Music is certainly in my DNA. I come from a family of musicians and was strongly encouraged by the age of 5 to take Piano lessons. While growing up, I learned several instruments including Cello, Trombone, Guitar and Bass, and developed an interest in writing and recording music. As a natural part of this process, I’ve always studied music, learning the tools of the trade. I’ve had many mentors and teachers that have shared their knowledge and wisdom with me, and I can do that technical thing, but for those of us who are fans, Pink Floyd has always touched us in a very personal way. For me, playing this music live for you is the best life gets. It’s two hours on stage with nothing else on my mind. It’s a challenge, it’s a privilege, and it’s exhilarating.
So what is the process? There are so many personalities in the music business. There’s the meticulous, the careful, the technical, the flash. I’ve studied them all and have attempted to get inside their heads by listening very carefully and learning their approach. Sometimes you just say, man I can’t even get close to what this guy is doing and listen in awe. The inspiration is motivating. Lucky for me I’m recreating the music of a keyboard player named Richard Wright, who’s role in Pink Floyd aligns very closely to who I am as a player. He provides the atmosphere, the clouds passing by, the waves on the shore, the birds in the distance and the thunder clouds that surround the music. He’s the unifying element that is always there supporting the other players. He’s probably the most underrated player in rock music. I’ve often wondered if he simply improvised perfection by accident or by design. I never hear him play the same thing twice. You would think that the studio recordings would be the perfect version, but then he will play something completely different live, and still it all works.
My task is to learn his method and get inside his head. This requires a lot of listening. It can take months, years to get close to it. I’ve been playing Pink Floyd live in front of audiences for over 14 years, and still hear new stuff in old parts all the time. Every year when that The Floyd starts a new season, I go back and do revisions with a precise, analytical approach, having developed the ability to isolate parts mentally when listening to music and transcribe to paper what is on the recording. Doing this not to memorize but to recreate exactly what Richard played. Sure, I could learn the chords and play the parts the way Rob Lawrence would naturally do them, but the parts must contain all the voices, chord inversions, the timing and natural intuitive process of the musician who wrote and recorded the parts originally. When you hear my keyboards on stage, you are hearing as close to what Richard Wright played as possibile.
I’ve played in many cover bands over the years and I can safely say that The Floyd is the top of the mountain in a life full of musical experiences for me. We’re a family with mutual respect. We’re fans of each other and consider it a privilege to share the stage playing music that we love together.