September 13, 2000.
Welcome to the JRS Artist Interview Series. Today I'm interviewing Loren 'Lo' Woods. Lo's music is wide-ranging; from soft and soulful to aggressive and over-the-top. He is an excellent songwriter--his compositions are rich and varied, exploring a variety of soundscapes. Lo's experience and good taste come through in all his compositions.
Guitar-wise, Lo is hard to classify. Perhaps a little Jeff Beck, some Hendrix, and Eric Johnson. Lo also fires off incredible Alan Holdsworthian licks with a fluid accuracy not often heard. Imagine the above mentioned influences taken and evolved into a new and exciting player and that might start to describe Lo.
Be sure to visit Lo's MP3.COM webpage and his personal website to hear and see more about this outstanding musician.
JRS: What made you want to be a musician?
Lo: Four things: 1) I was too short to be a power forward, couldn't dribble good enough to be point guard and was too white to be a running back. 2) My two older brothers, in addition to being star athletes, were in a teen band that was very popular. Man, I jealous of those guys. That was in 1966, I was 11 years old and could play good enough to be in their band but they said I was too young 3) I saw The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five etc. on The Ed Sullivan Show. 4) L.S.D.
JRS: Who inspires you? Who has had the largest long-term impact on your art?
Lo: Jeff Beck, Alan Holdsworth, John McGlaughlin, Jimmy Page, Larry Carlton and John Lennon in no particular order. And of course . . . Hendrix. What Guitar Player inspiration list would be complete without Jimi? But Jimi can't be classified with mortals. He was a phenomenon! He came, stayed a short time, introduced us to a sound that had never been heard before and never quite duplicated since . . . and then he checked out. Magic! The people and things in my previous answer inspired me to be a musician . . . Hendrix inspired me to PLAY MY ASS OFF!
JRS: What inspires you? (music, visual arts, life, beer, etc.)
Lo: Solitude! Private sessions in my studio with a firm recollection of the events, episodes and people in my life will produce music every time. And believe it or not, athletes inspire me. What they do is similar to our gig. Connors, Ali, Montana, Jordan, Bird . . . how many times have you seen them reach down deep inside and pull out something they didn't know they could do. How many times have you done that Jeff? You know what I'm talkin' about.
JRS: Shredders are generally despised for playing too many notes. What's your take on this?
Lo: I don't think they should talk about Reindel, Howard Hart, Goocher and Vrbancic like that! Just kidding fella's. Despised by who? By people who can't play like that? Of course! Ali was despised by his peers for throwing too many punches and getting' cute in the ring. However, I will say this: having the ability to burn is good, burning all the time is not good! It's analogous to giving a speech. A good speaker will say something to get you interested in the beginning, interject things throughout to hold your interest, surprise you a little here and there . . . then wrap the damned thing up. He won't come out and start repeating himself over and over as fast as he can. Although I have heard some speakers do that. No, I'm sorry . . . those were Auctioneers.
JRS: Britney Spears and a fire breathing dragon get in a fight. Who would win, and why?
Lo: It's questions like this that cause me to feel like Grandpa Jones! I'm so out of it. I watch very little TV or movies and I never listen to the radio unless it's talk radio. I know nothing about Britney Spears. However, I did quiz my 16 year old son about her, and if his vision is correct the dragon would be huddled over in the corner masturbating. So I guess she would win.
JRS: Know any good musician jokes?
Lo: How many musicians does it take to screw in a light bulb? 20. One to screw in the bulb and 19 to tell him/her they know a better way. . . . no . . . okay, I'll try again: What does an exotic dancer do with her asshole before she goes to work? Gives him a few bucks for cigs and drops him off at band practice . . . no . . . this is my last chance: What is the definition for gentleman? A guy who owns a Crate amplifier but never brings it to the gig. Or was it Peavey?
JRS: What's coming next from Lo?
I'm glad you asked. Well, I just recently started getting back into the studio. Hadn't written anything in almost a year. Maybe I needed that time to move into the next phase. I feel a swell of new music coming and it's hard to tell what that music is going to be. Sometimes I feel like recording something clean and down to earth like I did the other day, "Lo's Blues." And sometimes I feel like leaving the solar system, "The Rocker's Ballet." Won't know til' I get in there. I'll produce and publish another instrumental record within the next few months.
I've written and recorded music with a girl singer that'll make you forget about Britney Spears: Annie Lyon . It's interesting to solo around her voice. If you go there, listen to LSD Blues. Ah, you might as well listen to em' all. Maybe I'm her fire breathing dragon.
I would like to put some shows together here in the Midwest that feature choice mp3 guitarists (hint, hint). I don't want to call it Gunslingers, that's been used. I'll promote the shows, rent the venues, contract the sound and lights etc. The selected guitarists can bring their guitars and their bands. Or you can use my band.
I'll be doing a series of original shows around the Midwest with a 2 band lineup, my original band and The Dallas Miller Band. I played on some of his tracks and will be performing with his band too. Headliners alternating. If I throw the Annie Lyon material in there, that would make a 3 band lineup and I would play in all three. Wow! Then I'll really feel like Grandpa Jones.
P.S: I really enjoyed this Jeff! You are a helluva nice guy and a terrific guitar player.