MCLAUGHLIN AND NOT FEEL LIKE YOU ARE 18 YEARS OLD.
YOU CAN’T BE
How did the tour with drummer Lenny
White come about?
Basically, Souvik Dutta, who runs Abstract
Logix, hooked it up. I have been a Lenny
White fan since I was 17 or 18 years old
and I heard Romantic Warrior [by legendary fusion keyboardist Chick Corea’s group
Return to Forever]. It changed my whole life.
The big three bands for me were Weather
Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Return
to Forever. Those bands were basically Miles
Davis’ children. Both Lenny and I did records
with Souvik, and Lenny asked him if I could
play on his record and it started from there. I
love Lenny. He is just incredible.
Along with Widespread Panic drummer Todd Nance
(right ), Herring holds down the groove with his
army of Fuchs amps. Photo by Colin Vereen
and said, “John McLaughlin wants to play
with you [at two Abstract Logix concerts in
November].” I just didn’t know what to say.
How much of an influence has John
McLaughlin been for you?
I am 48 years old and I should be past the
point of being starstruck, but you can’t be
around John McLaughlin and not feel like
you’re 18 years old. He is such an inspiration. He’s one of those artists that just
about recreates himself with every album he
makes—just like Miles. And, you know, Miles
was a tremendous influence on him. I love
so many aspects of John’s career. Obviously,
Mahavishnu was my first exposure to him.
My brother first gave me that album. After
that, I started to trace back to everything
he had done before then, and it led me to
Miles. I couldn’t believe it when Souvik called
Do you have plans for a second solo album?
This has been that crazy year where I have
been busy and haven’t had a real chance to
write. I have these sketches lying around that
as soon as I get some time I will finish them
and get to recording. It is something I wish I
could do every year. It will probably be January
before I get a break and so I will take that time
and work on that. At least then, I will have
enough material to make another record.
Musically speaking, what is the most
rewarding part of creating a solo album?
With this music, I just wanted a final say
about the performances. I am not the guy
to mix or engineer the record, but as far
as the performances go—especially my
own—I wanted to have the final say. This
is the first time I have been able to do
that. I probably used too much reverb in
certain spots, but people like John Keane
are real good at seeing the bigger picture.
We wrote, recorded, and mixed the record
inside of a month, and his genius is what
made that possible. We were done record-
ing within three weeks, and he just went
straight in and mixed it. I know a lot of
people make records faster than that, but
that is pretty good for a record like that.
If we can do the same thing with a more
fusion-oriented record like what I want to
do next, I will be thrilled to death.