Exclusive Interview with Maurice Tani
Photo by Ashley Ingram
Why country music ?
~ Country is one of the most lyric-friendly styles of popular music. Like folk music, country is one of the few genres where you find much linear songwriting -stories, plot lines, character development. (The difference to me is that Country is like Folk's more boisterous sibling. Same parents but different personalities. )
Making a living as a working musician, I have played a lot of styles, but as a songwriter, I find country to be the most satisfying genre to work in. What I do is not pure in any real sense. I mix influences pretty freely, but I still think of what I do as being based, -however remotely, in traditional country story telling and the various California country musical styles. (photo by Ashley Ingram)
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Everything is possible? Then it would be Jenn Courtney and me! Of course, there are a lot of really great duets by legendary singers that we would have to better, but the premise of the question was that "everything would be possible"...
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ Who could pick from amongst their own children?
Actually, I'm a fickle writer. My favorite song is always the latest one. I love them all and then a new song comes to me and steals my heart and it is my favorite -until the next one comes along.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ Tom Waits, Jeffrey Luck Lucas.
Whisky wine beer or water?
~ I like whiskey but they all have their place. You wouldn't take a knife to a gun fight, and a pistol won't cut your steak. (You could blow a hole in the middle of it but why would you do that?...)
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Q: "Can we take you to lunch while we chat?"
A: "Why, yes! Of course!"
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ The nature of recording has changed so much. Recording studios were once specialized facilities where trained technicians worked their magic using extremely expensive equipment. Today I can't imagine how the industry can support more than a small number of these places. Like everything touched by advancing technology, recording has become cheaper, easier, more flexible and in many ways, better.
I very rarely use dedicated recording studios. My writing, demo and recording process are all integrated with my personal studio. As the technology has advanced, it has allowed me to record wherever and whenever I want -without having to rely on a dedicated facility. For me, the ideal studio is no studio. Ideally, I want to record anytime, anywhere with a minimum of set up, equipment and special arrangement. I want to be able to record when inspiration hits, no matter where I am. I can see a day when my ideal studio is an iPhone app.
Johnny or June ?
~ When I was young, I would have answered, Johnny. But as I have matured, I have realized that we never would have gotten the full, mature Johnny without June. Turns out, you can't have one without the other.
What do you like to do for fun?
~ Other than music? I enjoy following motorsports, tennis. I'm a bit of a news junkie. My wife and I like getting in the car and driving around, seeing new things. Talking with bright people is fun. Sex is fun. Eating is fun...
I read an interview with Willie where he was asked if he had any plans to retire. He replied, "All I do is play music and golf. Which do you think I should give up?"
What is your most important message to our readers?
~ 1. Show some love. When you see musicians that you like, playing in a small place, go up to them and tell them how much you enjoy what they do. There is very little money to be made at the bottom end of this business and some very good musicians and writers often walk away at the end of the night with less money than they spent on expenses. I guarantee you that the kind words they receive from people that really appreciate the music will stay with them longer than the pleasure of being handed any stack of money at the end of the night. The money is helpful but the approval of one's fans and peers is, in the end, a much more powerful force to keep them going. Praise is still there long after the money is spent.
2. Check us out and talk to us!
For more info about Maurice Tani you can go to:
Answers given on September 21, 2011