Interview: Live [November 2014]

By Lais

Live have been around since 1985 and they are still going strong. They’ve just released their eighth album, ‘The Turn’, and to celebrate, they came and did some tour dates in the UK and Europe. While they were over here, we had a chat with them to discuss the making of the album, how they keep things fresh after over two decades together, and why their hiatus was completely necessary.

Welcome to the UK! You’re over in Europe doing a few dates at the moment. How do you find playing here and the rest of Europe?

Cheers! The UK has always been good to Live, from our first gig twenty-something years ago to the present. Europe as a whole has a much greater sense of music appreciation. The crowds come to gigs to listen and not just be part of a scene. This is very unlike other parts of the world.

You’ve just released your new album, ‘The Turn’ (your eighth if I’m not counting wrong…). How would you describe it to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?

I would ask if you remember how you felt the first time you heard Live. ‘The Turn’ is a return to that feeling. It’s an album with urgency, passion and rebirth. It’s an album that captures the finest elements of all four members as musicians and songwriters.

Do you have any personal favourite tracks off the album?

I love ‘Siren’s Call’ and ‘Till You Came Around’. These songs highlight the power and delicacy of Live.

How was the recording process for you?

Recording this album was an amazing experience. We were able to get into our new studio in York, PA and let the vibes flow. Having Jerry Harrison back in the producer’s chair allowed the band to stretch and reach in new directions. Jerry was always there to guide us in those moments and remind us that Live is not a fragile piece of chinaware. He pushed and pulled all with a magical sense of ease.

You’ve obviously had a few changes in recent years, with regards to the band’s line up and coming back off hiatus. How do you feel as a band since then?

I feel that the band is the biggest and baddest monster that it has ever been. Chris Shinn reminded us of how he remembered Live from fifteen years ago. A band with power and honesty, a band that you would watch in concert and would take you to another place. This machine is oiled and tuned and firing on all cylinders. Live has never felt so alive to me.

You’ve been together a long time. It’s now the 20th anniversary of ‘Throwing Copper’. How do you keep things fresh? Do you think the hiatus helped to give you a new lease of life?

The hiatus was necessary. We had been on the road for most of our adult lives. It was quite nice to regroup and have Chris breathe life into the band that was tired.

Do you still enjoy life on the road?

The road is a double edged blade. I love to play. I don’t necessarily love to travel. If I want to play with my best friends that happen to be in my band, well that means touring.

You must have some crazy stories from over two decades of being together – what do you think is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?

I was once left behind after a show in Chicago. I walked out and the bus was gone. The only phone number I could remember was my mother’s. So reluctantly I called her and asked if she could call my tour manager to remind him that I wasn’t on the bus. You can always count on your mom, right?

On a slightly different note, what are you proudest of achieving as a band?

I am proud that after thirty years we can still be friends and record/write one of the best records of our history.

Finally, what are your plans for 2015? And where will you go from here?

2015 looks like a worldwide tour. A busy year is ahead. As far as another record, who knows. One day at a time.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]