Robin Trower – SevenMoons Tone
Robin Trower, the iconic disciple of Hendrix, Do you have your own studio or did you use
was born on March 9, 1945 in Catford, South an outside studio for this project?
East London, England. Catford is a town within
London located at the heart of the London
Borough of Lewisham, dating back to Saxon
times, and which has a rich cultural artistic history. So it is no surprise that it would be the
birthplace of one of the most talented and
tone-respected guitar heroes of our time.
In the early turbulent sixties, Robin formed
a group that would come to be known
as The Paramounts, later including fellow
Southend High School mate Gary Brooker.
The Paramounts disbanded in 1966 to pursue
individual projects. Trower then joined the
band Procol Harum in 1967, staying until 1972.
In 1973 he teamed up with bass player James
Dewar and drummer Reg Isidore to form the
Robin Trower Band. Without a doubt, Trower’s
most famous album is Bridge of Sighs (1974).
Ironically, his former Procol Harum band mate,
organist Matthew Fisher, produced the album.
In 1980 Trower teamed up with former Cream
bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Bill Lordan for
the magnificent self-titled release B.L. T., an outstanding, retro Hendrix experience. Now they
are back for their first collaboration in years
with the release of Seven Moons. Trower’s
heavy univibe guitar tone can be heard meshing
with the distinctive voice of Jack Bruce. I had
the pleasure of interviewing Robin as he came
off tour with his reincarnation of B.L. T., in which
Gary Husband replaces Bill Lordan on drums.
I do not have my own studio, and for Seven
Moons we went to a studio in London called
Intimate Studios. I recommended it to Jack
because I like the acoustics in the room: wooden floor, not too dead—very good for guitar
What format did you record the songs on?
Analog or digital? Can you be specific about
tape players, such as Ampex or digital formats such as Logic, Pro Tools, etc?
Seven Moons was recorded on tape through
a Neve VSP 72 with Flying Faders to an Otari
MTR90 ( 2” 24 track analog) and mastered to a
MCI JH- 10 (1/2” – 1/4” analog mastering).
Being a guitarist, what foot pedals did you
use on this project? Were there any in particular that really gave you that classic Hendrix
feel? Perhaps you can share a technique with
Fulltone Fulldrive II, Clyde wah and a DejáVibe.
I am very flattered that you think I have something of the Jimi Hendrix feel. All my influences
were black Americans, blues, rhythm and blues,
and soul. Of course Jimi Hendrix was the first
guitarist to pull all of these threads together.
What upcoming projects or albums are you
Jack and I are trying to do some dates in
Europe in the New Year—hoping to have one
What’s your setup, guitar and amps that you
used on the recording of Seven Moons?
I used 2 Cornell “Plexi” 18/20 amps—these are
the 20 watt 1x12 combos. I would split from
my pedals, running one clean and one more
overdriven. On the track “Just Another Day,” I
used my DejáVibe going through one amp and
the other straight. My pedals were a Fulldrive
II and a Clyde wah, both by Fulltone, as is the
DejáVibe. The guitar was my signature model
Stratocaster from the Fender custom shop,
built by Todd Krause. This model is really quite
a vintage-type Strat (saddles) with a seventies neck with large frets and locking tuners. I
thought the larger headstock might possibly
give the guitar a bit more resonance. The neck
pickup is a fifties reissue, the middle is a sixties
reissue, and the bridge pickup a modern winding for more oomph.
I was a very big fan of the original B.L. T.
album and it was great to see that you and
Jack are back for another collaboration. How
much did Jack Bruce play a role in both composing the album and production?
I would come to Jack with a guitar idea and a
lyric and he would turn it into something great.
All the songs are co-written. We both acted as
producers on the sessions but I always let Jack
choose the take. If he was happy, I was happy.
I did a lot of the guitar soloing on my own and
then Jack would come in and do his vocals.
One day he sang five master vocals in a few
I knew when I heard this release that it was
recorded properly onto tape. It’s so refreshing
to see artists still using this format. Hell, it’s
tried and true! Just check out the tracks “Lives
Of Clay” and “Bad Case Of Celebrity” to feel
those dynamics in the recording. Of course, it’s
Robin’s playing that comes through with soulful
blues, the way only he can do it, but the tape
is a living, breathing integral part of the recording. LONG LIVE ANALOG TAPE!
How did you record the guitar, mics, room
amp or close mic, etc?
A Shure 57 a few inches from
Emmy Award winning guitarist Brian Tarquin scored a
Top 20 hit in the nineties with “ The Best of Acid Jazz,
vol. 2 ” on Instinct Records and enjoyed several top 10
hits on the R&R charts. Founder of the rock/electronica
band, Asphalt Jungle Tarquin has scored TV music for
such shows as CSI, Smallville, MTV, Alias, 24, All My
Children and many others.