Bill Ortiz – Exclusive Interview

Bill Ortiz – Exclusive interview with Jack Dorrington Editor Clown Magazine





What are the main points of your album release?

The music on my latest CD is a blend of musical elements that are a representation of my musical history, and my identity as an artist. I’m very much into conscious artistic Hip-Hop and Neo-Soul artists such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Zion I, Erykah Badu and OutKast. I like to mix this with the influence of such classic R&B artists as Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye. These styles are interconnected- it’s just the natural progression. I’m also heavily influenced by “jazz” artists who think outside the box, such as Bill Laswell, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Pharoah Saunders and Herbie Hancock. I like the idea of combining the groove, rawness and energy of hip hop and R&B with the advanced harmony and improvisation of jazz.

What’s the progression from scratch, start to finish in terms of your musical ideas and creativity?

Each song is different in regards to how they are conceived, written and recorded. Some start out as a lick or chord progression on the piano, sometimes something I’ll start with on the horn, and sometimes its something that pops in my head while I’m driving or taking a shower. That’s where the iPhone recorder app comes in handy.

What’s the flame that keeps you on track?

What I live for as an artist is creating moments of magic on stage-when we are collectively creating something we haven’t played before. I wake up daily looking to exploring new musical ground every time we play as a band, reinventing and reinterpreting songs we have played before, making them a new expression each time we play.

What does the future hold for you, and where do you want to end-up?

I would love my group to be viewed as a band that plays soulful music that is very creative, and presents musical surprises. In today’s world of excessively programmed music, overly auto tuned vocals and celebrity over art, I very much value organic creative music which also reflects contemporary culture.

Can you tell our faithful readers what’s next, and where are you at, and where does your creativity process take you from here to eternity?

At this stage of my career and life, it’s increasingly important to me to create music that is not only creative but also social conscious as well. So much of our media and culture today is based on the “trash for cash” model. When Marvin Gaye recorded “What’s Going On”, Gil Scott-Heron wrote “Winter In America” or when Mos Def wrote “UMI Says”-it was important to them that they put out something that had substance and depth. Obviously there is room for everything, but I think it’s very important that we don’t forget the music aspect of the music business.

Amanda Abizaid – Exclusive Interview

Amanda Abizaid – Exclusive Interview with Jack Dorrington Editor Clown MagazineImage

Your most recent release what was the creative process in the making of the album?

Our new album, “Like The Wolf” is our second work. As our first one, this is also a concept album and one where we feel that at last our music is as we wanted it to be. The music is entwined with the poetry of words: In your youth, as a child, your perception of things is of innocence – so, the first recollection of the idea of the wolf is almost as if he were a monster, leaving you but fear to breath at the very sight of him. As you grow older, your senses turn colder and if one is to remember this second moment when the eyes cross paths with the image of the wolf, you’ll clearly remember the expression “it is but a dog” – in this moment is when you realise that the throne of your certainty is without a doubt flawed. And it’s here that your roots as a person are born: out of a lie; an illusion. One of the strongest feelings we have with this album is that we were finally able to create our unique sound. Sure, we are not immune to what we have heard, nor to the wisdom of the elders that has also become part of us. How could we deny that Cohen, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Mississippi, John Hurt, Dostoyewsky or Pessoa have been with us all this time? It would be like saying that none of our smiles are inherited from our fathers. But there’s a certain silence to every man, and we guess that we’ve found ours; this time we feel that the songs and the arrangements are truly ours.

What’s been your journey from static to action?

First and foremost the journey we’re about to tell is a never-ending one. You must see it as a chapter where one journey begins to end, with the beginning of another one. If one says that god’s work is never over or done, so it is the same with music, with this band – with us. So there must be a long and hard journey between the creation of each album. It’s the way it is meant to be. Ours began with the creation of our first album, Letters From The Boatman. We were the typical rock band up until then, but we decided to stop. So we fled from the city to our newfound house that is in the countryside. We call it now our blue house or the den. We did so to be away from everything and everyone to find our own path and redefine the band. we ended up inviting 14 musicians to record with us for at that time we were confined to a single instrument each. That’s when we met up with Susanna, at the time only a guest in two tracks of the album. Only after that she joined the band, when we were preparing to present live such a grand album. We had to reinvent ourselves and take the songs with a new perspective. That’s when we began learning more and more instruments, so that we could not only really change the songs, but to prepare ourselves to be able to finish the recording of the new album (like the wolf) by ourselves. As we then said: to finish the painting alone. And so we did. Instead of the 14 guests we had for Letters From The Boatman, between the three of us we played the 20 instruments on Like The Wolf. We just had the North American singer ”Becky Lee Walters”, Miguel Lima and Gito from “The Soaked Lamb” playing drums and upright bass in two tracks and Carlos Ramos on a couple more, out of the admiration we have for their work.This is a journey that has changed us. Who knows what lies ahead? It’s like the song that goes “I’m always leaving or on the run, until I break this curse”

What keeps you going as a musician and the rest of your band members?

What keeps us going is music itself; the need to create, the desire to leave a mark. Summing up what we are in an album and then “infusing a spark of being” back into the songs night after night. In the end we could sum up this craving with the last songs of our two albums: “leave if you can” but we do have “a little story” to tell.

You talk of stories and finding paths, and adventures, where do you want to take your creativity, keeping within the grass roots or the mountainous heights of the music scene?

The night is endless. We dream of being, years from now, sitting on three chairs that still haven’t heard our stories, sharing them with eyes that know not our songs and let the sound spread through the cities to which our footsteps are strangers. We don’t want to travel light, but we do want to look back with a heart painted with the absence of regret.

You’ve said quite a lot, which is good to gain more fans of your music, is there anything else you would like to tell our faithful readers, that may or may not have heard of you, your outlook of your future plans?

This year has been kind to us. The first edition of “Like The Wolf” sold out in about 3 months and we were able to release an extended version of the album; we began touring through Europe for the first time with our “Like the Wolf European tour” that has been one of the most rewarding things we have a memory of, since the beginning of the band. The audience has been amazing; by the end of the year, we’ll have played roughly 150 concerts in about 12 countries and most of the gigs will have been outside of our country, so it’s been really great. Plus, we’re already trying out new songs live and towards the end of the year we’ll begin our reclusion to create the body of work of our forthcoming album. So we guess that things are really coming our way.