Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:55 am Post subject: GuitarWank Reunion
Happy New Year! Good to hear that your new album is coming along well.
Looks like NAMM performances at the Baked Potato are turning into a 3/4 TT showcase with Kinsey playing on Monday, Willis on Thursday, and you on Friday. Would you be able to get together with the guys and do a GW podcast? I'm sure for fans this would be a real treat since we've rarely heard a discussion featuring most of the guys from TT.
Ha ha! That's a cold day in hell situation. Willis and Kinsey don't speak to each other at all, and I haven't talked to Willis since Tribal Tech broke up. Willis and I were never friends, just business partners. Let's get Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and Jesus on the show. That would be easier and more fun.
BTW, we were supposed to do a podcast with me, Kinsey and Covington last month. At the very last minute, Covington cancelled, which is exactly what everyone expected him to do, because that's what he does. The only dependable thing about him is not doing what he says he will.
You guys have no clue what a fucking nightmare Tribal Tech was - since that band broke up, my life has been peaceful bliss in comparison. Except that I did keep Kirk for the first version of my trio because we were playing a lot of blues and he sings. That ended up badly when he didn't show up for a Baked Potato gig, causing the club to go dark, and he was banned from there for a year. He also cancelled on my South America tour, three days before the flight, so I had to spend $4000 in tickets for Alan Hertz, since all the promoters had already paid for Kirk's tickets, so that money was lost. I threatened to sue him and he eventually paid me back. Still, 15 promoters had paid for posters and advertising so I was lucky that none of them docked me - but they'll never work with Cov again. I met Alan Hertz for the very first time at the airport in Puerto Rico.
When Kinsey first joined Tribal Tech, he hadn't memorized the music yet, and after a few gigs, Willis found his charts and threw them in the trash, on the night in Detroit where Kinsey's parents came to the gig. I could go on..... and on....... and on..... I'd rather have rabid monkeys on the podcast.
No reason to delete it and no hard feelings at all. I'm still friends with Kirk, as long as I don't have to depend on him for anything, and Kinsey is one of my best friends - we hang all the time and he's playing on the new album. I've said some mean things about his career which I regret, but I felt I had to express my opinions because I wanted him to wake up and get out of that one chord jamming all night and put together a real show - which he has. He has a new record called No Sleep which I listen to all the time - it's killing.
I don't want to sound too naive, or like I live in the world of Teletubbies, but... It's hard for me to imagine you can make music for years with the same person and only consider you're business partner.
If you're a studio player, I can unerstand that you really see it as a business, and the people you work with are only people you work with.
But when you write music for several albums with the same person, there has to be more to it (according to me). It can't only be business.
I totally understand that you can be close with someone, and it's just because you're doing music together, and years later you don't have a lot to share, and you don't even see or talk to each other. But at the time you were doing the TT albums, did you feel like only business partners?
It's just like Mick and Keith... without the money, booze and chicks. Well Willis probably got a lot of chicks.. girls love fretless bass and mtb caps... Tonisha Mills was turned off by all the b flats though
To elaborate on Kevin's comments, and please understand that I don't mean any disrespect, but you promoted Willis to co-leader of TT, continued to collaborate with him for nearly three decades, and produced ten albums together. That was purely a business partnership?
In this photo from Kinsey's Instagram from late in '17, it seemed like you guys were having a good time busting Paper Willis' balls. Willis even responded to Kinsey's posts. I guess I incorrectly assumed that all of you guys remained friendly.
I understand that relationships are complex and that your experience in TT was challenging. My comments are not meant to imply an expectation of reconciliation--just trying to understand what some of my favorite musicians went through.
If you don't want to discuss this further, that's fine.
I'm not saying that during our collaboration Willis and I didn't have fun or share a laugh, but we also argued a lot, which is normal for business partners. Outside of work we were never friends, probably because we're completely different personality types and don't have much in common besides music.
He was at NAMM last year and didn't call any of us - I get it with Kinsey because they're pissed at each other, but we ended our partnership with no hard feelings at all. If he comes to LA once in 5 years and doesn't even call, I guess that's not too friendly.
I think people assume that bands always consist of good friends, but that's bullshit. The music brings like-minded people together, but doesn't guarantee friendship, or even personal respect. I'm not talking about Tribal Tech here, but there are many great musicians who I wouldn't even be in the same room with. Talent doesn't make a good person, or a sane and responsible one.
Again, not talking about Tribal Tech, but I've had the misfortune to work with some real pricks - the music never suffered because of it, but I did.
Scot, pardon me if I'm too curious, but when you say you argued a lot, was it about creating the music, or about all the business shit that you had to deal with as a band (contracts, gigs, planes, etc...).
We argued about music, but that's to be expected. One thing I appreciated about the band is we always used the best ideas, no matter who's they were, so those were the good kind of arguments. The main fights were about business, handling problems (many problems), and live gigs. I'm extremely lucky to have my hearing, because Kirk and Willis are still the loudest rhythm section I've ever worked with.
I made Willis a partner because he was writing half the music, but he never lifted a finger to get record deals, agents, or handle any kind of business. That was me 100% and it took A LOT of my time, but I still split profits with him 50/50. One time at a tax appointment, my accountant asked "hey are you still letting that guy ride your coattails?" It's true that the band was better off because of Willis's writing, but if I'd waited around for him to get off his ass, we'd have never played one gig or made one record.
After Kinsey and Kirk were fired, Willis wanted the band to continue with Gergo Borlai and Deron Johnson. Apparently he made big promises to Gergo about being in Tribal Tech, so much so that I saw some drum ad where Gergo mentioned Tribal Tech on his resume, even though we'd never even had a rehearsal. Deron was (and still is) the only keyboard player in LA who I'd be interested in playing with, but he's really busy with film music and I didn't wanna be the guy chasing him around to miss a film date for a 100 dollar gig, so I became very uninterested in continuing the band - we decided to call it quits, but as I said, with no hard feelings.
I remember waching a video of Willis explaining his technique. He insisted on all the things he does to avoid unnecessary moves, and to save muscle and energy. So no wonder why he didn't lifted a finger!
No, but only because I don't have time to learn the music. I like what he's doing these days and it would be really fun to play with him again. His playing is unbelievable - buy that record No Sleep - his harmonic ideas are otherworldly!
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