Guitarist Jean-Pierre Klifa discusses bluesy new album
(Published: April 30, 2013)
Q: Your music encompasses a handful of different genres -- progressive rock, country, and the blues among them. How did this creative arsenal evolve?
A: I am driven by tonality and storytelling. When I write, these two factors dictate the genre of the song. I am not proficient in any genre per se, but I let my creative spirit and imagination do the work, I just become a translator of a mood or a feeling that befits what I want to hear in a given song.
Q: How would you describe the artistic development between your two albums Pixel Love and Soldiers of Ashes?
A: There are huge differences between the two albums: The sound, tone, and structure. Pixel Love was my first time recording and playing with professional musicians. I had no idea what I was doing, nor if my songs had any artistic values. I thought the songs were good but I was very timid about it, which is why the album is very simplistic. I did not know how far I could push it. It actually left me a bit unfulfilled.
Q: And Soldiers of Ashes?
A: Soldiers of Ashes is a different story. I am playing very differently, layering many different tracks on different guitars in an effort to reach a more unique tonality. I don't think my lyrics or story telling are different as I think it is just my style when it comes to the pen. But I really wanted to introduce more instruments, be more organic - accordion, violin, sax, flute, and strings. It was actually a hard project for me to complete. But for right or wrong I am very happy with the result
Q: When did you start playing guitar? Did you receive any formal training?
A: My story is a common one, a high school band, a basement studio and so on. I was 16, but I was never serious about it, and spent very long periods without playing. Then in California I started being tutored by John Shneiderman.
Q: What is "Soldiers of Ashes" about?
A: Like for so many songwriters, the war was inspiring (for right or wrong), and I wanted to tell the story of these men who gave their lives selflessly, not just in Iraq (as in "My Dear Friend") but in any war, in any time and under any flag, they all share the same fears, struggle and march to the same drumbeat. And when they cry, scream or die, they are all on the same level; this is kind of the universal paradigm of war.
More Information: http://https://www.youtube.com/user/JPKLIFA
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