Lanois bring­ing unique sound to city

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - NEWS - DAVID REED MU­SIC JUNKIE

Daniel Lanois is a Cana­dian mu­si­cian, known for pro­duc­ing records for U2, Neil Young, Bob Dy­lan, Wil­lie Nel­son, Em­my­lou Har­ris and Peter Gabriel, among oth­ers. His pro­duc­tion style of­ten cap­tures the sonic char­ac­ter­is­tics of large spa­ces like aban­doned movie the­atres and old cas­tles. His sound is his own and his tech­niques are unique.

Lanois has im­mense tal­ents as a singer, song­writer and per­former that are of­ten over­shad­owed by the list of big names he has pro­duced, but his own mu­sic de­serves at­ten­tion with equal en­thu­si­asm. Any se­ri­ous record col­lec­tion should in­clude the fol­low­ing Lanois al­bums: Acadie ( 1989), For the Beauty of Wynona ( 1993), Shine ( 2003), Bel­ladonna ( 2005) and Black Dub ( 2010). Start with those five and then fill in the holes.

I re­cently had an op­por­tu­nity to speak with Daniel Lanois by phone, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of his ar­rival in Belleville on Fri­day, Novem­ber 17 at The Em­pire The­atre.

Q: You’ve got a bit of his­tory with the Em­pire The­atre here in Belleville, right? You worked with Mark Rashotte and Andy Forgie, and their band Pho­to­graph.

A: Oh, yeah. They were a vi­brant young band. We recorded them in Hamil­ton. I’m glad to see they’re still do­ing some nice things.

Q: Can you tell me about your drum­mer, Kyle Crane. There are sto­ries about how you met.

A: Kyle Crane is a great young tal­ent. He’s very stud­ied... metro­nomic time. He’s a Berklee grad. By my stu­dio in LA, there’s a bar called the Thirsty Crow, in a neigh­bour­hood called Sil­ver Lake. So I went to the Crow on a Sun­day night and there he was play­ing in a lit­tle jazz band, and some funk and hip hop... and they were lay­ing it down pretty good. I thought ‘ Wow, this kid can re­ally play.’ I threw $ 20 in the tip jar and that raised an eye­brow from the drum­mer, and we’ve been work­ing to­gether ever since.”

Q: And what about Jim Wil­son? He’s known pri­mar­ily as a gui­tar player with Mother Su­pe­rior and in the Rollins Band. How did he end up play­ing bass with you?

A: Yeah, I first heard him play­ing with Henry Rollins in LA, at the Troubadour. I was very im­pressed with his mu­si­cian­ship and I in­vited him to play some bass. He’s a great singer as well... har­mo­nizes with me. He’s very good on the bass, great time and pitch.

Q: Will you have the pedal steel with you in Belleville? A: I still have the very one that I got when I was a kid, and that’s what I’m gonna have for the show. With the steel gui­tar it all kinda blends to­gether, with some im­prov that leads into JJ Leaves LA... it’s a nice gospel mo­ment.

Q: Your web­site says that some of your French Cana­dian songs will be in­cluded in the set for the Que­bec nights of the tour. Any chance we’ll hear any in Belleville?

A: O Marie is a work song about French peo­ple pick­ing tobacco in On­tario. And Marie- Claire is a dark tale of a man who falls in a love with a woman who pos­sesses no so­cial graces, and it goes into ab­duc­tion, and her ca­pac­ity to love is at an ex­treme, but he just doesn’t fit in. He’s not a charm­ing per­son.

Q: Any other sur­prises?

A: Some of our show when we get to Belleville will be elec­tron­i­cally driven, so it’s a whole new pal­ette of colours... along with the pedal steel and the other songs.

Q: One last ques­tion, out of left field. Can you tell me about record­ing with Raffi?

A: I made four al­bums with him. The first one was done in my mom’s base­ment, and when the stu­dio moved up to Hamil­ton we did three more. I was kind of a jack of all trades for Raffi... played a bit of pedal steel, record­ing, what­ever was needed. - Daniel Lanois is per­form­ing at the Em­pire The­atre on Fri­day, Nov. 17.


Cana­dian mu­si­cian Daniel Lanois brings his tal­ents as a song­writer and singer to The Em­pire The­atre on Fri­day, Nov. 18.

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