|ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS RiCK MCGUiRE
THREE TiMES THE CHARMDespite two albums to his credit, Minneapolis-based singer songwriter RICK MCGUIREís third release DUST AND TEARS has that debut album freshness to it. This could be attributed to the fact that MCGUIRE chose to call all of the shots for album no. 3. While previous releases featured impressive casts of prominent Minneapolis session musicians, MCGUIREís sole collaborator this time around is keyboardist DONNIE LA MARCA leaving one to suspect before listening that DUST AND TEARS is a stripped down affair. On the contrary, DUST AND TEARS is a rock solid collection of alt-country tinged rockers that at times make falling in love seem like the craziest predicament in the world. Although the CD is merely a party of two, DUST AND TEARS almost has an organic live feel to it Ė something that MCGUIRE has learned after years of working with producer TOM HERBERS. ďIt was great learning his [HERBERSí] approach to recording and how he tackles it.Ē says MCGUIRE ďFor me it was fun to take everything that I had learned and put it to use on my own stuff and take it to the next level. That was kind of my goal.
RiCK MCGUiRE TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST RELEASE DUST AND TEARS
WORKiNG WiTH DONNiE LA MARCA
AND TAKiNG THE SOUND iNTO HiS OWN HANDS
iNTERViEWED BY BRiAN LUSH
ROCKWIRED spoke with RICK MCGUIRE over the phone. Here is how it went.
How do you feel about DUST AND TEARS now that itís out there for people to hear?
Iíd say that I feel satisfied.
Whatís different this time around from your two previous releases?
I think I learned a lot on the first two releases. I was fortunate enough to work with some really talented local musicians that have been in the national scene and that had played with some big name acts. I think I was also fortunate to be able to lock myself in a studio for thirteen days with TOM HERBERS who is probably one of the better producers that we have in town. It was great learning his approach to recording and how he tackles it. For me it was fun to take everything that I had learned and put it to use on my own stuff and take it to the next level. That was kind of my goal.
Talk about how music began for you as an individual.
I started playing guitar when I was twelve and I never quite put it down after that. I think itís just one of those things that some people have and some people donít. Itís just a part of who I am and I donít think Iíll ever quit doing it. But from there it went from playing guitar to joining various bands and taking guitar lessons and vocal lessons and immersing myself in original writing.
Who did you look to for inspiration in finding your voice as a songwriter?
Thatís a tough question. Itís kind of hard to pinpoint any one artist. There are so many different influences. Here is everyone from DONALD FAGEN to JOHN MAYER to METALLICA and ANGUS YOUNG from AC/DC. Influences come from pretty much everywhere. I like everything from heavy metal to just about any genre. Except for rap. I havenít quite wrapped my head around that one yet. If itís good music, I like it.
What kind of place are you coming from thematically as a songwriter?
I canít really say that there is any one particular theme that gets explored. I just write whatever comes out. I donít really have any preconceived ideas of a theme or anything like that. In the process of recording the CD, I think I wrote about two or three heavy metal songs and some jazz stuff. These were the songs that I though that went together the best in terms of having a genre.
How does the writing process happen with you?
It really comes from sitting down with an acoustic and a notebook and coming up with a cool chord progression and a melody and from there, filling in lyrics.
Who did you work with in putting this CD and what do you think they brought to the table that made it work?
I really never intended to do this one my own. It was my intent to put some ideas down on some four track recording and then head into the studio with some musicians. This project got to a certain point and I just thought, Ďwhy not keep going?í The one person that I really needed to have on the CD was DONNIE LA MARCA. He is an incredibly talented keyboard player and he is for sure the best in town if not the country. I was really fortunate to have him in my own backyard. Iíve known him for quite a while so it was easy to get him to come in and work on this CD. I donít even think it would even be a RICK MCGUIRE CD without him on it. He was the person that I knew I had to have on the CD and he brings a lot to the table.
Talk about the reaction to your music in live settings.
For this CD, I havenít even been out yet. I have been so focused on recording and mixing and getting it done. Itís really a challenge as a solo artist in trying to get session players together but I do have a group of session players Ė including DONNIE- that I have played out with locally. At some point Iím going plan something and get out do some playing on this CD.
From the CD, what songs stand out for you the most and why?
For me it is probably the song that most people wonít listen to or care for that much. I think the song COME INSIDE Ė from my perspective Ė is my favorite song on the CD.
What would you like a person to come away with after theyíve heard this CD?
Hopefully they wonít be too depressed. Thatís a great question. I never really thought about that one. Hopefully, they will like it and relate to it in some way. Most of the songs on here are about someone else. Theyíre not about me. I think everybody has experienced these feelings and emotions. The songs are about relationships and I think everybody has been through good ones and bad ones and hopefully there is something here that everyone can relate to.