ENTREVUE / INTERVIEW
WITH: Dave Cousins
Gerald Hawey - September 2018
Strawbs started his farewell tour, eventually they will bow after a career that lasted 54 years. They will be at the Salle Raoul-Jobin at Palais Montcalm in Quebec City on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Before starting, Profilprog (PP) Thanks Dave Cousins for giving us this interview.
ProfilProg (PP): After more than 54 years of career, you make this year your farewell tour. Was it difficult to make that decision? That she's the first reason you decided to stop?
Dave Cousins (DC): It was a difficult decision. We have found canadians to be the most receptive audience we have ever played to so it wil be emotional.
PP: For this last tour and with all the compositions you have written. How did you choose the titles you are going to play? Were the choices difficult?
DC : The choice of a set list is always difficult as we have such a huge repertoire to choose from. We have chosen the songs to represent our latest album, ‘The Ferryman’s Curse’, but also to give a broad refection of our musical development.
PP: What titles you are going to present, and which are for you essentials, where you said to yourself, no I can not miss those there?
DC : Certain songs we have to perfom such as ‘New World’ and ‘Hero And Heroine’ wich define Strawbs music. There will be surprises from the new album where we feature twin lead guitars and controversial songs with religious overtones.
PP: For the latest album in 2017 as well as for your farewell tour. You are surrounded by musicians who played with Strawbs during the group's career. Apart from Dave Bainbridge (Iona) who is a little bit of a new group. How did you come to work with him?
DC : He was recommended to us by the lead guitarist with Carl Palmer’s Band. I’m glad he joined us as he is one of the most creative musicians I have ever played with.
PP: What were your first musical influences?
DC : Lonnie Donegan and The Skiffle Phenomenon which then introduced me to the songs of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly.
PP: What was the album that was the turning point of the band's career?
DC : ‘Grave New World’. It was made after Rick Wakeman left Strawbs to join yes. Blue Weaver took his place and we became a fully integrated band.
PP: You published "The Ferryman's Curse" last October. What can you tell us about the last born of the group? How was the public reaction to its release?
DC : It was made under difficult circumstances. I had several kidney operations in hospital building up to it and then a hernia eruption which made it difficult for me to sing and play. The reviews for the album have been extraordinary.
PP: With all your experience do you think it is easier to make progressive music today than 54 years ago, considering the time in the studio, the shows and also the promotion?
DC : We play our own style of progressive music and we have evelved with every album we make. The album was recorded and mixed in ten days.
PP: Are there any moments or memories that will always be in your head? If so, which ones?
DC : Working with producer Chris TSANGARIDES was wonderful. Sadly it was to be his last album production as he died just a month after we finished the recording.
PP: Do you take the time to listen to some of the music that is being done today? If so, what were your heart shots recently?
DC : I Listen to very little new pop music at home as I am always busy in the office. I tend to play familiar records by DYLAN and SPRINGSTEEN when I am in the car rather than listen to synthesized music that is played on our national radio stations.
PP: In closing, you've done a lot of interview in your life. But is there a question that you would have liked to be asked but that no one has ever requested?
DC : How come you studied maths and statitics at university but ended up as a songwriter ?
PP: Thank you very much to you! And now I have to wish you (if I can afford...) A good retirement well deserved and health!!
DC : My primary concern is my health. Without it I won’t be able to enjoy relaxing on the beach.