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Paul Hardcastle interview page 2

Smitty:  I mean, you’re known as a great instrumentalist, but then you started to incorporate some vocals, great vocals I might add. What was the motivation there bringing in the vocals because everybody knew you for your great instrumentality, you know?

PH:  Yeah, well, number one, I wanna be so straight with you here.

Smitty:  (Laughs.)

PH:  A whole album of just me sometimes, I get bored with myself.

Smitty:  (Laughs.)

PH:  You know, I really do, because I’ve done a lot of them now. And with Helen (Rogers), I mean, we’ve sort of used her voice really as like another instrument.  It wasn’t sort of in your face all the time, and I just think it worked.  It added color to the project and I think that when I put some vocal tracks on an album, it doesn’t have to basically sort of make it not sort of fit.  It just depends on how you use the vocals and so I just thought it would make it a better album, and I think it does.

Smitty:  I totally agree.

PH:  I would prefer to listen to an album with some instrumentals and some vocals just to break it up.

Smitty:  Yes.  Well, you couldn’t have selected anyone better than Helen Rogers, let me tell ya.  Wow, she’s such an incredible singer. 

PH:  Yeah, she’s good, Helen. I’m working with another girl for Hardcastle V, a girl called Becky, who’s a really good singer as well so I like finding different sax players and different vocalists. It keeps me fresh.

Smitty: Absolutely, my friend.

PH: A few years ago I went out and bought a saxophone. I thought, well, I’m gonna play this, and then after a while, I thought, why am I doing it?  Because, you know, I’ll end up just becoming a hermit.

Smitty:  (Laughs.)

PH:  You know, I’ll never see anyone again, so I gave that to my son and he’s actually doing very, very, very well on it.

Smitty:  Oh wow.

PH:  He likes sort of the Smooth Jazz sort of thing.  He’s only 16 but he’s already sounding very, very good, so I’m sure in two or three years’ time he’ll be on an album and it’ll be Paul Hardcastle all over again.

Smitty:  Wow.  Very cool, man.  So we’ll just have to tell Snake (Davis) to have a seat.  (Both laughing.)

PH:  Well, the thing is, it’s like, to be honest with you, though, I think Paul will have his own career anyway….so that’s pretty good.  I mean, Snake’s a great guy.

Smitty:  Yeah.

PH:  He’s a very nice guy, so I like to have fun with people, you know.

Smitty:  Yeah, and Snake is one of my favorite sax players.  I was telling Les Cutmore the other day how much I admire Snake and would love to have on for a conversation soon.

PH:  Sure.

Smitty:  And we’ve talked off and on whenever he comes to The States, but I would love to sit down and just interview him and talk about his career because he’s an incredible player.

PH:  Yeah, he’s very good, Snake, but as I said, the best thing about him is he’s a nice guy.

Smitty: Yeah.

PH:  And the thing is, in the studio you could have the best person playing in the world, but if you don’t get on with him or whatever, then it’s just pointless, really.

Smitty:  Yeah, absolutely.

PH:  And that’s the main thing, when he comes over we know that we’re always gonna have a laugh in the studio and have a good time, have a few beers and stuff and just relax, and the thing is with me, see, I mean, I’m a different sort of person when it comes to producing.  I’ll have a melody line for him and if he doesn’t get each note, you know, he’ll play it in his own way.  I just say “Go ahead” whereas most people stick to their guns.  I don’t.  I’m very easygoing.

Smitty:  Yeah, I love that.

PH:  It makes it more fun.

Smitty:  It does, a whole lot more fun.  Well, I must tell you my favorite Paul Hardcastle song.

PH:  Okay.

Smitty:  “Heaven.”

PH:  Oh, okay.

Smitty:  That is a kickin’ track.

PH:  Yeah, off the first album.

Smitty:  Yeah, Jazzmasters I.

PH:  Yeah, there’s a few tracks on there that I like.  I mean, that was the first vocal track that we did with Helen.

Smitty:  Yes.

PH:  So there you go.  So now you know why I did sort of use vocals.

Smitty:  Yeah, I totally get it.

PH:  There’s that, there’s “Lost Summer” and “Northern Lights” stick out for me off of that first album.

Smitty:  Yeah, fantastic tracks! I also love “Body Heat.”  Oh, man!  There all good!

PH:  That seems like an eternity ago when we recorded all that stuff.

Smitty:  (Laughs.)  Yes, time flies.  Well, man, let’s talk about this new record Jazzmasters V record and first off, I want to thank you on behalf of all of your fans….and there’s millions of them….thank you for Track 10, “World in Action.”  Man, we have been waiting so long for such a great long (over ten minutes) song.

PH:  Right.

Smitty: You delivered! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played that song. 

PH:  Well, thank you.  I mean, see, there again I’ve sort of gone out on a…if you listen to the track, say, halfway through, it changes into a totally different groove.

Smitty:  Yes.

PH:  And that’s what Paul Hardcastle’s all about.  I’m not just someone that likes to just sort of repeat something and then repeat it again five minutes later.  I mean, that track, I thought, well, how can I really take this off into a totally different vibe, and what I did, I just took all the stuff off and then I just kept the bass and the drums, and I thought, well, okay, I’m gonna change every chord, I’m gonna change every sound, and then I brought it all back in later on, so it holds together quite well.  I was a bit worried that maybe this is quite self-indulgent.

Smitty:  Yes, and I tell you, that’s a song that you could just get lost in and go so many places.

PH: (Laughs).

Smitty: And it’s great for traffic.

PH:  Right (Laughs).

Smitty:  You know, when you’re stuck in traffic, what a track.  It just makes you not worry about the traffic or anything else.  You’re just grooving with it.

PH:  Yeah, I wrote about it and explained this, but that bit in the middle of the song, it just reminds me of like a sort of Indian reservation type of sound. It’s all these sort of fluty type of things going on in there.

Smitty:  Yeah.

PH:  And I did go to Vegas last year and I went over the Grand Canyon, and that sort of gave me a bit of an inspiration, yeah.  So there you go.  Maybe the Grand Canyon’s what inspired me to do that one.

Smitty:  Hey, very cool.  Well, that’s a great place to visit too.

PH:  Yeah, yeah, we had a great time there.

Smitty:  Yeah, and also the track, “Free as the Wind.”

PH: Yes.

Smitty:  Great track and I just love that one.  That’s gotta be a number one track.

PH:  Well, oh, do you mean chartwise?

Smitty:  Yes.

PH:  Oh, it is.

 

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