Veteran producer/musician Tim Abbott talks about The Chocolate Watchband & Kingdom Voice Productions

"Rock music is a huge cultural influence and it sets trends and moves people in interesting new directions. Our hope is that the music that our group is writing and other groups like us can speak to people to open their minds to be more accepting of all people. And not just be thinking about business and money but what's right for the world."

Tim Abbott: The Kingdom of Chocolate

Producer, musician, voice, guitar, keyboard, and drum teacher Tim Abbott with decades of experience as a performing and recording musician is a owner of Kingdom Voice Productions. Producing his own solo projects and several groups and artists. Tim is also using an exciting new electronic vocal training technique. "We combine voice training with studio recording for very quick results that you can hear for yourself." Currently performing with Mark Kenoly & Kingdom Voice, and one of the original members of "The Chocolate Watchband" Classic rock group, Tim is a studio musician, producer, engineer, arranger, teacher, vocal coach, plays guitar, synthesizer, bass, keyboard, harmonica, drums and flute.               Photo by David Greenfield

Tim Abbott talks about The Chocolate Watchband, Buddy Guy, Jerry Miller, BB and Freddie King, Greg Rolie, and the 60s culture of Rock.

Interview by Michael Limnios

What do you learn about yourself from the Rock n' Roll culture? What does the blues mean to you?

I've been following rock and roll since I was seven years old. I started playing in bands when I was about 13. Playing guitar mostly in blues and Rock has been away from me to find myself, express myself it's just something that I found deep in me that resonates.

What were the reasons that you started the Rock researches? How do you describe your songbook/sound?

My music's been influenced by lots of styles and genres. I have been mainly attracted to African American artists through the years blues guitar greats like BB King Freddie King. I've done soul music, rock, reggae, alternative, modern rock, top 40. They've all influence me, the last few years going back and focused on the early Chocolate Watchband sound and that took me back to my roots.

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

In the mid-sixties I work with Jerry Miller from Moby Grape. His band was playing with my band and he gave me a lot of advice. He's the one that started me on the mode system which is what I use as one of my main go to us for soloing. He also got me into the Fender 410 Bassman, now one of my favorite amplifiers. And he's the first one that turned me on to Sitar. I got my first one in 67 and still have two today, one electric and one acoustic.

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

I've been fortunate to play with a lot of great musicians. Jamming with Buddy Guy when I was in my twenties was a highlight. Playing with Greg Rolie from Santana was another highlight. There have been some great gigs. We did two days with the doors and the 60s that were great gigs. And more recently for little Steven's International Garage Festival in 2004 was an amazing concert. Chocolate Watchband is played 6 concerts in the last 2 years. Some of them were really good.

"I've been following rock and roll since I was seven years old. I started playing in bands when I was about 13. Playing guitar mostly in blues and Rock has been away from me to find myself, express myself it's just something that I found deep in me that resonates." (Photo by David Greenfield)

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

A lot of people have been coming up to me the last few years and saying that you guys are the real deal. And I didn't know what that meant, but I think I figured it out it means that we're real musicians playing real music. So much music these days is being done by computers and edited to death. There's no life in the music the feeling is gone and it feels artificial. I do think that people are turning back to real music and my hope is in the future that people will realize that they lost something and try to regain it.

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

I don't know if I would want to change things. I think people have to come to a realization that real music comes from your heart and soul. Not a machine. Maybe we can lead by example.

What has made you laugh and what touched (emotionally) you from the '60s Chocolate Watchband era?

The band talks about all the time how fortunate we are that people still want to hear our music. We feel very lucky that we still can keep doing this.

How has the Rock n' Roll culture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

I think it's giving me an interesting perspective. More from the Viewpoint of Art and creativity. Less from the material world.

What is the Impact of Rock music and culture to the racial and socio-cultural implications? 

Rock music is a huge cultural influence and it sets trends and moves people in interesting new directions. Our hope is that the music that our group is writing and other groups like us can speak to people to open their minds to be more accepting of all people. And not just be thinking about business and money but what's right for the world.

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

My first gig with the chocolate watchband in 1967 at the Mount Tamalpais Fantasy Fair. Amazing gig I didn't appreciate it as much as I should have at the time how awesome the groups were that we were playing with.

"I do think that people are turning back to real music and my hope is in the future that people will realize that they lost something and try to regain it."

How started the idea of Kingdom Voice Productions and what characterize the philosophy and mission of KVP?

Kingdom voice Productions started off as a recording studio and production Center but grew into a school where we teach and mentor students as well as produce music. I have solo music coming out and we are just about to release two singles with chocolate watchband. They were just mastered and should be coming out within weeks. We're very excited about these new releases. Everything was recorded here at our studio KVP.

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