When Steve Miller produced "The Joker" back in 1973, he wasn't expecting a hit. Eight albums into Steve Miller Band's career, the lead vocalist and guitarist was prepared to be dropped by his label, since his previous two efforts had suffered lackluster sales. So he took a innovative risk, trading heavy psychedelia for a softer rock sound. trinitypiratebay here. The title track, which took almost three weeks to record, resonated with the public, winning the band its first No. Steve Miller Band went on to issue a string of successful singles: "Space Cowboy," "Rock 'n Me," "Fly Like an Eagle," "Take the Money and Run," "Jet Airliner," "Jungle Love," "Swingtown," and "Abracadabra." The band is currently rocking across America on a summer tour with Tower and Journey of Power. Steve Miller Band is on the road this summer with Tower and Journey of Power.
There have been a lot of recent album reissues on vinyl, including several of your band's past projects. Is this vinyl resurgence a nostalgic fad or something that's here to stay? I prefer to listen to music on vinyl. It's really good. And once you listen to vinyl and get a chance to hear it, I think anyone will enjoy it more than they shall digital, but it's just the world we live in.
The fact that it's coming back is great. What are your thoughts on digital music? Digital music has come a long way, and it sounds better than it did when CDs first showed up now.
There's a thinness and a transparency to digital sound that vinyl replaces. I mean, it's only a matter of taste. It's what you're used to. Google adds Octane to its benchmark suite on this page. Today listen to music on 40-cent earbuds kids. They can't hear the difference between great sound and bad sound, because that's the way we operate in this modern, modern, modern world, where everything is compressed, everything is slamming. It's really made sounds very loud and present, which we always wanted to do with vinyl as well.
We wanted as much existence as we could get cut into [the vinyl as] a group. But the quality of the sound is so much better. So if you need to take the whole comparison the whole way really, some of the best acoustic recording studios in the world are now condominiums, and some of the most important, successful records made now are done on a notebook computer in a hotel room using tape loops. We're in a period where we have this technology that allows us to simulate something, but it isn't the real deal. When you listen to vinyl, it's far more the real deal than digital sound is. When you're recording new material, do you dabble with software? We use Pro Tools all the right time, and we record all of our shows with Pro Tools.
After each show, I listen to our show just to hear what we've done. I don't really use my phone very much for any of this stuff. The phone's too small for me, and I prefer to have a major screen.
In my bus on the road, I have a small studio with some good-size speakers and a computer in there where I can quickly review everything, make copies, distribute stuff to the guys if I need to do that. What are you now recording? I'm recording all the time.
I just finished mixing -- we just recorded all "The Joker" tunes. It's "The Joker"'s 40th anniversary, so we went back to '73, and we took all the songs from "The Joker" and reworked them. We've been touring that just recently. So I just finished mixing that two days ago. At the same time, I've been listening to Prince and Ray Charles, and we've been going into the studio with the guys and just goofing around and cutting rhythm tracks. I just recorded "One Mint Julep" for fun.
It's mainly for fun now. There is no record business. You can't give it away.
You can't afford to spend $200,000 in the studio and give it away. So I have my own studio.
I'm in it all the time. I'm constantly recording, and I've been in an argument with my record companies and [had] lawsuits against them for years. Giving a record company an album is like giving a gangster your something or baby.
All of that tends to make the creative moment not as much as fun as it used to be, but I'm constantly recording. What's going to become of "The Joker" material that you rerecorded? Well, nothing probably. It's a great record. gorillablogs.
It's really a live performance, and it is loved by us. We decided not to give it to a record company, and we're putting it out, and we're going to sell it ourselves at our concerts.
It doesn't make any difference whether Capitol Records and EMI put it out or Universal or whether we do. They're not going to sell any of it anyway. Do your audiences want to hear new material from you even? Our audiences are so conservative now, and they've paid their money, so they want to hear the greatest hits. We'll go out, and we'll be playing in front of 15,000 people and say, "Hey, we're going to do three new songs from something we just recorded," and 5,000 people get up and go get a hot dog and a beer, and they don't come back until they hear the opening strings of "The Joker" or "Fly Like an Eagle." People are playing music that I recorded 40 years ago on the radio all over the world. I've played myself into a box in one way. I feel like I have to sneak [new material] into my set.
It's a very strange sort of world that I occupy. Why do you think that Steve Miller Band's classic material has remained so popular, even after 40 years? A lot was made by us of records. I think we put out five albums in the first 18 months that we started recording. The creativity was fast, and the response from the audiences was instant.
At the same time we were doing this, we were building brand-new stages, brand-new sound systems, brand-new light shows, and all of that really added to what made the music mean more than just a string of hits. The light was as important as the music was for a while. We created this whole new business. .
Today so, when you go see Beyoncé, or you go see any popular entertainer, those persons are all benefiting from that first big sound system we used in the football stadium that didn't work, that first big light show, those first lasers we used in 1974 that burned a hole in the relative back of some hockey arena someplace. Congratulations on the 40th anniversary of "The Joker." Was there a particular challenge or obstacle you had to overcome to get the single the way you wanted it to sound?
Well, when I was recording "The Joker," I thought my career was over. It was my seventh album for Capitol Records, and they had pretty much moved on from my world. So I really was just doing what I wanted to do. The thing about "The Joker" was it had to be really, really relaxed.
The temptation when you go in the studios is to do something that's really hard and really heavy, but I was just at this true point where I remember being in the studio with the band and going, "No, no, no, no. This is a big, fat, lazy space." So that was what I think made the song work. It wasn't expected to be a single. It just was one of those things that sort of went viral before the term "viral" was being used. I remember leaving to go on a 60-city tour, and somebody at the record company said, "Well, I think 'The Joker' might be a single." I said, "You know what? Don't worry about singles. It just would be nice if you actually have records in the cities where I'm actually going to be working.
That would be a good idea, and here's a list of the cities I'm going to be in in the next 75 days." We left to go do that tour, not really expecting much to happen, and when we came back it was the No. coolfilecloud on this page. I guess just finally relaxing and doing what I really wanted to do was the right thing to do all along. Steve Miller isn\'t joking when he says he never expected The Joker to go platinum.
In this transitional period for the music industry, what is your advice for new artists? My advice to new artists is to forget about all of this and take acting and dancing lessons and become a video star. Well, I'll tell you the truth. I don't really have any instant advice for these varieties of kids except that be true to yourself, suffer for your art, and hang on and something will change where you actually have a chance maybe. Right now, I don't think they have much of a chance. I think all of this "get it on the Internet" is all BS and nonsense.
You have to connect with persons really. There aren't very many clubs.
There's no place for folks to develop and play. It's a bad time now for young artists. It's not always about huge, giant commercial success. It's about art. It's about creativity.
It's about virtuosity. You hook up with audiences through regular touring. When you're looking out at thousands of men and women in your audience, how do you feel about the kinds holding up phones and taking video or selfies? It's real interesting, because I play all over the global world, and the audiences are different all over the global world. Audiences in the United States are self-absorbed, fascinated by shooting video and taking pictures and recording things totally. So when they come to an event, they're there to get high, to get drunk, to party, to take pictures of themselves in front of the band and put it on Facebook, also to show themselves at an event.
A lot of times when we play in the States, our audience -- and we have an audience that ranges literally from 10 to 70 years old -- is shocked when they actually understand that what they're involved with is actually happening in front of them. That it's not a recording, and it's not 20 dancers in a Las Vegas revue with some lasers and prerecorded tape loops and that kind of thing. So you can break through that. We're just going through a phase. This technology has taken over everything.
You get used to it, it is accepted by you, but when I play, I'm really there to hook up with my audience. outstandingleanagainst on this page. Fortunately, because they sing all the lyrics to my songs and my songs mean something to them in various romantic parts of their life, they're pretty happy to be there. So it's fun, but it's a different sort of experience than it is if you're going to really go sing from your heart and play from your heart and really move people. That's kind of what it's all about for me, connecting with an audience. My challenge is to kick that guy -- who's standing there with his girlfriend, with his back to me, leaning against the front of the stage, taking a picture of himself in front of me -- right smack in the middle of his ass. What makes a good crowd?
For me, what makes a good crowd is when you can hear a pin drop in the building. That's when the magic part of a set for us is, when there's this sort of silence, and we're all listening and performing, and we're sort of all in this sort of magical moment together. Music is a way of communicating that's very ethereal. It goes forward. It goes backward in time. You're taking people to the future and the past, and you're creating this event that's very emotional. Those are the high parts of a concert.
While on tour with Journey and Tower of Power, which mobile apps will you be using? I use Skype to stay in touch with my friends and family.
I'm just like anybody else that way. I'm using as many communication devices as I can to keep in touch with as many people, and easily quickly. It's much better with FaceTime to sit down and have a meeting. innoblogs read more. For example, if we were looking at the other person right now, I'm sure it would be a better conversation.
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