Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Security Project releasing new album, playing in Chicago as part of Progtoberfest II


It's a busy month for The Security Project, a band which celebrates and reimagines the work of Peter Gabriel.

The band's second record, "Live 2," is being released on Oct. 15, and The Security Project this month will begin touring with its new lead singer, Happy Rhodes. 

The Security Project, which features members who have recorded and toured with Gabriel and King Crimson, will perform on Oct. 22 at Reggies, 2109 S, State St, Chicago as part of Progtoberfest 11.

I had the chance to talk to Security Project member Trey Gunn, who toured and recorded with King Crimson for 10 years, about the upcoming show.

Q - It seems like this is a busy month for Security Project. "Live 2" came out this month, and you are touring with Happy Rhodes starting this month as your lead singer. I know that you have known Happy for a while and her husband, Bob Muller, was in your band, The Trey Gunn Band.

How do you think that is going to change things on the tour, playing live?

It's going to change a lot. I think it is going to change a lot.

Happy's voice is not an emulation of Peter's. We're changing some keys, we're changing some arrangements. We're going to change how we're approaching some of the pieces.

And then we're going to be adding about five or six new pieces. We have a lot of material. We have way more material than we need.

So in rehearsals, we're just going to go through it all and figuring out what is the primo stuff, and compose our set around that.

Q - But do you think Happy is a good choice moving forward? 

Unbelievably great choice. She has such a unique character to her voice and she's a brilliant singer.

Q - Your previous lead singer, Brian Cummins, has a voice eerily similar to Peter Gabriel. Was that one of the reasons you picked him in the first place?

Of course, yeah. We had another singer before him who also did a very good emulation of Peter's voice.

And when Josh Gleason couldn't continue working with us, we went out and found Brian. And now we're going a different way.

Most of the show is going to be Peter's material. It will just be interpreted more than recreated. That's the way I see it.

Q - How do you view the band's interpretation of his songs and what do you think the band's role is in interpreting these songs?

Well, this material no one plays. Nobody plays the material from Peter's third and fourth records.

And we have the original drummer, Jerry Marotta.  He represents so much of the feel of those records.

And then we just meticulously worked the material to find out what's the essence of the sound and the essence of the arrangement and what we wanted to keep and how much we wanted to change and interpret and adapt for ourselves.

I feel like we kind of pulled the timelessness part out of the material, and we represent that on stage. There's not really any comparison, nobody else is doing this material.

Even most of this material Peter doesn't play any more, so we're kind of the ones holding the flag up on it. 

Q - What makes you excited about being part of The Security Project? 

A couple of things. One, I've always loved this material. Peter's third record just blew my head open when I first heard it. I had no idea what I was listening to. Was I hearing guitars? Were those keyboards? Were those voices?

And the music was really strong and powerful, so the chance to kind of dig into it and look underneath the hood and kind of rebuild the car and be able to drive that car was really exciting.

That and combined with how much I love playing with Jerry. He's just got an incredible pocket in his groove that's just wonderful to play with.

And I've always wanted to work with Happy Rhodes. So it's really a combination of just wanting to play with these people and that we get to play this awesome music. That's why I'm excited about it.

Q - Of course, you've done so much in your career, most notably, being part of the band King Crimson. King Crimson has always been seen as such an adventurous band. What did you see your role in the band and what did you think made the band so groundbreaking and adventurous? 

Well, I suppose it's always been groundbreaking and adventurous because that was Robert Fripp's aim. And when the band was about to become stale, he usually killed the project for up to 10 years at a time.

There was a 10-year gap right before I joined. He kind of just puts gas in that thing only when it's really ready to tackle something.

I knew Robert about 10 years before I joined the band. His approach is about taking an idea and going further and further with it.

You are not concerned about whether the audience can go with you or not. And eventually you end up going off the deep end, which is why it's so powerful.

Q - Would you regard Robert Fripp as one of your mentors?

Yeah, I guess so, for that time period, for sure. 

Q - As far as mentoring, what did he teach you? 

It's really kind of hard to say. Whenever you play with somebody, you're feeling their relationship with music.

It was no different with Robert. He has a very unique approach, and I got to step inside of that.

Q - It seems like you've done so much in your career. Do you have any dream projects or collaborations? 

Not at the moment. Because I have so many different projects, I really don't get to spend enough time with the ones that I want to explore that I already have.

I probably have like five different performing projects at the moment, and I'd be happy to get to spend time with more of them. This one is taking up most of my time at the moment.

I have another project with two other bass players, 3Below, and that's one really fascinating and fantastic. And we just don't get enough time together.

So I'm hoping that will change.

Q - It seems like the music industry continues to change. What are you doing to try to continue to get your music out there?

I have my own record label, 7d Media, which is the label that Security Project is on. It's pretty essential, I think, these days.

And I do everything that you could possibly do. I have visual files. I do it all.

I do so much that I get to spend very little time being a musician, unfortunately. But that's what the independent musician does these days.

Q - I guess that's good in one way that you have total control, right?

Total control is not that much of a virtue. It's just necessity. I'd rather be writing and playing music than making Instagram posts and writing invoices, to be honest.

But I do what I need to do.