BLUESFEST 2018 SPE­CIAL

EVER WON­DER WHAT IT’S LIKE TO PLAY GUI­TAR ALONG­SIDE PRINCE? TONY MOSLEY KNOWS, AND HE’LL BE BRING­ING THOSE FUNKY SKILLS WITH HIM TO BLUESFEST. BY PETER HODG­SON

Australian Guitar - - Contents -

The big­gest Bluesfest yet is ri­i­i­i­i­ight around the cor­ner! In this mon­ster triple treat, we catch up with the New Power Gen­er­a­tion, Dumpstaphunk and Eric Gales.

If you’re a musician, you’ve prob­a­bly – nay, def­i­nitely – day­dreamed of play­ing with Prince at one point or an­other. While the gen­eral pub­lic might have thought of Prince as a pop­star, mu­si­cians know he was a vir­tu­oso and a vi­sion­ary who wor­shipped at the al­ter of the jam. If you could hang in Prince’s band, with its marathon sets and ex­tended jams, you could do pretty much any­thing. That’s where Tony Mosley found him­self when he was in­ducted into Prince’s New Power Gen­er­a­tion, and that’s what you’ll hear when NPG plays Bluesfest in By­ron Bay in 2018.

What can we ex­pect from these up­com­ing NPG shows in Aus­tralia?

I think you can ex­pect a lot of en­ergy. One thing we wanted to do when we did our Euro­pean tour was to bring the en­ergy – or at least a ver­sion of the en­ergy – that Prince brought to his shows. There will be a lot of emo­tions for the fans in Aus­tralia to go through – they’ll prob­a­bly strug­gle through some, but they’ll smile and be happy for most of the set. I just tend to fo­cus on the crowd and make sure they’re smil­ing.

The over­ar­ch­ing feel I’ve al­ways had from Prince’s mu­sic is that it’s meant to be danced to.

Ab­so­lutely, and we’re def­i­nitely go­ing to play a lot of those tracks we worked on, like “Di­a­monds And Pearls”, NPG clas­sics, and Prince’s own clas­sics like “Pur­ple Rain” as well. Those are the tracks that will tug on the hear tstrings, but we’ll all get through it to­gether!

As mu­si­cians, we al­ways like to hear sto­ries about what it was like to work with Prince and com­mu­ni­cate with him as a musician. What was it like for you?

Well, my ex­pe­ri­ence was that I didn’t come in as a musician right off the bat; I came in as a chore­og­ra­pher dur­ing Pur­pleRain. We went through a lot of dif­fer­ent phases with him, and I once had the op­por­tu­nity to play the gui­tar on­stage with him – that part was a lit­tle over­whelm­ing! The danc­ing and vo­cals and rap all came nat­u­rally.

I had al­ways played the gui­tar, but to be on­stage with him play­ing gui­tar was an­other story. You didn’t want to mess up! I have this photo that a fan posted of Face­book – I was play­ing the gui­tar and I had this Toot­sie Pop in my mouth; I was con­cen­trat­ing on my chords, and he was just smil­ing and do­ing his thing, be­ing Prince, and I told my Face­book peo­ple, “Look at him! He’s just be­ing Prince, and I’m try­ing so hard not to mess up!”

So in terms of his mu­si­cal­ity, how did he present ideas?

I’ve gotta tell you, it was a unique sit­u­a­tion that he al­lowed us to have in New Power Gen­er­a­tion. Nor­mally, he would come in with parts and del­e­gate them, but New Power Gen­er­a­tion was a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort with the band, and we would just jam for hours. He would hear some­thing he liked and we would go into the stu­dio to lay it down. He al­lowed ev­ery­one that free­dom. We would lay it down and go home, and he would stay back and tweak it. It was bizarre some­times – you would hear him take some­thing that we’d just did be­cause we were hav­ing fun and play­ing, and sud­denly it’s a funky song!

So what gui­tars are you us­ing now?

Right now, I’m us­ing a Schecter Cor­sair hol­low­body. I love it! I got a hold of it through Prince. I loved the Epi­phone that I used to play, and I was look­ing for an­other solid, larger-sized solid­body to play. I picked this char­coal grey hol­low­body and I ab­so­lutely love it. I like the warm sound and the size of it. I’m a big­ger, taller guy, and some­times play­ing a Tele or a Strat looks a lit­tle small on me – I’d pick up Prince’s Cloud gui­tar and it looks like a toy on me! Like Tiny Tim play­ing a lit­tle ukulele.

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