• West Coast Music

    As the name indicates West Coast Music has its origin on the American West Coast. The music emphasizes melody, harmonies and arrangements, and the vocal and instrumental performances are always with great skill and of high quality. The music is often performed by pop/rock artists from the American West Coast, but is in no way limited to any geografical area.

By Sune Schack

Welcome (back) to Denmark, David… ;o)

Thank you!

We’re really looking forward to this show tonight…

Oh, thank you so much…

Yeah, big stuff for this particular music scene and, of course, for the “Engqvist Orkester” and the fans here, right…?

Yeah! Thank you again. Really! It’s great.

David, you’re 45, right?

Yeah!

All of a sudden you ‘break through’ here in Scandinavia… now with the Danish guys… why? Why are you doing this? ;o)

I was over here twice last year, and I get a lot of support and have a lot of friends here. I had the interest to come back more and do some more different gigs. I got invited to this jazz festival as a special guest, so I thought ‘great’, I’ll definitely do it…

Henrik Engqvist invited you to Aalborg Jazz Festival, right?

Yeah, that’s right!

Did you know him from LA? He’s been on MI… and he’s probably seen you loads of times playing live with the LA gang at different venues…

Yeah, actually he’s been to some gigs, and we’ve crossed paths a few times. I really didn’t know him by name…However, he contacted me and invited me to come play here at the jazz festival; and I thought that would be a great chance to experience something new, play with some new people…

Great! And here you are – again… That’s brilliant! This time it’s not only a gig or 2, this is almost a ‘Garfield mini tour’, right?

He-he… Yeah! A short tour… One week.

…And do you like it? So far?

Yeah! I like it very much!

New things, new experiences…?

Yeah! I’ve seen a few new talents that I haven’t actually heard of before, and I’m really looking forward to playing here in Copenhagen. You know, because this is a city that I have played in, and I really get the feel that there’s a lot of stuff goin’ on around here.

Yes, that’s true… A lot of jazz/fusion here… You came to the right place ;o)…

Yeah, I know. Great stuff!

I saw you the last time (April 2001) with Karizma at Amager Bio – where you did some recording for the live CD ‘Document’ … It was great!

Yeah, thank you so much. It was really nice playing here in Copenhagen. The audience is amazing! Really! Thanks!

David, I get the feeling that this ‘small tour’ is kind of the launch for you here in Denmark/Scandinavia… that you’re actually planning to do a lot more here in Copenhagen in the future? New musicians? More gigs?

Yeah! Really! I’m gonna do some extensive touring here, that’s my plan. New gigs, new musicians. A lot of my own stuff too…

Great! So this is really part of a bigger ‘Garfield Scandinavian strategy’…?

Yeah… he-he… I hope! I’m gonna tour a lot here and do some things around Europe, but definitely a lot here in Scandinavia – and especially here in Denmark.

Yeah! It’s quite simple, isn’t it… West coast music, LA style and instrumental jazz fusion is very popular over here in Scandinavia/Europe. TOTO, Steve Lukather, Lobotomys, Karizma, and you… I’d say maybe all of you LA guys are a lot more ‘appreciated’ over here, right?

Yeah! I guess so…Really!…

Another guy, not living in LA anymore, Michael Ruff, one of your keyboard ‘colleagues’… He’s been focusing quite a lot on the Scandinavian market… He’s extremely popular in Sweden. And with very hardcore loyal fans here in Denmark, perhaps Norway too… Did you know that?

Yeah, I know… That’s great. The response and the audience is amazing here… You guys really listen to every note we play – and I feel you get kind of immediate pay back on everything… Copenhagen is a great place!

A lot of very loyal fans here in Denmark, do you feel that…?

Yeah! I do. It’s really nice.

David, what about your company: Creatchy Productions… How’s it goin’?

Excellent! I’m working on a new record right now. Brand new record… 12 new songs…

How many artists doin’ something right now?

Actually, right now, I’m not really producing anybody, other than my own projects… But there’s a band that I’m going to produce, called ‘Potato Salad’. They started out as kind of a Lobotomy’s coverband… you know, all the Lobotomys and Karizma stuff. They’re a trip! They had me come out playing with them as a special guest. They’re great. They have their own original stuff that I’m probably gonna produce… But yeah, I don’t actually have any plans to produce other artists… It’s interesting, I’ve been trying to take care of my own stuff, you know…

That’s good… 😉

Yeah! It’s great. He-he… Because I have so many CDs that I’ve put out over the years that need to be available… 6 Karizma CDs, 5 under my own name, there’s a Lobotomy CD – all these different things I need to keep available to the public…

Yeah, and also a lot more fun producing yourself, isn’t it…?

Yeah, sure… 😉

Your 45 th birthday party, David… Saw it on your website…. Great party at the La Ve Le club?

Yeah!!! Oh yeah, we had a great gig!

A lot of music and friends?

Yeah, unbelievable… Steve Lukather, Bill Champlin, Freddy Washington. And Jay Graydon came down, he was in the audience… we were trying to get him to sit in, and it was fun ’cause we played ‘Turn your love around’ – and all three writers of that song were in the house…

Great!… David, call Steve Lukather when you get home… Find a drummer and a bass player (I’d take Gregg Bisonette/Vinnie Colaiuta and probably Mike Porcaro/Jimmy Johnson – and come settle here in Europe/Scandinavia…. You’ve got a lot fans here… Just do it! ;o)

He-he… Yeah, I know. Would be great! I’ll think about it ;o)…

Great… We’d like that. Ask Kenneth Bremer, Henrik Bohm, my west coast superiors from www.bluedesert.dk, they’d say the same ;o)… David, how much do you know about Denmark or the Danish/Scandinavian music scene? You’ve been here how many times during the last year?

5 times the last year. That’s pretty amazing. I really like that! Unfortunately, I don’t know that much about the country, but I noticed that the audience here is really attented listeners! Very, very educated – musically. Which is impressive… and quite extraordinary… I went to the jazzhouse (Copenhagen Jazzhouse), it was great! So great here!

Big difference between playing here and in LA?

Yeah!

The audience at the LA venues: Baked Potato, Le Ve Le club, etc. A lot of musicians stopping by and a lot of ‘musical friends’, right?

Yeah, we have musicians, we have musical friends… We have a lot of people come from out of town… And definitely a lot of local people who really love this music… Yeah, a lot of people; just great music fans… people that just like good music. LA is a great music town! So many people living there…

Yeah, kind of a musical ‘playground’, right?

Right… This is where we can put our ideas together, test them out in front of people…

Yeah, that’s what we like… Fusion beyond control ;o) I’d still say you’ve got great chances these days here in Europe within this special music scene… Bring some LA friends, and you’re ‘on’ over here ;o)…

Great. Thanks, man! I’m really hoping that we have a good turnout tonight… You know, I’d love to come back over here and do some extensive work. With the repertoire that we’re doing now it’s great.

However, I usually do my own stuff, some of the stuff from the CDs, and I’ve got a lot of brand new stuff – all original and everything. It’s much more ‘accessible’, I think. Some of the stuff we’ve done over the years has been a little bit more fusion, and I think the stuff I’m doin’ now is a little more groove oriented…

Yeah, which is really good, ’cause you’ll probably get a lot more non-musicians or ‘ordinary mainstream listeners’ to listen too, right?

Exactly! Yeah, and women too!!! ;o) Women are allergic to fusion ;o)… he-he…

Yeah, that’s right… Only very few knows what is really good!

David, as a keyboard player myself, I notice your very jazzy approach, but also a lot of latin, fusion and especially R&B and funk…

Yeah, I’ve got a lot of R&B and funk roots, that’s right…

Just melt together some fusion/acid jazz with hardcore 70s funk ;o)…

Exactly! Yeah, I know… I’d like to do that. As the matter a fact, I’ve been working with George Benson a lot, and he talks about it all the time – acid jazz! But you see, that’s what music is for me… A blend between funk, jazz, latin and fusion!

Let me ask you, David… All the times I’ve seen you play, I’ve never seen you play a Hammond organ… You always use your motherkeyboard or some rack stuff. Don’t you like playing a real Hammond?

Oh, no. I love playing Hammond… It’s just to be able to move it, or bring it… It’s like the same with the regular piano, I love playing regular piano, but so many places don’t have one or there’s not room for one… But I do play Hammond.

You don’t bring one of the smaller ones? (XB-2)?

No…

I love of the Hammond sound that I get on my Yamaha synths. I mean there’s some sounds that I really love, so I haven’t found the need, but when Bill Champlin plays with me, he brings that CX-3 thing or XB-2 thing you’re talking about… Bill uses it…

Yeah, he’s playing the Korg CX-3 I think… Great sound…

Yeah, he’s a great Hammond player… But you know… I’m more like a piano guy… I know so many great organ players: Bill Champlin, Greg Mathieson, Mike Finegan.

Do you have any students?

Yes, I do as the matter a fact… I have some few different people that kind of come to study with me.

Local musicians? Americans?

No, actually one of them comes from Taiwan… Yeah, he comes all the way from Taiwan to study with me… Who else… I don’t really teach regularly… People do call me up occasionally, and I do some master classes, you know…it’s like a private master class. They’ll come over, and I’ll show them some things… Different techniques, or we’ll work on different kind of stuff. One of the things I do when I teach is like I work on a specific area… Like: ‘What area do you wanna work on?’ Maybe left hand voicings… So, we’re working on left hand voicings… Or they say: ‘I wanna work on salsa playing’ – so we’re working on salsa playing.

Great…

Yeah, the student from Taiwan he came, and he had like 20 lessons in one week… That’s really intensive work!…

…Wooooh, 20 lessons? Maybe his father owns the Nintendo Corp.? ;o) You’re an expensive teacher, aren’t you, David?

He-he… Yeah, I was expensive for that I can tell you… And the thing is that he’s kind of a player for a top Taiwanese artist. So he’s actually like a professional musician. Kind of like… – he’s quite good. One of the top players in his town. But he wanted to learn some more stuff from me, which is great…

Yeah, that’s great…

Yeah, really, I’m flattered…

Friends and music lovers all over the world, right?

Yeah! Really… Music is the universal language, I mean… that’s the true deal! You know – like it brings people together – or like it brings us all together…

I know… So, David… thanks a lot. Really nice talking to you, and I do wish you the best of luck for tonight… and, of course, for your future carreer here in Scandinavia, ok?

Thanks, man. You’re great… Yeah, I intend to do a lot about Denmark, Scandinavia and Europe… That’s for sure… Thank you so much for this interview. My pleasure, really! You’re very nice. Great talking to you.

Yeah, you too. Really. Nice meeting a true piano hero and the guy that takes up 10-20 spaces in my CD rack ;o)…

Well, thank you…! I’m almost home here… ;o) See ya after the show. OK?

Yep! See ya….

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