Cris Cohen: I've seen a lot of interesting titles for band members before. I've never seen “lawyer” listed as one of those titles. Why do you include that with guitarist, lead singer, etc?
Guitar Gabby of The TxLips: That's part of what I do. I am a music lawyer, and a lot of what I do is consulting. I work with a lot of different clients in the industry to teach them about their rights, intellectual property, contracts, and things of that nature. The whole objective is to teach people in the industry about the industry and the business side of it before they enter it. A lot of artists and musicians get snubbed because there were things that they didn't quite understand. Or they didn't realize that they needed to file for copyright for their work.
Cris Cohen: It was just so interesting to see that as part of a band profile. And it's interesting that you embrace all of that. Because in some ways, the term “lawyer” is one of the least rock and roll terms you can have for a title. And when you think of a lawyer, you don't think of someone shredding away on the guitar. I think it's interesting that you've embraced those dual sides of your personality. Were you always intent on, “I'm going to be both. I'm going to be the person who really gets into the emotion that is the art of it all, and then also have the business mind.”?
Guitar Gabby: Yeah, I always wanted to go into the industry having the business side under lock. A lot of it came from… my grandfather did some things in the music industry. He was a songwriter, outside of being a police officer. But his contribution in the industry was songwriting. And so from a young age, my dad was very keen on me figuring out ways to protect my artistry. I didn't know that that would include pursuing anything within the legal industry, but I did always want to get into the business side of it. Because I did realize early on that if I'm going to have any type of longevity, I'm going to have to understand the business and the industry.
Cris Cohen: Now, one of the first things you notice when comparing Thelonious Monk's recordings to yours is the difference in the quality of sound, quite obviously because you had much different recording materials available to you than he did. Was there ever any concern about making the songs too clean or too crisp?
Andy Summers: Well, it's a good thought. Yeah, I understood what you were saying, but I guess the way I almost visualized it was that everything's just going to sound much clearer and fresh because of what we can bring to recordings now, the actual recording quality. No, I saw that as a plus actually.
Cris Cohen: So it's like when you pick up an older vinyl album and you think, "If only he had the kind of recording equipment I have access to, how much better we could have heard him."
Andy Summers: And also personally, I like recordings to be… I mean, this is always just something I have to go through with every engineer because engineers will tend to separate everything out and make them very clean, because that's what they do. And I always try and keep things a little rough, a little murky sounding, punchier. I don't like things to be too audiophile as it were, because I think it tends to take away from the richness of the music sometimes.
Cris Cohen: I read another interview where you said, "We're not rock stars. We're musicians." How do you define the difference between the two?
John McFee of The Doobie Brothers: In general, a rock star to me is like, that's what people think you are. That's an outside perception. To the public, that guy's in a band, or he's an artist that's famous, sells a lot of records or whatever, all that, has this degree of success. That's a rock star. This is a perception from the outside. But there are some people that think they're rock stars. And so there's that, and that's what I was addressing when I said, "We just want to be musicians. "We're not into this rock star thing at all. It's like, hey, it's about the music. And that's something, before I joined the Doobies, I always felt like that's a band that seems like they must be just focused on the music.
Watch the full interview
Guitar Gabby of The TxLips on how studying philosophy influenced her lyric writing
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Cris Cohen interviews drummer Sandy Gennaro. Sandy has recorded several Top 10 singles and played with artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Bo Diddley, and Johnny Winter. They discuss:
- Joan Jett – “Everything you play sounds like a hit record.”
- The natural ability called “feel”
- His intense preparation for gigs
- Knowing what NOT to play
- What he teaches to corporations about beating the odds
- Why many companies have customer service issues or employee retention issues
- And more