show and played with all sorts of people. We also toured in South America which was wild.
– You have shared the stage with some big names, any particular experience worth mentioning?
In Brazil I had food poisoning and we were playing a stadium in Sao Paulo when I realized I was going to be sick so I ran to the side of the stage and barfed just missing Joe Perry and Steven Tyler's feet.
– What fact about you would surprise the fans?
I love classical music, in particular Mahler and J.S. Bach. Also I love Mongolian throat singing.
– What is your current stage equipment (amp, etc.)?
I have a Gibson 335, a Fender Telecaster and a Stratocaster. I use a Mesa Boogie Blue Angel combo, a wah wah and a tube screamer pedal.
– Guitarists tend to build their guitar collections, what about you?
Well, my 335 is a 1968 model and my Telecaster is 1969 sunburst which is quite rare, I still use them live as I think guitars are for playing not for museums. My Strat. is made up of different bits but I love it.
– Something about your future plans?
Maybe make another record next year. Travel more, in May this year I went to Africa and heard some great music.
– Any tour in Europe in prospect?
We have some dates lined up in Belgium and Germany in June and July 2006 so we may be able to watch England win the world cup?!!! My website www.innessibun.com should have tour dates on.