Bruce Russell, “The Zen of Noise”

interview for Phantom Billstickers

I resolutely refuse to prepare anything or rehearse. When I collaborate with new people – I did that record with Delaney Davidson for instance – he realised that’s the experience that I would give him, that I would just turn up on the day and then we see what happens. I find it a really productive way to work and it saves so much time. […] When I start playing and I think I’ve got half an hour it can take ten or fifteen minutes to really turn into something but if you’ve only got three minutes you’re really on your game. It does produce a different result even though the method is the same.

The difficult part of what I do is learning not to over-think it. I’ve always been not able to play the guitar, I was born not being able to play the guitar! What was difficult was retaining the clarity, the simplicity of vision of I’m going to play the guitar but I’m not going to worry about playing it. I’m just going to use it, I’m going to see what happens when I do things with it. As soon as I start to worry about how I was playing I became very self-conscious and that made it very difficult.

It took a lot of psychic training to get myself to the point where I didn’t think about that, and then I had to train myself when not to listen to the others because if you listen to them too much when you’re playing then you lose track. Now I only listen to myself, I just point at the nearest foldback and say I just want my guitar through that so loudly that it will feed back when I’m standing over here. I’ll hear the drums but I don’t need to hear Michael cos it works when we don’t listen to each other. My best current description of my guitar playing is a mix of Tai Chi and carpentry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s