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John Garisson (Ex-Budapest) interview

Just the fact that John released 2 brilliant album with Budapest would be good enough for us to have an interview with him, but to put a bit of extra icing on the cake, John has a very good solo album out!

So without further ado, the interview!

1. For startes tell us about "Above the Cosmos"? What made you go and do a solo album?

Having done 2 albums with Budapest with record labels looking over my
shoulder the whole time, I really felt that I wanted to make an album for
myself. I made a huge life changing decision by moving to New York and I thought it would be a good idea to document the emotions I went through when I first arrived. The title refers to where I live, above a dirty old diner called "Cosmos", hence "Above The Cosmos". That is where most of the songs were written.

2. We are also very interested in the creative process? What's the
difference now that you don't have full band behind you?

To be honest, the other guys in Budapest are amazing musicians but were never involved in the writing process. My writing process hasn't changed. I usually have several note books around my house and in my car. I write down lyrical ideas wherever I go. I make a point of picking up my guitar or sitting at the piano everyday and then the musical ideas flow. Every month or so I sit down with my note pad and listen back to my musical ideas and read my lyrical ideas and put the 2 together. That's generally my system.
[ John Garisson ]

John Garisson   © www.julianhayr.com

3. "Above the Cosmos" is very good album but we almost didn't even heard it was out. Same thing happened with second album from Budapest. What do you think about why media mostly ignores your music? We believe it should have much more exposure and most of the people that have heard you or Budapest seem to think the same. What is it? A curse, bad luck or?

Ha ha....Well it sometimes feels like a curse but I really don't mind.
I don't make records to sell millions. I make records because I have to. I can't switch that part of me off. I will continue making them as long as
it feels right. The time when Budapest were on a big label I didn't really
enjoy anyway. Although I only sold a few Budapest records and my solo
record, I've had several people get in touch with me and say that they are their favourite albums of all time. That is what I am doing this for. The whole reason I make music is for those moments when people connect with the songs. It can be one person or a thousand people. It makes no difference.
I don't understand why the industry has no interest with me, although one look at the current charts suggests that the industry has little interest in the quality of music these days. As I said, I am perfectly happy putting the records out myself and getting through to a few people. I like to think I am a little secret to a few hundred people. I like that.

4. You're currently playing as a session musician for James Blunt? How
that came to pass? We honestly think you are way too good for him.

I actually started out as a session bass guitarist when I 1st left
school. I played all over the world with various people. I did one tour
with a drummer called Karl Brazil and we became good friends. I then gave it up to start Budapest. In the mean time, Karl went on to become a very successful session drummer and got the James Blunt gig. When the old bass player left to concentrate on his family, Karl called me up and it was too good an opportunity to miss. I am really enjoying playing for James and he is a really nice guy. Plus I am getting to see the world and making a living from playing music. It may not be my own music but it's still some achievement to make a living as a musician.
[ John Garisson ]

John Garisson   © www.mrfotoworks.com

5. What are the plans for future? Can we expect another solo record and
perhaps a proper solo tour?

I am writing constantly on the road and am the most excited I have ever
been with some of my new ideas. I plan to record my next record when I get time off from the world tour in September. As for my own tour, I will
probably not be able to afford one after paying for my record, but were
someone to come along with an offer then great, I would love to. We will
have to see. But as before, I will put the record out myself and with any
luck sell a few hundred copies and that will keep me happy. I still have a
vast reservoir of songs and ideas in my head so, as I said, i will
continue to make records as long as it feels right and as long as people

Thanks for everything and we're keeping fingers crossed for the future.

Visit John at

kris // 18/03/2008


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