Chris Kuroda Still Shines (Part One)
Early last week, Jeff Waful, Umphrey’s McGee lighting director spent some time on the phone with Phish’s l.d., Chris Kuroda. Here is the portion of their conversation that focused on Super Ball IX and ran in Ball Things Reconsidered. The dialogue also took a serious turn as you’ll discover next week in Part Two.
Ok, so I know you can’t give away any specifics, but take us through the process of preparing for this weekend. How long ago did you start making plans for this weekend, how involved are the four band members in that process, are they in the room when you’re having these meetings?
CK: The four band members are involved in everything all the time. I mean that’s just the way it is. They want to know everything. They trust their people to make it good. They trust their people to come up with good ideas. They trust everybody around them implicitly to make it be 100% successful. But on a communicative level, they are aware of every idea. We might like an idea. They might like a different one. If they like a different one, they’re going to let us know. This is their business. This is their world and they know it. And they very properly and very respectfully and very politely work with all of us to get their vision of what they want to see happening as close as possible.
And that’s very unique for a band of that size.
CK: Oh it’s very unique. And oftentimes they’ll have an idea and while a week ago an idea will just be an idea, then they’ll give it to all of us for a week and it goes from an idea to being the same idea but with 800 more details that have been fine-tuned and polished and improved. It works out really well.
I could go on for days and days and days telling you how great these guys are as people, the four band members, how great they are as musicians, but more about how they are as people and how they treat everyone around them with so much respect and they don’t boss anybody around in the conventional sense. The way they handle themselves and conduct themselves as people, I’ve never seen anything like it, honestly. I don’t even mean bands, I mean just people that you know in your life.
Trey has some human qualities that I know very few people have. And the way he treats people and talks to people and explains himself to people. It’s such a gentle, delicate, amazing way that somehow commands a ton of authority in a very unconventional sense. It makes you want to do whatever he wants you to do, as impossible as it sounds. Because you talked to him directly and he didn’t have the tour manager tell you. He decided to tell you himself. When he’s done telling you something you want nothing more than to do it for him 100% even if it’s going to kill you. That’s the kind of person he is as a human being. I could go on for days and days, just the piles of respect that I have for these guys in that sense, forget about being musicians.
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Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
Ron Sexsmith visits the Relix office to perform a tune from his latest record Forever Endeavor.
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