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

Friday, April 20, 2007
04/20 Interview by Sara Kaufman

(What follows is a phone interview with TR done just prior to his performance with Dave Matthews on 04/20/07 at the Wang Center in Boston, MA. Thanx to Sara for her interest and support and sharing it with everyone!)

Tim Talks: An Interview With Tim Reynolds

Monday, April 30, 2007
By Sara Kaufman

Musically and beyond, Tim Reynolds is one unique being. Although he never “officially” attended college, Tim has kept his mind enthralled in history, psychology and society. He’s imaginative, creative and intelligent, but most importantly, he’s about the nicest guy you could ever hope to have a conversation with.

Prior to spending 45 minutes talking to Tim, I had no idea what I was in for. My first question was basic and I was expecting a simple answer.

SK: How would you describe yourself?
TR: (no answer)

Tim feels he relates more with his mom, who died a couple years ago. His dad, being an ultra conservative, gave him a lot of grief over his career choice in the early days. “Years ago, when I was poor and raising my first family, I wasn’t making money.” After Tim started playing with Dave Matthews, his dad stepped into the proud father shoes with “Whoa! I’m really proud of you.” Being a dad himself, Tim knows it’s a “natural concern. Parents don’t want to see their kids struggle.”

Tim spent many years looking for a town to call home. He finally found it in New Mexico.

SK: Why New Mexico?
TR: New Mexico is just really beautiful. I’ve been there for about 10 years now….No matter where you are you see everything. It does something to your brain…. Literally seeing space expanded and having space to create music has been really great for me. Tim’s love for music began at an early age. He started playing piano at eight and eventually learned to play anything with strings. His “Uncle Bill” deserves all the credit for teaching him to play guitar. Tim’s passion to keep playing - “music is like time travel and dimensional travel.”

In a past interview, Tim revealed his belief that aliens are fictional Hollywood. To clarify, they are “a diversion. Almost 40% of the military budget is secret…The whole Roswell thing is really a kind of a diversion for the fact that in Roswell in WWII is where we brought all the SS Nazi Scientists to help us build rockets. These guys, they were killing and murdering Europeans and Jews and what not… We brought them over here and hired them to make the bombs for us.” His fascination with aliens involves a deeper intellectual perspective than I’ve ever encountered.

So does Tim secretly desire the kind of fame DMB has achieved? Certainly, doesn’t everyone? “I’m not motivated to become famous; I’m motivated to make a lot of music.” And if the right record deal came along? “Maybe. I wouldn’t say never.”

Editor's note: Sara was kind enough to put this interview together for Weekly Davespeak. Many thanks to Somdevil at for his help with the recording. Thanks to Lisa and Fluffy for the help. Get all of the latest on Tim Reynolds on his official website.

(Transcription by he who rocks. Thank you!)

SK: How would you describe yourself?
TR: Oh god.

SK: I’d read some stuff about your parents, you say that they were conservative and highly religious.
TR: Yeah my dad moreso than my mom, my mom was the quiet trooper and the model type probably, more of a model to me. ya know, we know, were all part of a family though.

SK: Are you like them, quiet and reserved?
TR: (laughs) I’m schizophrenic so I’m both, depends on the time of day, mood, and how much coffee.

SK: Do your parents ever come see you?
TR: My mom passed away a couple years ago and never really came to come see any gigs, but a lady told me that the night she passed away she did come to see that gig. But anyway my dad has come to see me a few times now.

SK: What does he think?
TR: Well he likes it, years ago when we were poor, or even my first family, he would call and say I shouldn’t be doing some dime a dozen thing like that since I wasn’t making any money, I was just playing music and raising a family, the conservative idea in his case, when I got with Dave and he got big, he’d call and say I’m really proud of ya son!

When you make money they’re proud, when you don’t they aren’t, its good, parents just don’t want to see their kids struggle, I wouldn’t want to see my son or daughter struggle. That’s what everyone has to learn to deal with, the appearance of doing a job. For most of my career I was poor and struggled while playing music, but I was playing music, and I liked playing music, I had to do a variety of gigs, it was a very rich tapestry of music experience. Since vie move to New Mexico it’s been more like a touring solo or with the band when I first started out there. Or just chill with Dave, were deep in gigs right now.

SK: Why New Mexico?
TR: New Mexico is really beautiful, it’s so far away from everything, I would never been there till the early 90s, it’s so far away and so beautiful, then I had the means to move where I wanted so we just moved out there and have been there about 10 years now, and ya know it’s hard to describe the experience of being out there, but anywhere you are you see so many things like distance wise, it’s so big, a 360 is 50-100 mile visual, it just does stuff to your brain, it’s a really good thing for me.

Since I moved out there I've had space, studio space, or whatever to do music, and the combo of literally seeing space expanded and having space to create music has really been good for me as far as being in the studio and writing music, I've recorded way more music then I could ever release but that doesn’t matter.

I just like doing it I just have to kind of just get back to putting it on CDs or selling it on iTunes. I've been really recording a lot in the studio, I’ve been doing a lot of acoustics lately, before I recorded a lot of electric music since you don’t have to really on the acoustics of a room you can record anywhere.

SK: So you’re moving back towards the acoustic
TR: Well I’ve kind of always ya know played acoustic quite a bit, and then there’s always been me playing electric as well, so always both. In the last ten years it’s been easier to do acoustic, traveling. It is kess stuff to carry around, but it’s also more of a challenge to play.

[There's] a lot of feeling you can project into that instrument, and a lot of rocking, a lot of people think of the acoustic as a mellow folksy chill out thing and there is that aspect of it, and that’s what makes it really cool for that, but you can also expand rhythmically, having played in bands for a while with a lot of electric and some other instruments for a few years I felt there is a lot you can do with an acoustic guitar.

SK: I read that one of your influences was Trent Reznor.
TR: Well, I was definitely influenced by that, he’s like a modern Peter Gabriel, but in a different way, like Miles Davis or anyone with an idea its really what they want to do musically, whenever I had bands I always had the ideas. I could always--when I write a song hear the other parts of the band.

Not necessarily hear, but feel it in my head, the functions, and I play bass too, so it’s almost like I play bass, guitar, and weird shit, all at the same time, not exactly, in a piece of music, there’s all the parts you play, not simultaneously. Since its music and it grooves it kind of comes out like that.

SK: Who first taught you to play guitar?
TR: Actually my uncle Bill, in the late 60s he’d come hang out out at the house and actually live there a bit, it would drive my mom crazy, playing late at night "bill, stop it"

TR: Yeah, it seems to be open to--music is like, an opening to a period, a connection to a period while the music is playing. When a smell sparks a memory, it is really cool, it is like time and dimension travel, and it’s not every time and gig it comes off like that, but once in a while when ya hit something and everyone’s grooving.

It can even be by yourself but you know it is something that happens and it’s hard to describe it, when music moves through, that is god, the emotional connection.

SK: Do you think it’s possible to relate our feelings, how you feel, to someone who’s listening, without words
TR: Oh definitely. That’s the beauty of music without worry; there’s a whole lot in the beauty of a note. Like the way birds and animals, we think of it as something we create, but it’s really just nature, it is us recreating nature, yeah its human nature, there’s all kind of info there, music is kind of like total info tech in a way, its sound, but it contains so much info, it’s almost like the idea.

The way the universe functions has to be that, all the info of the universe, all the info is contained in all the smallest parts of the universe like atoms, or quarks, the things we can’t even imagine, it knows itself and adjusts, because it’s all interrelated, and I can feel that, music to me, in general, is information.

There’s tangents were on as humans, but were all so connected to something we don’t understand and its like the whole universe, and were part of it and learning about it all our lives. humanity’s just beginning to wake up, consciousness will last beyond human beings, were just kind of part of a tapestry of all that.

SK: Did you go to college?
TR: I did sneak into some and use their facilities a lot at University of Virginia and never paid. I never took classes, I dated a girl in Charlottesville who went to University of Virginia, I would drop her off, but half the time I would just stay, sometimes at the library. I read a lot of psychology, then Buddhism.

SK: Who is your favorite author?
TR: Well most of the authors I'd call my favorites aren’t really considered authors, like _ writes a lot of books, but it’s more like he writes about things we don’t see in our everyday, and I really like history, there’s always new things to learn about history.

Chalmers Johnson, I like this guy, he’s written blowback and nemesis, it’s a look at a historical, how other empires and trajectory from being superpowers and after that and how that element works. Before the empires lost it. It’s kind of like where we are now, the whole overreach and religious fanaticism I’m the government and that kind of thing, it’s the last phase, which I’m really glad it’ll all be over soon! But yeah they’re just kind of spinning their wheels into the ground.

SK: In one of your previous interviews you were talking about history and about how where there’s chaos we are unable to see clearly and when we can see clearly we can understand it and it’s not chaotic at all. You are anti-war, how do those two things fit together?
TR: Well ya know, human history is like a dynamic thing that it’s never stopped, we're all in heaven all in hell, it keeps going, the chaos comes and it goes, and then it’s in different places, we're just part of a bigger universe. War, it’s an animal thing, people fight, but we don’t need to make it war, the reason we have war now, is because America wants stuff. We want to keep having stuff, and people who get in the way are our enemy, that’s why china is the enemy because they’re westernizing too, I think the future will be more about cooperating.

SK: Who do you see as being the best candidate for president?
TR: I don’t really have an answer, for that, the real solution, in the future is that we need to be like the founders of our government, but the three branches don’t cooperate and our executive branch doesn’t cooperate.

I have a funny feeling that I’m going to have to crack an egg to make an omelet here, our governments really dysfunctional now. But I’m going to say Kucinich since he’s the closest to the Dali Lama! as far as his non violence approach and that’s the only one that works, if you look at history it never works because its been violent, and it only works with true nonviolence. Presidential campaigns are just like rock star tours.

SK: I saw you courting aliens as fictional Hollywood.
TR: Yeah, I think the way they present it to us in the media, I’m sure there are other conscious beings across the universe, obviously I can’t imagine we're the only ones, but in the media it’s like another, diversion.

SK: So is your fascination with aliens more a fascination with conspiracy?
TR: Yeah, I mean really, conspiracy is an easy word to use, but people always go ohh yeah BS, everything is a conspiracy, it is one of those words with so many negative connotations; people hear it and automatically negate everything they hear after it.

SK: Tonight you have a show, are you going to sing?
TR: Nahhh, I haven’t done any singing with Dave, in this particular mode; I don’t know why not, it’s just never happened.

SK: Are you motivated to become famous?
TR: I’m not motivated to become famous, but I’m motivated to make a lot of music, and unfortunately to do both you have to spend a lot of time or have a team of people who have to think about how to make you famous. I’d rather just make more music. I understand that though.

SK: So no intentions of making your own record company and bringing in new people?
TR: Well, I would never say never, because everybody changes, but that’s how it’s been for a long time since I could afford to be that way. I probably make more music now than I ever have. If the right deal came along I might take it. I’ve been independent all my time and it’s kind of hard to let go of that. I wouldn’t be close-minded to anything new and fresh.

SK: Do you have any current projects you’re working on?
TR: Well, I’m always recording, and always open to inspiration. I use one of those little DVD cameras for sound to record whenever I have a little idea. Its one thing to create a song and record it, but it’s another to play it live. Last time I was off for a week I wrote a bunch of songs, and then practiced them.

SK: Are there any albums you recommend if someone is just learning about you and want to hear more, if you summed everything up in one album, which you would suggest.
TR: Ya know it’s hard to say, the last one I did has a lot of stuff, but not much solo acoustic, or nomadic wavelength, its probably the most comprehensive of solo acoustic stuff, it’s like a duality, married to acoustic and electric equally. The next bunch of CDs will probably be mostly acoustic, just because I’ve recorded so much at home that comes from feeling. Just go with the feeling

SK: Do you have any tips for amateur guitarists? Any suggestions?
TR: There’s ways to kind of breathe and practice technique, there’s so many ways to do it depending on the style of music, and if you want to play many styles you could, but just go one at a time. The technique and physical aspect--work that first, after that then play along with your favorite records and have fun, and use the technique, then go back and learn more techniques and have more fun, its general, but it’s a good way to improve your feelings.

SK: How long did it take you to actually be able to play in front of other people?
TR: I was kind of stood in front of people when I was 3, it didn’t take long. I had a burning desire to play music, so having had an uncle to hang around it didn’t take me long to play, I played in church a lot, I don’t know if that counts but, when I was young it was the only place they let me play.

SK: Yeah you were twelve, or younger?
TR: I can’t even remember, at least, I took piano when I was eight, but that wasn’t for me I kind of got volunteered for it. But I played bass in church and I was psyched because I didn’t have to sit in a pew at the end when they called everyone up to be saved, I knew I was already saved by music.

SK: Is there anything that you’re afraid of?
TR: Everything, well, it depends, you don’t want to be afraid of anything, but a body is afraid of many things, you will yourself to not be afraid, but it’s not healthy to be without feeling, fear is a human trait for survival, at least basically. But as humans with conscious it becomes many things. The least thing I fear is death, because I realize it’s a frequency transformation and a beautiful thing and so I ya know feel it’s a great adventure.

SK: What is your favorite ice cream?
TR: Hmm, probably chocolate vanilla swirls, in a cone.


At the TIMe of the original posting you could DOWNLOAD the audio at the following link:

Discussion for the interview could be done at the following link: