GIL HICKS original material covers a wide variety of styles, I have been through so many projects and influenced by so many people, perhaps I never really landed anywhere specific, that is neither good nor bad it just is. I can say it all has been stimulating and enlightening.
The first thing to catch my ear was Stax & Motown; Motown for the polish of it, Stax for the raw conviction that seems to be missing in modern music; Otis, not always in tune, but that is a small price to pay.
I’m from a family of musicians the youngest of three older brothers, all horn players and my dad played trumpet as well. I played trumpet for years as a kid there was an overlap of guitar and trumpet at one point. I just figured I just take trumpet stuff and throw on the fret board, hope for the best.
All the Big Band Swing and Bebop, the Cool Era were all in the house. It wasn’t my thing but you don’t realize til years later what you had absorbed. As I started burying myself in guitar I got wind of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, went to see them live – now here’s something that kicked my butt, not only from a technique perspective but conceptually, they were improvising on the spot – now how much fun is that ? Beck’s Blow by Blow and Wired, well us guitar kids could not believe these albums were of this world – there must have been some direct intervention from God or aliens, maybe even both.
I was on the road just working for many years, from the nicest to the worst places in the country, had a number of comfy house gigs, played in original bands that actually worked, got airplay, collected royalty checks But most of all, I have managed to stay working ’til the present. Music is so beyond just notes, it about dealing with fellow musicians, stressed club owners, the manager trying to prove they are tough enough to do the job.
People have a conception of musicians but I’ll tell you, the people in the music business are as diverse as any occupation. I’ve known the most desperate cutthroat people and the disconnected artist whose creativity does not allow him to function in our world, the insanely unmaterialistic and those who will give you the shirt off their back. I have learned and benefited from all of these; would not change a thing if I could do it over again.
Please enjoy the tunes – some are done at home in my home studio, with me playing most of the instruments.
Studios used, past & present:
THE RIVER METALWORKS DAVE HALL [ RIP ]
MARK LALAMA MATT KEIGHAN