Musical Journeymen

I left last week’s story, with describing a Singer/Songwriter that was both highly talented and humble.  This week, we will continue with that Artist, Mr. Nick Gilder.  In my latest conversation with Nick, when he talks about his career, that humbleness is front and centre.  His tone is one of wonderment in regards to the success he and James McCulloch achieved in the early days with Sweeney Todd, and then on to the solo track.  “…Jim and I both moved down to Los Angeles, …started to work on records…but it was the “City Nights” record that was really built around what was essentially a live band, a performing live band again.”  During this time, both musicians did what came naturally.  They were performing musicians, and they just played whenever and wherever they could in the LA area…building up their material and following.  Around this time, Nick also started to write material that was used by other Artists…a song that was a single for Nick-“Rated X” was also covered by Pat Benatar…and again around this time another one of Nick’s songs-“She’s A Star” made some chart impacts in Canada.  Then came “Hot Child In The City”—“…but it was really Hot Child that was the really big…cemented the success for me, I think…and it did go to number one.”  As we continued to talk, Nick became more of a commentator on someone else’s career success!  Yes, he mentioned that “Hot Child In The City” reached number one, on all the charts, and that he was the recipient of a Juno Award, actually more than one, —however all in a very humble way, actually being amazed that this all happened to him! 

We move on to his involvement now, as a musician, and he doesn’t see himself as anything but a hard working guy, sharing and being thankful that he can still do all of this.  Again, keeping with his nature…he is proud of what he and his musical mates have achieved, but he also is aware of how hard it is to maintain such momentum in today’s music business.  He loves to play, hence the touring and appearances that he is so fond of doing.  Nick Gilder will be appearing this Saturday…and with a great band to surround him.  Yes, we will hear “Roxy Roller”, and “Hot Child In The City” and other Gilder gems…but we will also hear some of his newer material…this is a concert worth going out for, an evening with Nick Gilder, James McCulloch and the Sweeney Todd group!

 I am reserving the full in-depth interview with Nick for another time, on this column, in it, Nick will talk about his whole career, his views on the industry and where he would like to go in the future…so to end this section, it must be the same way as last week:  Nick Gilder-a true musical craftsman delivering passionate musical gems-both old and new, to a level that we can expect from one that came up in the most prolific time of modern music—the 1970’s!

 Speaking of the 1970’s, here is an excerpt from an interview I did with some thoughts from one of today’s hottest Rock Vocalists out of Europe:

Question: Let me get on with it, “Traveller” seems a bit more diversified. Is this due to your new writing partner, Trond Holter?

Answer: Trond definitely brought something fresh to the band, and the title track 'Traveller' is a good example. At the same time there are some elements that stick to the old recipe, 'Overload' and 'Cancer Demon' was written by myself, but Trond really added some fantastic guitar arrangements that only he can present Another important thing is Trond's talent for melody, he is one of very few guitar players with the ability to spot a great melody in seconds. Most players need to analyze and experiment with combinations before they end up with a solo, guitar signature, or riff, but Trond is a walking databank of music. I'm pretty much the same, always an idea popping up when I turn my composer antenna on.

Q: Two great music men have joined you, the aforementioned Trond, and Bassist Bernt Jansen, both from Wig Wam. Is it safe to say that the complexion of the band has also changed?

A: The band is tighter than ever and both Trond and Bernt have a very distinct "in your face" way of playing. They have definitely added their colors and brought more definition to the Jorn sound.

Q: You have also combined Trond’s production talents with your own.  The result?—fantastic! Obviously, you are happy with the end result?

A: Yeah, it's great not to be alone with every detail of the production. Me and Tommy Hansen are a great team, but we are not guitar players and it helps a lot to have Trond focused on guitars plus his opinion on things.

Q: With the team as it stands now, are you more relaxed in the recording process?

A: For sure. It's great not having to concentrate on everything myself, for the first time I've had a chance to leave the studio during the mix, while Trond and Tommy worked on for example guitar details.

Q: “Traveller” works on so many levels, so I must ask, do you feel that this record shows more sides of Jorn Lande than we have been able to see before?

A: No, I personally don't think it's that much different from what I've done in the past. But you could say I'm bringing in some elements that haven't been that clear on the last few Jorn releases. Back in the day I used to experiment a bit more with my singing style and expression, I guess it was because I was influenced by a variety of music styles and genres when I grew up. The 70's especially was a melting pot of great music, and I was influenced by a big variety of styles. I loved Kansas, Jethro Tull, Nazareth, Sweet, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep and the list goes on and on, but at the same time I also loved artists such as Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Little River Band, 10cc, Eagles etc. The thing is, you just cannot deny that artists like Abba and Elvis were great, even if you’re a person with a selective musical taste, you’re probably just bored and looking for an argument if you wish to argue on that. All types of music that made me feel and identify have colored me as an artist, I guess there were more artists statistically back then with a stronger presence compared to today. People seemed to reflect more on life and channel their inner views through the music in a more natural way. Of course, the record industry always wanted a good song with radio potential, but making music in general seemed to be more personal, and less controlled by trends. Bands would sometimes compromise by giving the record company one song that could be a single, but today I think artists are fabricating their concept in a more calculated way from the beginning, taking the whole business too much into consideration before creating a product. The results are many album releases that sound the same, since so many are using the same programs and digital work tools to make their music. It's a world of digital copycats.

Under The Lights

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

Doc Willouby’s Downtown Pub:    Rude City Riot:   July 19th    

The Grateful Fed:    ‘Hippiecritz’  ‘Heroin Hayride’  ‘The Cleaners’:   July 19th    

The Streaming Café:   Harlan Pepper:  July 20th 


Notable Concerts:    

Edgewater Inn (Peachland)  Headpins & the Flu:  July 19th 

Summer Stomp ’13 (Sicamous)---Headpins  July 20th 

Dancin’ Barefoot Music Festival- Peachland :   Nick Gilder & Sweeney Todd: July 20th                 

South Okanagan Events Centre (Penticton):   Alan Jackson: August 3rd   Bad Company:  September 14th 

Peach Festival  Penticton:  Honeymoon Suite:   August 8th                 

…if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!.....

More Under the Lights articles

About the Author

We call him the Professor of Rock: With a career in music, television and media arts spanning 30 years, Atkinson knows music. He's traveled as a professional musician and he loves Rock 'N Roll. He is a music journalist who writes internationally for Frontier Records' Melodic Rock magazine and he owns FBA International a multifaceted management, consulting, promotional entity.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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