tv Tavis Smiley PBS October 4, 2011 12:00am-12:30am PDT
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight a conversation with musician and producer dave stewart. he has a new group called super heavy featuring a mick jagger and others. dayton -- the debut disc its stores next month. this week he has "the blackbird diaries." includes duets with stevie nicks and martina mcbride. two special performances. coming up right now. >> every community has a martin luther king boulevard. it's the cornerstone we all know. it's not just a street or
boulevard, but a place where wal-mart stands together with your community to make every day better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. with every question and answer, help tavis improve financial literacy and remove obstacles to economic empowerment one conversation at a time. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] tavis: it is shaping up to a busy year for dave stewart, the acclaimed musician has a just released a new solo project
called "the blackbird diaries." next month, you can pick up a copy of his newly formed super group called super heavy. how was this car an all-star lineup? mick jagger, and damien marley, here is some of the recording sessions for "the blackbird diaries." >> he was getting ready to spend a week making an album. we were spending a year. he would go for a week. we are like, yeah. he is getting ready to go. she says i have a condo. you can stay there. i say, that would be cheap. it does not cost anything. cheaper than free. dave and i looked at each other and went --
♪what is cheaper than free tavis: 25 in time to go to the bathroom? >> i have making a film. you see me writing lyrics in the bathroom. [laughter] you hit the nail on the head. tavis: why so much activity at this time? is there something happening bringing this creativity? >> i have no idea. i started certain projects a few years before. for some reason they started coming out in the same few months even though super heavy we started two years ago. for some reason, between march and september of this year,
there is a bombardment of everything. we just found out the news a call i have been writing opened in london -- the musical i have been renting opened in london on broadway. that is very soon because usually there is a break. it seems like it's going to be non-stop. tavis: that you're going to broadway. don't you hate people like that? some guys have all of belloc. -- luck. super heavy, it is impressive. how did a group like super heavy happen? >> like anything that happens in my universe or in my head, it is triggered by, i was up in the hills of jamaica where i co-own
a house with a friend of mine and his family. in jamaica, the sound systems are important. every village has a sound system. there was a moment where all three neighboring villages were playing music but different stuff. they started to sink together. -- sync together. then there was the heavy dub bass. i thought it would be interesting to fuse together blues with jamaican music and some eastern influence. that is how it started. i called nick dagger. -- mick jagger. we thought it would be a good experiment. we said, who should we get to
work with us? they all start toi called it j'. the and the last part of the puzzle was damian marley. and we wanted to have this jamaican feeling but with somebody who is a great lyricist and a thinking person and that would fit with all of this experimental music. damian is great at it fermenting with different sounds like "welcome to jamrock." here is a brilliant lyricists. tavis: what makes you know or believe that, you could throw stuff in a pot in college gumbo. how do you know it is going to work? >> the roots of all lot of these sounds, there has to be a common
denominator. blues is often a common denominator. in asian music, it can sound similar to blues music. then the feeling of jamaican rhythms can also work with a blues feeling on top. i have done experiments in the past where i made a rhythmic track and then played blues on top of it. so i knew there was a rough semblance of possibilities that might work. as my old solicitor and used to say, when i got well check could not believe it. i said, are you sure kumbaya car? he would say you have reason for cautious celebration. [laughter]
how do you cautiously celebrate? i had reason for celebration when i met -- imagined this sound. tavis: are you happy with the way it came together? >> i love that. we worked furiously to gather on mike 30 songs. we ended up choosing 16 and mixing them and then we shot videos and films. we ought amazing artwork -- got amazing our work. everything about the project, i am happy with. tavis: let me shift gears to "the blackbird diaries," i was blown away the fine to believe what i read of how fast you wrote the songs and a number of
days. >> i wrote the songs, about 12 songs, wrote them in five days and recorded them in five days. it was in the middle of the chaos when we were doing super heavy and working on this tv next album -- stevie nicks album. i was in english or -- england when the volcanic ash spewed out. can you pronounced the name of the volcano? tavis: no. >> i can. it has every letter in the alphabet. i was stuck in london and i used to have a guitar so i went to buy a guitar because it did not know how long i was going to be there. i saw this guitar that was unusual. i ask to see that one. i bought it.
inside there was all of the artifacts of this artist called red river dave. there are pictures of him playing it. the next day i got a phone call saying he couldn't beat martina mcbride in national. -- nashville. i had never done anything apart from play with a curious mix. it became this weird odyssey. i did not have black bird and studios in had a feeling -- ended up at black bird studios and had a feeling i should make an album. great, it is going to be great. i had not written
anything. i was going to go there anyway. the nynex to me was like, what is this guy doing? i arrived at the studio and pretended that it was all worked out. i would say to them, i would play a bit and i would say that is exactly it. i would quickly go and write to the words. after the first today, we laid down four songs. i said i am from england. i do not make country music but one thing i am good at is making a vodka martini. every time i go there, they are always looking at their watch like when is that shaker coming out? i have been three times since. we've bonded. we have made three albums a. it became -- we played them live
in the room together. tavis: somebody told me that serendipity tends to reward the prepared. obviously you spent your whole life preparing for moments like that. >> that is the wise comment and a brilliant thing for people to analyze. my whole thing, how you do so many things at once? my whole thing is based on that the truth you just said. i am going to let the universe bring to me whenever. i'm going to be open to receive it but i am also going to be prepared to change direction and go this way for a second and not be closed and try to control every moment of the day. if you do that, you can end up in the most amazing situations.
like the road less traveled. tavis: the reason i ask is defense something has to be going on to be open to receive this. how can i believe you write the 13 songs in five days? i'm supposed to believe this is good stuff? there really is good stuff. >> john lennon was more and more excited about putting the stuff out immediately. there is a great song "instant karma." he was in the studio on sunday. my friend was a trying to get people to come into scene at the end. back in those days. i think they had an out two days later. if you can capture the essence
of what your feeling at that moment and you have brilliant people around you, the victory is having brilliant people to work with. relinquishing control to geniuses is a wise move. i'm not going to tell the drummer what to play. i am saying the song goes like this and then the band starts tinkering and planning. by the time we got to the end, it was finished. the genius engineer had recorded us. he knew that something might happen. we did not do it again. tavis: i was here a little bit ago when the band was rehearsing their got to play for you in just a moment. i'm wise enough to know the time has come for me to relinquish to the genius. you're about to see a stage
full of them. i will relinquish than the rest of the time we have in the show when you can judge how talented and gifted he is to have written some many songs in just a moment -- a matter of days. super heavy will be out and that is him and mick jagger and damian marlene's. you will want to check that out. now you can get the new one, "the blackbird diaries." a special performance from that album. not one but a rare thing, two songs. thank you for coming. can you zoom in on this? i love this jacket. that you can see the leaves and the stones. that is nice. you can take that off before you
leave if he wants to. dave stewart in demand. -- and the band. from his new cd, and here is dave stewart and his band performing two songs. enjoy. ♪ i was feeling colder than a stone i looked around the house all day looking for a stone picked up my mother's wedding rings, the one she tried to use she went looking for clues to
oooh, gypsy girl and me well we stayed in each other's arms tumbling through the night her skin like porcelain lit by the pale moonlight we made love in every way yes we set each other free we did not stop until the morning me gypsy girl and gypsy girl gypsy girl ooohh gypsy girl and me i colder we had to leave.
we were playing in marseille she smiled and kissed me i laid by the window to try to catch some air the sun was slowly rising casting shadows from the trees i could hear the people talking about the gypsy graaff and me -- girl and me ♪ she brought a friend to see the show she was a gypsy, to we laughed together all night long she showed me her tattoo recovered her from head to tell
>> every community has a martin luther king boulevard. it's the cornerstone we all know. it's not just a street or boulevard, but a place where wal-mart stands together with your community to make every day better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. with every question and answer, help tavis improve financial literacy and remove obstacles to economic empowerment one conversation at a time. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--