Since “Live In Europe” is your 2nd live album, what led you to the decision to record again live? The project was originally supposed to be a DVD project. A web stream company had rigged up a multi camera shoot at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. They asked if we wanted to video our show. We said “you bet” and we paid an extra three grand to multi trac the audio so we could mix it properly. They forgot to mention that they were not going to save the raw video footage, meaning we would not be able to edit the video. Consequently, most of the video looked like hell, cross stage shots at McLagan through a forest of mic stands, quick cuts from my face to the kick drum pedal in the middle of a vocal line, etc. . . There was no way I could charge money for the video. But the audio sounded pretty good and we had to get that three grand back somehow, so we mixed the audio for a record and included the few decent looking videos for a bonus DVD.
As far as “the band” goes, how did you prepare for theses live sessions?
We gigged every night for a month or so.
How does your European audience differ from playing stateside?
The West Germans and the Dutch and the Belgians pay extremely close attention. They speak english, but they’re about three words behind usually, so they’re silent. It can be a bit unnerving. The East Germans generally don’t speak any english, but some of them go crazy for any kind of rock’n roll. They’ll get on their feet. The British and the Irish can get pretty rowdy too. Stateside audiences also vary in temperment, depending on the venue and the region. Seems like it’s easier to get them moving in mountainous country, don’t know why.
Did you have multiple live recorded versions of each track to choose from?
We recorded two shows, the one in Amsterdam and another in Geislingen Germany
Which tune on “Live In Europe” is the trickiest to pull off live?
Just Us Kids used to seem tricky for me. The right hand clutch took a while to feel natural.
7.0 You have a uniquely warm electric guitar tone throughout this and your other records, any hints? Got lucky this time, rental gear. Always play through two amps if you have room. One of them might not suck.
8.0 Do you have a philosophy when it comes to being comfortable on stage?
Remember to have fun.
What do you feel is the high point of “Live In Europe”?
I like that version of “Hurricane Party”.
Now, imagine a movie called “James McMurtry” – which of your tunes would be playing in the background as the finishing credits roll out? I’d rather it were a Kristofferson song off “Silver Tongued Devil”. I believe the title is “Pilgrim Chapter 21”, something like that.