>Mike Farris. Aprenda inglés (del bueno) con Harlem

>“I’m a believer. I’m on a journey, like many others, in search of truth through enlightenment”

OSCAR CUBILLO no sólo se dedicó a hacer el mal en el Azkena Rock Festival. También charló con Mike Farris, a quien el sábado escuchamos dos veces al frente de su Roseland Rhythm Revue. Por la tarde bajo la carpa, sobre el escenario dedicado a Ron Asheton en Mendizabala, y por la mañana bajo el sol, en la plaza de la Virgen Blanca.

Por cierto, enhorabuena a la organización. Lo de programar bolos gratuitos de Eli Paperboy Reed y Mike Farris ha sido el mayor acierto de esta edición. Por fin una novedad que no es una mera tontá destinada a engordar el dossier de prensa. Ya sólo falta que el próximo año no coincida con el concierto sabatino de La Iguana. Ya sería la leche.

En fin. Al grano.

Que si es muy diferente cantar como y hacerlo como frontman de Screaming Cheetah Wheelies.
Playing with the Wheelies was a great experience for me in many ways. At the same time it was difficult for me because I always found myself compromising my own creativity because I was making music with 4 other people and I never felt like it was fair for me to assert only my musical direction on the rest of the guys… that just wouldn’t be fair and it wasn’t what Screaming Cheetah Wheelies was about. It actually got to the point in that band where I was leading the way more and more and, again, that wasn’t the way that band was intended to function. Now I am able to explore all the various aspects of music that I have always wanted without any obstacles.

Que por qué terminó la aventura de SCW.
We were good, maybe, but not quite good enough!! One of the big reasons bands break up is financial and that was a big problem with us. Another big reason was the fact that rock radio here in America had begun to move away from where we wanted to go. Radio, at the time, was playing Limp Bizkit and Marilyn Manson, etc, and so I faced a choice: try and chase the trends of rock radio and be something I’m not and look like an idiot for doing so, or call it quits. I saw it as a good opportunity to bring that era to a close and go out and explore other music that I had wanted to do for years and years, so that’s what I did. I learned a lot making music with Rick, Bobby, Steve and Terry and I will always love my brothers. We share a great bond. We invested20a 100 pounds of heart and soul into that band! I still consider the Azkena Rock Festival our last show together, even though we played one or two more shows here stateside after ARF. That night in Vitoria was poignant moment for us and is the way I choose to remember us.

Qué hay de tus influencias.
There’s just way too many to list so I’ll give you a few of what I am listening to right now: Son House, Pops Staples, Mavis Staples, Queens of the Stone Age, the Raconteurs/White Stripes, Louis Armstrong, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Black Keys, Plant/Krauss, Buddy Miller… We could be here all day.

Que qué es lo que más te gusta de la música soul.
Soul music has a much broader definition to me than the term suggests and I don’t think I am alone when I say that. For instance, early ZZ Topp is soul music. AC/DC (and I know you guys just had them over there in your el pais!) is soulful and bluesy. That’s why I was drawn to them both when I was a kid. Lots of rock and roll is very soulful and bluesy. That being said, what initially draws me to the music is melody and rhythm, and soul/blues music is very primal. I’m only interested in music that has sweat and dirt on it’s back, with the smell of the raw earth. If it’s been cleaned up and sprayed with a bunch of perfume and deodorant, then I’m not interested.

Que por qué el soul es tan profundo y enérgico.
Because it’s mostly been born out of struggle. If you don’t understand struggle then you’ll never get it. The catch here is: everybody struggles with life at some point. Some more than others. Soul music or any ancient music is comforting. It makes you feel less alone in your dark moments and ultimately lifts you up!!

Que si te gusta el gospel, por lo apasionado de tu estilo, cercano al sentimiento gospel.
I like old old spiritual music. Most anything produced in the last 30-40 years I probably won’t like.

Que si crees crees en Dios.
I am a believer. I’m on a journey, like many others, in search of truth through enlightenment. It’s the only way to really know how to love.

Que nos digas algo de Shout Live, tu último disco.
When I did “Salvation In Lights” I took those songs straight to the studio and they were recorded without the benefit of having been seasoned on the road. After a year of touring and playing these shows with the Roseland Rhythm Revue, the songs had grown to be something completely different and exciting so I decided, along with my label representative, Tyler Pittman, to record these new versions of the songs, along with some new ones. It was important for me that the growth be documented.
I also wanted to show people what our weekly series the “Sunday Night Shout!” was like. As for the actual recording process, it was absolutely important for me to have a truly live record, recorded with all vintage gear, no overdubs, etc., and we are all really proud of what we ended up with!

Que por qué te gusta tanto el Azkena Rock Festival.
Azkena was very loving toward me and the Screaming Cheetah Wheelies. It was one of the most memorable shows of my life, and I have had lots of memorable moments in my career! The people there are such big music fans and they all treat us so well! Vitoria, as well as all of Espana and all the provinces have such a deep, rich history, and I can feel the history there! America is a young country really, so that is a treat! The other thing I love about Vitoria and the basque region is the food. You have some of the best food in the world! We are going to spend some time in San Sebastián as well and we plan on eating lots and lots of food!