Interview by: David Pukin
After an extended gig on David Bowie's
latest tour, Mike Garson (who was SP's
touring pianist for the Adore Tour and
appears on the new album) was gracious
enough to do an e-mail interview with us.
Here's how it went:
1.In what way did you contribute to the
forthcoming Pumpkins album,
"Machina-The Machines of God"? Were
you involved in the composition of the
parts you played?
I didn't compose any songs, but I played
on many of them. I also recorded several
interludes. I'm not certain how much of
what I played will be on the album, but I
look forward to hearing it.
2. For the "Stigmata" soundtrack, how did
you and Billy Corgan end up with the sound
you ultimately produced? And how did you
and Billy come about collaborating on the
Billy and I generally see eye to eye on the
subject of aesthetics. Since our skills come
from different areas of music, the
combination of our individual talents was
After the Adore tour, Billy contacted me
while he was searching for classical
influences for the film score. Billy took
care of the techno sounds, over which
I played my piano improvs.
We worked 28 straight days, 12 hours
a day and we had a great time. I
have great admiration for Billy.
3. How did you end up getting the gig
on the Adore tour? Did you audition
or did Billy approach you?
I heard that Billy was auditioning
keyboard players and I contacted him
directly. Since Billy was familiar with
my previous work with David Bowie
(Earthling, Outside, Aladdin Sane,
Young Americans, etc.), I didn't need
to audition. Coincidentally, I first met
Billy while touring Europe with Bowie in
4.Will you be joining the Pumpkins for
the "Machina" tour?
I'm not touring with the Pumpkins now....
5. On your website, it says that after
you created "Now! Music", you realized
that you had been playing it your whole
life in the rock and jazz genres. Could
you go into more depth about how you
came to realize this?
Since I've been improvising my whole
life, it was only natural for my jazz and
rock improvs to expand into classical
improvs. I don't believe that music has
any real stylistic boundaries, and I
refuse to contain my creativity to one
6. There may not be many Pumpkins fans
that actually know what "Now! Music" is.
We ourselves didn't know until we were
looking for information about yourself.
Tell us a little bit about it.
Mike Garson performs with the Pumpkins
during the Adore tour.
Now! Music is my new approach to classical
composing that transfers my knowledge of
improvisation into a classical format. Using
a Yamaha Disklavier, I compose pieces in
real-time, which are then recorded
direct-to-disk. Several concert pianists have
already debuted some of my sonatas and
7. How do you manage to compose your own
music while being involved in different side
projects, and going on tour with other artists?
When I'm on the road I store-up tons of
musical energy that explodes once I return
home. Also, when I'm on tour, I hear
different music in my head due to the variety
of cultures and countries I visit.
Working on other projects keeps my mind
fresh and inspires me with new ideas. So,
I am able to maintain a great balance
between my many projects.
8. After all this touring, is there another solo
album in the works for you? What else is
next for you?
In April I plan to record my next solo effort,
a live jazz-trio album. During the summer,
I am going to perform with David Bowie
at several noteworthy European music
I am also adding more material to my
website (www.mikegarson.com). Look for
video clips, more music and maybe even
some games. I am also hoping to launch a
new look for the site on my birthday, July 29th.
So it looks like Mike's got more to come. If you
want to read more about Mike Garson, check
out our biography of him in the Omnipedia. Of
course, the best place to find information about
Mike Garson and hear his innovative and
fabulous style of music, is his official website,
Mike Garson's Now! Music Network. His
performance on the Adore tour was fantastic.
Landslide would like to thank Mike Garson for
answering our questions and his webmaster,
Matthew Gilbert for making this all possible.