Interview – Bill LaBounty
Hi Bill LaBounty!
Q: It is fun for us who like Westcoast/AOR music that you release a new record, how does it feel to make a record today compared to before?
Bill LaBounty: It feels satisfying and rejuvenating. Creatively and lyrically, with Back To Your Star, I have arrived in the place I began. On a musical journey back over the highways of the American West. I’ve searched over the musical grooves and inspiration of my past, into the present, and even looked into the future through these songs. I wanted to put together a band that would help reflect where I am as a writer and musician today. My players, like me, have traveled a similar path. We’ve all been consumed with the survival of our careers as musicians while trying to hold on to the passion and inspiration that started us on our way.
Q: Are there any plans to tour after the record release?
Bill LaBounty: Yes. Plans are now in motion for a tour of Europe and Japan. It’s a little too early to offer an exact schedule but I would guess things will begin in the Fall.
Q: After “The Right Direction”, what and with whom have you worked with then?
Bill LaBounty: After finishing The Right Direction I resumed my work as a songwriter. From my home in Nashville I wrote for a long list of artists, from Peter Cetera, Neil Diamond, and Patti LaBelle to Steve Wariner, Brooks and Dunn, Alison Kraus, and Alan Jackson. I also cultivated a closer friendship with Danny Parks, a brilliant guitarist and producer here in Nashville. Eventually we put together a band to play my own songs, and songs Danny and I cowrote.
Q: What is it that inspires you to make music, and to make this new CD?
Bill LaBounty: These songs and music represent an evolution for me. From a young road-musician, rock and roller, through a career as a recording artist catering to radio, and over a period of making my living as a songwriter and composer. I wanted the music on this album to be very R&B and Jazz influenced. Representing my history as a West Coast musician and including the mighty influences of Muscle Shoals and Memphis.
Q: You sing the song “No Explanation” on the record Fly Away – The Songs of David Foster, how was it to participate in that production?
Bill LaBounty: Thanks to Gabriel Raya and Tomi Malm, who produced No Explanation among other things, on the Foster Tribute, Fly Away, it was a pleasure to participate in the project. I sent Gaby a very simple piano-vocal of the song which he then transformed into the beautiful recording that appears on the album. I was impressed to say the least when I heard the final product. In fact the whole album, Fly Away, is a pleasure to listen to. I bet David Foster is grateful to receive this representation of his work…ahem…even If I do say so myself, regarding No Explanation.
Q: What is the most fun, to stand on stage and perform your songs, or to sit in the studio and record them?
Bill LaBounty: For me, the most fun is the writing process. That process where I am at my keyboard with a blank piece of paper, maybe a tiny natch of groove or melody, and my voice to point the way lyrically. The world is my oyster and the limits of my imagination are my only boundaries. What power! I am a legend in my own mind! Of live performing versus recording I’d rate studio recording just a little higher than being on-stage. This is because of the control that the studio offers. It is very enticing and comforting. Not always a good thing, it can be tempting to control too much. I do enjoy the safety net. But it lacks the electricity and spontaneity of a live performance for sure. And I love performing live too!
Q: Chill Pill Records who release your record in the U.S. and Europe, it is your own record label?
Bill LaBounty: Chill Pill Records is a moniker we came up with for our personal release label of Back To Your Star. “Desperate for a bit more raw version of some great West Coast music? Take a Chill Pill. You’ll feel better in seconds!” How’s that for a radio ad?
Q: What are your views on the illegal downloading of music on the internet today?
Bill LaBounty: I get the feeling the term illegal downloading carries as much weight as illegal alien does in the US. It’s all illegal but there don’t seem to be any legal repercussions. And I guess I’m kind of neutral on both subjects. I will say that an artist like myself, and internet recording artists like me are growing in number every single day, is completely reliant for his income on the taste, integrity, and honesty of his audience. I am no longer affiliated with a large international corporation when it comes to my own recording. If you like what I do then I would ask that you pay for the downloads that will soon be made available. On the other hand, if you’ve never heard of me, and a taste of what I do is easily had, I’m happy you get a chance to listen. I will say this; I think it is wrong to upload the work of others and make it available for free without permission for the purposes of exclusive, personal profit. But as a fan of great music myself, I am eager to pay an artist to be a legitimate part of his or her audience when I love what they do. I take it as a given that everyone else is too.
Q: The album “Rain In My Life” is one of your masterpieces, we are some who wonder who came up with the idea to the record cover? ;-)
Bill LaBounty: It’s interesting, I’ve met many Scandinavians who like this album. Thank you. The story of the cover is kind of funny. At the last minute the cover art for Rain In My Life was destroyed, either in a fire or water damaged I can’t remember which. At the last minute I was asked to rush in from my home in the mountains and redo the photo shoot. I had a big beard and didn’t want to shave it at the time. Somebody thought of putting me in a raincoat. Dumb. But there you have it.
Q: Thank you very much for the interview, and good luck with everything!
Bill LaBounty: Thank you, Bengt. I’ve enjoyed talking with you. All my best regards to everyone at Westcoast Music. May everyone find their groove.
by Bengt Isaksson