By Kenneth Bremer
I meet one of the most popular sessionmusician, the keyboardplayer David Garfield. As 18 years old he moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles, and from this day he has been busy. The list of people that has used his talents are big and include people like: George Benson, Cher, Quincy Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Earl Klugh, Michael McDonald, Jeff Porcaro, Joe Sample, Spinal Tap, Tom Scott, Clark Terry and TV-series like Fame.
Los Angeles has developed many keyboardplayers over the years, some is only on the top for a few years, but some managed to stay on the top. One of these is David Garfield, that is one of the guys that has been in the game for years, and is today a topsession musician.
Right now David Garfield is on tour around Europe with Steve Lukather (yes, the one from Toto), that recently released his soloalbum, with a lot of influence from David Garfield. On this tour Steve Lukather & Los Lobotomys are playing in Copenhagen. I am meating David Garfield at the Plaza Hotel in the Library Bar (by the way, excellent coffee).
David meets me with a very friendly mind, he is surprised that it is him that I want to talk with and not Steve Lukather, in all the other countries, they are more interested in Steve. I say welcome to David and tells him about the magazine were the interview will be published in. As a great fan of the Los Angeles musical culture, I start with the first question there.
If you look at your career as a keyboardplayer, you will see that you came into the “businees” very quick without any building phase, how did this happent?
As in all other business contacts are the important thing, and has been a major point for my career. I moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles when is was 18th years and the first day I was in town i called to Carlos Vega (L.A. sessiondrummer). He was one of my friends from High School, and I told him that I now was in town, and before I could see me around, I had my first gig the day after, and it has been like that since then. Carlos Vega introduced me for the hole L.A. musicbusiness and this was the cornerstone for the beginning of my career in Los Angeles
On albums and in daily talks, people call you Creatchy, why that?
When I came to L.A. I was looking a bit different that others at that time, I was big with long hair and beard, and with this look I looked a bit wilder that I was, but the name came because of that.
You are wellknown for putting together some jambands, that along the way is becoming established bands and recordprojects. How does these bands begins?
As you said, they normally begins as jambands, that I am making with famous and respected studiomusicians that plays on clubs like “Baked Potato” & “At My Place”. Normally we play my material that I have composed, sometimes music that I co-write with other musicians. Right now I have two bands under my wings: Karizma & Los Lobotomys (currently on tour now with Steve Lukather). With both bands I have recorded albums, 4 pcs with Karizma and 1 with Los Lobotomys.
You have recorded a lot of albums at the label SOHBI Creatchy Label, is it your own label?
SOHBI Records is a japanese label, that has released the material that I have been doing with my productioncompany called Creatchy Label that I have together with my partner, the producer Alan Hirshberg. I all began when I got the job to make music for a japanese cartoon, that a videocompany called SOHBI was hired to make. When I recorded the songs I had a lot of studiomusicians to play on the tracks, and when the songs were recorded, the company and I agreed to release the music on an album. This project was called Riding Bean, and actually this made the beginning of a lot of the Karizma recordings.
Your albums are difficult to get in Europe, why?
It has been difficult to get European distribution companies to relases my recordings, so much of the releases in Europe are imported by specialshops from Japan,a nd sometimes it results in the price gets to heavy. I have some good contacts now and is very close to come to an agreement with a new label, and maybe soon can re-release the first Karizma album “Dream Come True”, that never came to Europe. Actually I am nearly finish with my next album. This time it is very acoustic, all material is recording live, with myself at the grand piano, Luis Conte on percussion and Abraham Laboriel on bass. This album is called “Season of Change”, and I expect that it will be released on Vital Records later this year. This album I consider as being my first soloalbum.
On the Los Lobotomys album there is a presentation of the band, and after your presentation there is a lot of funny noises, sounds like a sampler that is going crazy, what is this?
This must be the first time that I have been asked about that. When we recorded the Los Lobotomys album Steve Lukather and I played in a lot of bands in and around L.A. At that time I had a Prophet 2002 sampler, where we always put the vocalmic thru, and we always sampled some seconds of the vocals, and I reversed the sample and played it live all over the songs. It was a crazy idea, but we used it a lot that time. I think that it was the only thing I used my sampler too.
Right now you are on tour with Steve Lukather, and you have played with him for a lot of years. I have also seen you played with Jeff Porcaro at his drumvideo, and you have recorded album with all the Toto members. Why is Toto so high respected in L.A.?
I have had that honour to play with the Toto guys in lots of different sessions, and I am glad for my personal friendship with these guys. As a sessionmusician in L.A. I meet a lot of different artists and creative musicians. All the Toto guys are so extreme talented, and they have been played with everybody. Their talent and style does that they are among the best in the world.
Is it the first time that you play in Denmark?
I have played here recently with Oleta Adams, and it was very good. My impression of the Scandinavian countries is real nice, all people are very kind, and they give good feedback when we play here. Actually I have had a fantastic experience with a guy from Denmark. He flew all the way from Denmark to see us play with Los Lobotomys in Los Angeles, I think he was working in SAS.
Yes he does, this is Henrik Bohm, one of the most respected west coast freak in Denmark
At this time David tells the story about Henrik Bohm´s visit and how he sold him cd´s from the back of his stationwagon, I promised to give Henrik a message from David. Now Steve Lukather enters the table, and we all get a good talk about music and more……..