TR3 - The Left Hand of Darkness
TR3 - On This Mountain Born in Clouds

Friday, March 3, 2006
Mexicali Blues

03/03/06 Teaneck, NJ Mexicali Blues
Interviewed by Alan Goldstein of
(Transcribed from audio interview by Jason "enthuTIMsiast" Martin)

This is Alan Goldstein with, and we’re joined this evening by Tim Reynolds. How ya doing this evening Tim?
Tim Reynolds: Fine how you doin’ man?
AG: Excellent! Kinda wanted to start towards the beginning. I understand you started playing music in church?
TR: Yeah.
AG: Can you tell us a little about that?
TR: Well you know I was brought up in the Midwest, my dad was in the Army, and he went to church a lot, and we all went to church a lot, and I don’t know, I’ve told this story several times. And you know, that’s, that was part of the music, but really the music that I liked, that I considered music, was my sister actually playing records. When I was a baby, she would babysit me and I would sleep in the room and I would wake up to music. And that’s the music that I … Motown and Elvis and Rock & Roll. Church music I always associate to this day with complete depression.
AG: Really!?
TR: Yeah. I mean, that kind of church music. Then I heard, ultimately, you know, later, as I got older, black gospel music, constantly. Oh, well that’s rock and roll, I mean, that’s kind of the soul of it. I just was, I didn’t really, I mean, there was, you know, that’s the only way I can look at it. It was just depressing for me. It wasn’t, like, uplifting. But Rock & Roll, I realized, the reason why Rock & Roll was uplifting at it’s best was because it cops from black gospel music, which really just cops from music, the way it should be from all of history, and that’s just a continuation of oral tradition. I think the white gospel music, it just got interspersed with a lot of different shit that isn’t the same.
AG: Not quite as soulful.
TR: Mhmm, yeah.
AG: Cool. And so uh being an Army brat I guess you moved around a lot as a kid?
TR: Yeah, let’s see, I was born in Germany, moved to Indiana, lived there for 3-4 years, moved to Alaska, and then went to Missouri, and that’s about it, and then I went to Virginia, and now I’m in New Mexico.
AG: Cool. In Santa Fe?
TR: Yep.
AG: And (do you) like Santa Fe?
TR: Oh yeah, I live out in the country, and have been living out in the country since I lived out there, so I’m a country boy now.
AG: Excellent. Have a studio at your house and…?
TR: Yeah, it’s really more of an artists studio for like painters; that’s what it was, so I call it the studio. I mean I do a lot of recording there, but it’s not like a studio with soundboards and stuff. I record on not even like that high tech of stuff.
AG: [laughing]
TR: Right into the old, most basic four track Teac makes.
AG: Mhmm. Cool. So I guess you wound up in Charlottesville in the early 80s.
TR: Yes.
AG: And you like Charlottesville?
TR: I did, yes, I liked it for a long time, but then I got tired of it, as all people get tired of places they’ve been at least 18 years.
AG: I was reading you had a regular Monday gig at a bar called Millers…
TR: That’s right.
AG: Can you tell us a little bit about that gig?
TR: I played there almost 10 years, every Monday night, you know, started out playing guitar with effects, and moved into other instruments, sitar, mainly there. And then after a while I went back to guitar and kinda did a lot of acoustic solo stuff there, that’s kinda where I worked up that kind of a scene. It was kinda like a place you could almost practice on the gig, cause people were studying and stuff, so it wasn’t like entertainment, it was more like you could get into some long jams or whatever you want to call it, space music, it was very wide open, you know you could do a lot. I learned how to play the sitar, literally, in front of people, you know, so it came to me pretty easy, you know.
AG: Cool, and I guess that’s where you wound up meeting Dave Matthews.
TR: Yes, that’s where I met Dave Matthews, yep.
AG: Cool. And, can you tell us a little bit about Cosmology?
TR: Cosmology was kinda like a world beat jazz improvisational project that I played in for a while and it was cool because I met this whole scene of musicians in Charlottesville. And the trumpet player was really like the figurehead of that band, you know, he’s just a great technical jazz, almost like a story. And what I found, though, in the total improvisation, was that I got tired of it pretty fast, because I wanted to get into more song structures and have improvisation leak out of that, as opposed to just starting from a jam. I mean, we had songs and stuff, but it was more toward the improvisation side. I started bringing in music and it turned into a jam, and I was just ‘well it’s not supposed to be a jam’. Not to anybody’s discredit, I mean, that’s what they wanted to do, to this day, those people they jam….
AG: It is fun to do.
TR:….and I like to jam, but songs come to me, and songs are what move me, and they can be very elaborate. Anything from like the old Genesis where there’s almost like a classical approach to the complexity of the verse/chorus thing, and that’s really what I strive for when I play acoustic… is you know, not complexity of the music itself, but like in the form, you know.
AG: Now I noticed in a recent interview that you had been playing some of that old British art rock on stage.
TR:…oh yeah
AG: and that was always kind of a highlight of those concerts is the guitar player coming out and doing the acoustic set.
TR: Right, right. I remember Steve Howe doing it, except he would like jump around like crazy while he was playing the most mellow acoustic stuff; it was crazy. It was good.
AG: Kinda like a mad scientist.
TR: Yaah.
AG: Can you tell us a little bit about Sticks and Stones?
TR: Sticks and Stones was an improve kinda thing with Greg Howard, but it wasn’t like a Jazz improv, it was more like, sonic, almost avant garde, but much more like... I mean the first time we ever played we had listened to this Japanese Kyoto music and the amount of spaces in that music was kinda like how you know, we got that kind of start. I mean it kinda goes to whole extremes cause it’s improv, and we start out with drums and bass; I was playing drums and that’s why it was Sticks and Stones, but we only did one gig like that, and then we kinda got into the other things we got into.
AG: So I guess your longest running band is TR3.
TR: Right right.
AG: And, do you still perform with TR3?
TR: No I haven’t, it’s been hard since I moved to New Mexico, that was more like a Charlottesville… the word phenomena isn’t the right word, but more like a Charlottesville…. You know everybody lived in Charlottesville, when I moved away from Charlottesville we kept it going for a while, but it’s just a lot harder to keep a band going. When you live 2000 miles away you can’t just say “Let’s do a gig Friday.” You have to do a lot of gigs to make it worth everybody’s while. And having a family and just, it just kinda became more than I wanted to have to deal with, you know, it just got easier to do solo tours.
AG: [inaudible]
TR: Oh yeah, I mean I did things with imaginary machines; programming, and I kinda created a band out of that, you know, the Invisible Pagan Underdogs, which still exists, but you know, they’re taking a break right now while I go on…
AG: Kinda like some Shaun Phillips stuff that he did, with programmed stuff.
TR: Yeah exactly.
AG: Another thing that caught my eye was Puke Matrix. What’s up with that?
TR: It was just the name we gave it, for that tour, because we got into this thing of having a different band name every week, even though you couldn’t advertise it as such, but for our own sake and that was one that we liked, and other names were like “Fresh Balls of Hercules” and … stuff like that.
AG: The list of funny band names.
TR: And Puke Matrix was just… I don’t know where it came from, but I was mad immediately the next year that they came out with the movie “Matrix” and I was just like …
AG: [laughter]
TR: But then you know you’re on to the archetype [flips bird]…
AG: The bird just flipped ladies and gentlemen….
TR: …you’re on to the archetype if you’re doing stuff that people… that .. like.. for a year or so everything I came up with that wasn’t even released: ID, and … no one
AG: [background]… What’s her name did one called…
TR: … right…. Macy Gray came out with an album called ID, and I had done one, but just with internet release called ID and then I called the band fictitiously “No One” and the exact same time the band came out with the band [sic] “No One” so I was just like... “Fuck all titles; I’m just who I am, that’s just the way it is.
AG: Well I guess you’re tapped into the great beyond.
TR: Yeah. And there’s like the infinite diversity of you know, incorporeal beings talking to me all day. It’s crazy.
AG: So in Santa Fe, is there a big music scene?
TR: There is, but I’m not really…, regretfully not really a part of it, because I travel so much. When I’m there I don’t really want to play, I just want to hang out, you know. When I do play it’s usually a political event. I played more gigs in the Rotunda at the Capitol than in any place else. Those have been the best gigs. The last one was not very many people. We stood in a circle while there was some idiot with a flag about how he hates war protesters or something. It was some big stink about, I don’t know, Democrats for, Giving Up or something, you know it was just some real sarcastic…
AG: It’s usually one guy like that…
TR: …we just had this beautiful circle thing, it was very powerful, at least for the freaks that were there, you know. But anyway, I love those kinds of gigs cause they’re more about something else than just entertainment.
AG: Yeah, you know, before the presidential elections, a lot of musicians came out and did big shows, and raised money and you know…
TR: Oh yeah… they tried like a mother [sic] but they cheated anyway, so…
AG: Well, we can rub their nose in it.
TR: Exactly. We’ll they’re getting it rubbed in their face right now. Well the rest of the world knows that we’ve voted in idiots, and they’re just still shocked. And they didn’t really win anyway, they just…
AG: Twice. Twice they didn’t win.
TR: … Yeah twice they didn’t win, and now I’m sure they feel like they…. You can look at the snicker in George Bush’s eye that he’s gotten over, but his shit stinks man, and everybody smells it, and it’s not good.
AG: Worse than everybody else.
TR: And it’s not just his shit, it’s all those guys shit for the last 40 years, they’ve been running the show, incrementally in darker littler places, and now they own the whole things, Supreme Court, everybody and everything. And they still look like shit, even though they’ve got everybody in the right places on their side, they… their shit just stinks man.
AG: They have kinda bought the media off as well.
TR: And that stinks too.
AG: Yeah. So. Dennis Kucinich very interesting, I noticed you were promoting him on your website. I guess one of the few truly honest guys out there.
TR: Yeah, the only one that I know of, cause the rest of them are for shit, if you ask me. That’s probably a really bad thing to say, but, Dennis is the only one that I personally know it’s the only… as far as I can trust anybody. And he’s totally cool. And he knows he’s like the only one, its like ‘poor guy’. This is his thing though, he does… he’s been reincarnated enough to wipe out the discouraged gene, so he doesn’t have that anymore, so that’s his problem [laughter].
AG: An easy fight.
TR: I’m trying to get that from him. He knows how to instill courage. It’s a beautiful thing.
AG: The easy fight is not quite as rewarding as the tougher odds.
TR: Well even though people don’t really care to think about it, history will look poorly on those fools …
AG: Oh yeah.
TR: it already has.
AG: Um. Well, uh, how much longer are you going to be out as a solo performer this time around?
TR: Till I DIE! I’m not going to retire, I’m going to fall over dead and they’re going ‘why didn’t he retire?’ Because retirement is a joke for... It’s an American pipe dream of something.
AG: Heck, Les Paul is still playing.
TR: Yeah I mean musicians don’t retire. They know better. They’ve got something to do. It’s like they’re going to be playing after they die and come back and play some more, so why stop, it’s just stupid. You know, the whole retirement thing is a myth. I mean my wife’s dad played his whole life and then died before he retired. I mean, it’s one thing to plan for your afterlife, cause you know that’s going to happen, but to plan for this life, is just kind of silly, beyond the here and now, not that you shouldn’t think of tomorrow, but to get so caught up in physical reality that, by it’s own nature decomposes, as soon as your born, your body grows, but you know, you know it comes to an end. It’s like a plant, you know, really. Anyway. I could go off about that, but….
AG: [laughter]
TR: Time is limited. READ the Tibetian Book of the Dead, that’s all I can say. Read ALL the versions, over and over. It’ll sink in.
AG: Have you found that the internet has been helpful to you as a solo performer?
TR: I imagine so. And also just reading this book about the tipping point. It is, and it’s probably also getting to the point where people are inundated with stuff like from the internet and the telephone are immune to all of it, but people that are naturally interested are always going to be interested. You know, it’s just like every other medium, you know what I mean, once it’s a novelty and everyone’s into it, and then once it’s average like telephones, we have them, you know, screened. So it’s good, you know.
AG: Cool. Anything else you’d particularly like to chat about?
TR: Aaahhh. Too spaced out. Space is good. I don’t have anything to say.
AG: OOohkay!
TR: Peace. Love. Positive vibes mon.
AG: Oohkay! Well thanks for joining us here Tim, and we’re looking forward to the show!
TR: Thank you very much.
AG: This has been Alan Goldstein, we’ve been speaking with Tim Reynolds on