Q&A with Irish guitarist Jude Shiels, an inventive player with an accomplished Jazz, Hard Blues and Progressive Rock style

"I miss the wisdom contained in the music from the past, we live in an information age where knowledge is so widely available and so easy to obtain, but wisdom still remains highly elusive. Listen to Muddy Waters sing, or Freddie King play, how they deliver a lyric or a lick, this comes from an entirely different place than anything you can find on google, this for me is humanity at its best."

Jude Shiels: Music Voyager 

The So-Called are a power trio from Dublin, Ireland. Their new album by "The So-Called" relesed in 2020, entitled "House of the So". The band are: Jude Shiels - Vocals & Guitars, Noel Martin Jnr - Drums, and The Pirate - Bass & Misc. Album mixed by Mark Reddy at Journey's End Studios and recorded at Oblivion Studios by Yanko Genov. Jude Shiels is the son of Brush Shiels (Skid Row, Ireland) Jude has released two previous critically acclaimed albums "Without Silence" 2010 and "Detour" from 2012. His new band "The So-Called" have been active for just under one year. Their style has been described as an avalanche of infectious and fiery hard-rock, proto-punk and blues-rock, and they have been likened to Cream, MC5, Captain Beefheart and Blue Cheer. Jude's guitar style is heavily influenced by Freddie King, BB King, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Gary Moore, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian and Charlie Parker.

"I want music to affect people the same way I hope it affects the first alien world when they hear this music for the first time." (Jude Shiels / Photo by Steve Dempsey - Down The Barrel Photography)

However, Shiels Junior is an inventive player in his own right – with an accomplished Hard Blues, Progressive Rock and Jazz inflected style. As well as performing with Skid Row, Jude has played with Brian Downey (Thin Lizzy), Chris Stassinopoulos (Clear Light/Axis), David Cross (King Crimson), David Jackson (Van Der Graaf Generator), Henry McCullough (Joe Cocker, Wings), Jackie McAuley (Them), and Grant Nicholas (The Godfathers).

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Blues and Rock Counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

The counterculture inspired by Blues and Rock n Roll... the Rebellion, non conformity and expression of truth from the heart and soul has been what I've been eating, sleeping and drinking all my life, and I still can't get enough!

How do you describe your sound, music philosophy and songbook? Where does your creative drive come from?

My feeling of expression comes from the desire to follow my own unique distinctive journey, not to be a facsimile of somebody else no matter how noble or celebrated they may already be. We are all inspired and influenced in different ways by different people, but for me the motivation to create must come from the necessity and drive in some small way to say something new, not just to repeat what has been said many times before.

Which meetings have been the most important experiences? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Since, I was very young, growing up with a father who is also a musician, I have met so many great musicians, incredible people, too numerous to mention them all. However Noel Martin Jr, the drummer from the "The So-Called", is definitely one of the most important, as he has very much enhanced and expanded my musical horizons and boundaries by being so effortlessly able to surpass my own. The best advice I ever received was from my father, "if she's the wrong girl, she'll know what to do, if she's the right girl, you'll know what to do".

"My feeling of expression comes from the desire to follow my own unique distinctive journey, not to be a facsimile of somebody else no matter how noble or celebrated they may already be. We are all inspired and influenced in different ways by different people, but for me the motivation to create must come from the necessity and drive in some small way to say something new, not just to repeat what has been said many times before." (Photo: Jude Shiels)

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

I remember my first jam session with legendary Greek drummer and composer Chris Stassinopoulos back in 2015, in a small rehearsal room somewhere in Athens, hearing him play up close for the first time was like bearing witness to a Tornado, Earthquake and Hurricane combined.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I miss the wisdom contained in the music from the past, we live in an information age where knowledge is so widely available and so easy to obtain, but wisdom still remains highly elusive. Listen to Muddy Waters sing, or Freddie King play, how they deliver a lyric or a lick, this comes from an entirely different place than anything you can find on google, this for me is humanity at its best.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

To reinstate the ability of people to both look back and look ahead when it comes to music, not just look back. Rock n Roll does not have to be only classic or nostalgic, it is important to always acknowledge, revere and reference a rich wonderful history, but too much emphasis on the past can suck the lifeblood and oxygen out of the now and the future.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

Never put more importance on the conscious mind above the subconscious mind, and never underestimate the power of the ear. If it sounds good, it's right, and if it doesn't sound right now, it might in a little while.

What is the impact of music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want it to affect people?

Carl Sagan the famous Astronomer and communicator ensured the Voyager space probe contained recordings from Chuck Berry and Blind Willie McTell. I want music to affect people the same way I hope it affects the first alien world when they hear this music for the first time. It would be nice if a bunch of extra terrestial visitors want to come hang out with us in Earth one day because they want to hear some more Chuck Berry cuts after getting a sampler from Voyager, perhaps because all the monotonous electronic music they've been listening to for a few dozen millennia has grown a bit stale.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

Newport Jazz Festival 1958, for the Saturday lineup, although Thursday would be fine too if Saturday is all booked out.

The So-Called - Home

Views: 132

Comments are closed for this blog post

social media

Members

© 2020   Created by Michael Limnios Blues Network.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service