On the eve of JD McPherson's debut gig Down Under, the former art teacher-turned-roots rocker tells Natasha Francois what Auckland can expect from their live show at the Tuning Fork on the 27th February.
Known for his classic sound rooted in rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues, and rockabilly, Oklahoma-born rock ‘n’ roller JD McPherson is set to play a razor-sharp show in support of his latest highly acclaimed album, Let The Good Times Roll, backed by his long-time four-piece band featuring Jimmy Sutton on upright bass, Jason Smay on drums, Ray Jacildo on keys and Doug Corcoran on saxophone, guitar and keys.
What can our readers expect from your live show?
One hundred percent total physical commitment.
You've said before that you're not interested in making a time-machine record; you love to blend disparate stylistic shapes and textures so you're creating something new as well as paying homage to the past. Is that why you call your sound "50s psychedelic"?
Haha, the "50s Psychedelic" moniker came from a conversation Mark Neill and I had previous to the production of Let The Good Times Roll. We had these crazy notions that we could push all the earmarks of ‘50s recording (tape delay, overdrive, rotating speakers, plate reverb) to their top extremes. We went pretty far, but not as far as we originally joked. I also am not really interested in writing with themes centred in that time.
You’ve mentioned that you like to see the hand involved in the work: you want to hear the performance and the people behind the performance. Can you explain?
Sam Phillips once said that his work was "perfectly imperfect". There's a big difference in a song recorded with each member recorded separately, and a song recorded with people playing together. It's the same difference as receiving an email or a handwritten letter from a friend. Two different types of communication.
Although you use vintage gear and sounds and have a vintage aesthetic, it was 21st-century technologies like YouTube and social media that helped get your work out to a mass audience. Imagine if the internet had been around in Chuck Berry and Little Richard's day!
I almost believe that had that technology existed, it would have been harder to find the cool stuff. There were one or two avenues for a kid to discover cool music – TV shows, rock ’n’ roll movies, and word of mouth. Now there's such a saturation. I don't really spend a lot of time looking for cool music on the web, because there's so much to wade through.
To read more about JD McPherson buy yourself a copy of the TEXT issue and turn to page 16!
To catch JD McPherson live, get a ticket for their show at the Tuning Fork in Auckland on February 27th. Or better yet, win yourself a ticket by entering your details below before Sunday 21st February at 8pm!