Gary Wright has just released his new album ‘Connected’ (see weblinks at the foot of the interview for more information). His biggest hit is ‘Dream Weaver’ which has been used in numerous film soundtracks since its release in 1976 including ‘Wayne’s World 2’.
1. Could you tell us please what are you currently up to? (recording, gigs, plans)
I have just released my new album “Connected” and the first single from the album “Satisfied” which has special guests Ringo Starr on drums, Joe Walsh on guitar solo and Skunk Baxter on Rhythm guitar . I am also on tour with Ringo this summer as part of his All Starr Band doing 30 shows in the US and Canada. The album is available on my web site http://www.thedreamweaver.com, iTunes and the other Digital Service Providers, Amazon and in stores. We have also released a special deluxe version of the album containing bonus material (including two songs featuring George Harrison on guitar and another song George and I wrote in the early 70’s. There is also a version on a USB flash drive which is part of a custom necklace that has the album, bonus tracks, video footage on the making of the album and more. All this is described on my web site. I also plan to do my own tour this fall in the US and europe.
2. Could you take us through your new album ‘Connected’? (e.g. songwriting process, story behind the songs etc)
More than half of the songs were written on acoustic guitar while I was on holiday in Italy and the rest were written in my studio. “Satisfied” was co-written by Bobby Hart of Boyce and Hart fame, “Gimme Some Time” was co-written by John Lang (who co-wrote the big Mr. Mister big hits, “Life’s Not a Battlefield” was co-written by a Nashville writer named Joe Beck and “Can’t Find No Mercy” was co-written by Oliver Leiber (Jerry Leiber’s son). These songs were co-written with me and the rest of the songs I wrote by myself. The lyrical content reflects my spiritual philosophy as well as positive messages. I don’t write about negative subjects and if I do they have positive outcomes.
3. Working as a successful solo artist during the 70’s & 80’s were you ever tempted and/or approached to join another band?
No, I never had that desire. I always wanted to work alone after having been in a band-Spooky Tooth.
4. How did you hook-up with Ringo Starr? Does the All Star Band idea work well? i.e. There are not any egos or ‘you’re not playing enough of my songs’ arguments.
Ringo and I met in the early 70’s when we played on All Things Must Pass-George Harrison’s first solo album. I also played on Ringo’s 1st two singles, “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Back off Boogaloo”. The All Starr band from my perspective works very well-having done one already and being part of the 2nd one. There is mutual respect for each other amongst the musicians and I think Ringo knows what will work with the musicians he chooses.
5. How do you spilt the keyboard duties as you are playing alongside Edgar Winter each night. Do you work off each other as regards to solos/jamming in the live environment?
Yes, Edgar and I discuss who will play what on each song and it works seamlessly. He’s an incredible musician and I have great respect for him. We don’t trade solos so to speak. He plays most of the keyboard solos and I solo on my own songs.
6. How did the 2009 Spooky Tooth shows go and are any more live shows planned by the band? How did these dates come about?
The Spooky Tooth shows went very well in Europe. There were a lot of sold out shows and the audiences were great. I have no plans at the moment to do any more shows with ST. The dates came about as a result of our filming a re-union concert we did in 2004 in Germany and releasing it on a DVD. The subsequent tours were done to support the release of the DVD called “Nomad Poets”.
7. What have been the most memorable live shows for you and why?
The most memorable shows for me were during the summer of ‘76 when I was touring with Peter Frampton, Yes and sometimes Fleetwood Mac. They were huge concerts anywhere from 30,000 to 80,000 at large stadiums to 125,000 at JFK and RFK stadiums. “Dream Weaver” had been a #1 single and “Love is Alive” went to #2 that summer. There was enormous positive energy during the tours, my band had great musicians including Steve Porcaro, Art Wood, and Peter Reilich. The last Ringo tour was great also. He’s a great drummer and wonderful human being to work with.
8. Has the internet helped get your music out there or in some ways e.g. illegal downloads has it made matters worse?
The illegal downloads will always hurt artists as it’s nothing more than blatant stealing. There needs to be an international organization that will police artists rights. It has helped my career insomuch as its made my music ubiquitous, reaching out to fans everywhere in the world which didn’t happen before. I like it.
Does the whole social networking phenomena actually get you new fans and sales or just a lot of friends?
That’s hard to read at the moment. I think time will tell. It does build awareness which is part of marketing an album. The problem is that now there is so much competition for the entertainment dollar that music sometimes takes a back seat.
9. Has the upsurge in online and digital rock radio stations helped get your music out there or are some of them too formulated i.e. they will only play the classics by any particular band and not anything new.
I think internet radio will ultimately help-especially when it becomes available in cars where most music is listened to. It’s too small right now to really help in a big way but that will change soon.
10. Message for your fans…
One of the most touching things happened recently to me. I had done a concert and was signing autographs when a woman who was at the end of the line came up to me and squeezed my hand and said “never stop making music”. It struck a chord in me and made me realize all the years of struggling were so worthwhile. Fan loyalty is important and I feel I have a lot of loyal fans out there. I thank you all for your support of my music.
http://www.1888media.com/News/Images/GaryWrightSatisfiedSingle.jpg – Satisfied (Single)
http://www.1888media.com/News/Images/GaryWrightConnected600.jpg – Connected (Album)
http://www.1888media.com/News/Images/GaryWrightConnected.jpg (Photo credit: Rob Shanahan)
http://www.1888media.com/News/Images/GaryWrightSunset.jpg (Photo credit: Rob Shanahan)
http://www.1888media.com/News/Images/GaryWrightPublicity2010A.jpg (photo by Rob Shanahan)
http://www.1888media.com/News/Images/GaryWrightPublicity2010B.jpg (photo by Rob Shanahan)
http://www.1888media.com/News/Images/GaryWrightPublicity2010C.jpg (photo by Rob Shanahan)
Get Connected with Gary Wright:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/GaryWright.TheDreamWeaver
My Space – http://www.myspace.com/therealdreamweaver
Last FM – http://www.last.fm/music/Gary+Wright
Official – http://www.thedreamweaver.com
Twitter – http://twitter.com/garyxwright