Talk With Tim
By Chris Brush
Chris Brush: Tim how has the tour been recently since you've been going non-stop since spring/early summer?
Tim Reynolds: Its been good, off the hook, good, good gig last night in Dekalb, Il at Otto's. The road is one thing but when you're on the stage playing a gig, that's the shit!
CB: Do you enjoy working this much? Constantly go, go, go or…
TR: I didn't really realize that I would be going so deep into this year with the Summer tour but I've acclimated. It's a learning curve, a physical learning curve. It's great but that's the thing being on the road different times a day your body kind of automatically shuts down all day until gig time. Like right now but it’s starting to wake up on this second cup of coffee.
CB: I know your father was in the military when you were younger and you were born in Germany. Do think traveling a lot when you were younger, do you think has helped you with the road?
TR: It must have something to do with it. I did move around a lot but there are other people who have moved way more like Dennis Kucinich moved way more than me, Fluffy moved way more than me. I'm probably below average.
CB: How long did you live in Germany? Do you remember much of Germany?
TR: I really have no memory of Germany. I was there for like 9 months. I was really brought up on an Indiana farm. Ask him the same question. (As Tim points to Mick)
CB: Do you remember much of Germany?
Mick Vaughn (MV): Man, I remember the country side like it was yesterday. The Alps particularly, the tall pines, the wonderful people and the beautiful wardrobes they had. I've got suit cases full of them. (laughs)
TR: Dan, Do you have memories of Germany? I have none.
Dan Martier (DM): I'm half German. That's all I have to say.
TR: Rob! (As a friend of the band walks in) The question has been put.
Rob: What's that?
TR: You have to guess the question.
Rob: Oh lets see…32.
MV: Good answer! (everyone starts clapping and whistling) That's actually 32 percent of what he remembers of Germany.
TR: Germany has good coffee. In big cups! Bigger than the rest of Europe but it's the same. Big, good coffee. Frankfurt has really good coffee.
MV: Actually we were in Frankfurt just two days ago.
DM: That's right, We didn't know where we were though.
TR: what state was that?
CB: Were you wondering why they were all speaking English?
TR: Yea, I was confused. (laughs)
CB: How was it growing up in Alaska? Do you remember much of Alaska?
TR: Well…it was cold sometimes. The most I remember was camping with my family. We camped more than ever, any where, anytime that I remember camping. There was seagulls around, kids built an igloo once and I went in it and got in trouble because I couldn't hear my parents calling for me. I remember walking home from school in the dark. You know the weird thing with the light.
MV: (in comedic tone) I was there from '51 to '54. I was stationed at Ellison Air Force Base. I was flying weather recon over the Barring Straight. The Aura Borealis is amazing. I mean if you ever get a chance to see it, you should make it up that way.
CB: I also know that you grew up in St. Louis. You where here for the longest of time. How did your family end up moving to St. Louis and what did you think of the local music scene at the time? What do you think of it now?
TR: Well as far as now in St. Louis I have really no idea what's going on here. I just come here briefly, maybe once a year on the road. So I really don't know. I'm sure its driving. All cities have a lot music going on whether it's public or not. I enjoyed growing up here in the '70's because it was the '70's. Any where you would have grown up in the '70's was probably cool. It was great to grow up here in the Summer. Its just childhood golden years of being here. We came here because my Dad went to Vietnam, either the first or second time. We came here because there was family support here. We lived in South St. Louis for maybe a year and then he came back an we moved to the suburbs. That's where we lived the most and then he went back again. So I had a couple years of no Dad.
CB: Now did you move to Charlottesville on your own or was that with the family?
TR: It was on my own. I had been here for to long and I had just came back from the air force. What drove me to the air force was being here to long and I was like "I'm going to Charlottesville." and then I lived there longer than I did here like 17 years or at least as long. Then I lived in New Mexico for 10 years and that's about 50 years worth.
CB: What made you want to move to Charlottesville?
TR: Well compared to being here for a long time, that seemed exotic. It was warmer, even though now its kind of winter even though it didn't seem like it at the time. I had just been here long enough. That seemed like a fresh place to go. It was a smaller town and it was a way different Charlottesville than it is now. Its much more of a college town.
CB: You were big in the local scene. What venues did you play?
TR: I played every where in Charlottesville! I lived there for like 16 years. EVA, The Frat House, Trax, Millers, Max, a lot of places I can't even remember and a lot of places that aren't even in business anymore.
MV: Dirty Nelly's.
CB: I know that you started TR3 in Charlottesville but what other bands were you apart of?
TR: Lets see…I was in a band called Cosmology that TR3 kind of came out of. Then another band called the Cosmonauts. That was later. I was in a band called the Basics. A lot of jazz gigs with Michael Elswick and The Gathering but it was mostly Michael Elswick. I played with Emily Remler when she was alive. She came down to Charlottesville to play a gig with Monty Alexander. He played bass with one finger better than a lot of bass players with many (fingers). It was a really fun because he was kind of goofing around but he knew what to play because he was a monster piano player so he played really cool bass. Oh what else…Nick Page and The Red Hot Smoothies which was kind of brunch/jazz gig which I loved because it was so chill. Leroi Moore, we played a lot of Jazz gigs, I have a funny memory of playing a fun gig with Leroi at this wedding reception. It was at this really fancy place with hedges and a labyrinth and it was when the song La Bamba was really popular. So the crowd would say "Play La Bamba!" and Leroi was like "No." and finally he played it and they went ape shit. So then the rest of the night, and there was a good hour of music left, every jam that we played he would go into La Bamba until they were going "stop, stop, stop!" That was a fun memory.
CB: Now I know you met a bartender at a bar called Millers and he asked you to be in his band and you said, " I'm enjoying my own band right now but I'll pass."
TR; That's kind of the story.
CB: Now how did he take that because I know he really looked up to you.
TR: I'm trying to remember how it all went down. I don't think he personally asked me but you know there was a lot of experimental (motions smoking a joint) things. My memory of a lot of the details from that period is a little murky. Basically I was really into doing what I was doing at the time. I was very satisfied. I was kind of growing a family and I had all the gigs I kind of wanted to do. I was very satisfied and didn't want to step out of my comfort zone. They had a manager and the whole movement of going out on the road and etc. It wasn't my thing at the time. What was your question again?
CB: How did he take it when you said "I'll pass."?
TR: You know it wasn't really like that kind of vibe. All I remember was that Ross Hoffman who was a former partner in the management called me and asked me if I wanted to play bass in this new band. They were starting with Dave and I was doing so many gigs at the time that I didn't want to get locked into doing one specific gig. I had a band and I was playing all these gigs with people and didn't want to go anywhere but Charlottesville, Richmond, Harrisburg and little towns around that area. I was very satisfied doing that and I really didn't want to step out of my comfort zone and I don't think anybody felt weird about it at all.
CB: How did you end up doing the acoustic duo with Dave?
TR: The first time I played with Dave, I played a sheko drum and he played acoustic guitar, but the then next time I played with him he was like "Oh why don't you play an instrument you know how to play?" I don't think he said that but that's what I thought of it. Then we played at the Prism Coffee House and that went really well. They had already been playing around a lot locally until they the had gotten a following and I had started playing acoustic more, I think. I'm not sure what year that was. Sorry my recollection was blurry but any way it was just the idea of doing that and it was really fun.
CB: I have an early recording where you can tell he's nervous and I can see you in the corner saying, "Come on! You can do it!"
TR: No we'd just get baked. (laughs) CB: I know you started TR3 in Charlottesville and the members are consistently changing. Why is that?
TR: Well this is the bomb version right here (as he points to Mick and Dan) and I guess the reason in Charlottesville it was just different people who could make different gigs at different times. Basically Robert Jospe played drums and Johnny Gilmore played drums and they were kind of two main drummers and they switched off a lot. After awhile it was just Johnny and then we had Warren Richardson then he moved. Then Pete Katz who was the sound man played for awhile and then I think that was with Johnny. It was basically those guys but there would be a lot of different cats that played like one gig here or there. I had a keyboard player who played one gig and then Charlie Kilpatrick played the most probably longer than anybody who played keyboard in TR3. One gig one drummer played and then another gig Carter (Beauford) played once but it mostly Johnny, Houston and different bass players. Over all those years it didn't change rapidly. This by far is the most realized form of TR3.
CB: How would you explain your solo show to a person who has never seen or heard your music before? How would you explain the difference between your solo show to a TR3 show?
TR: Well a solo show is basically an acoustic guitar, a lot of originals like that and different covers. You know acoustic guitar solo performance and what all that entails and this is a band. It's a totally different tunes mostly. You have Dan Martier on drums and Mick Vaughn on bass. Amazing vocals, amazing playing and really playing the songs. Pretty much TR3 is more about, I don't know if jamming is the word but you know kind of just going for it. We go for it but really focused. The other TR3's I was in my 20's and 30's and now I'm older than that. We're all older so we kind of play, like…um…more mature? (laughs) That's a good word right?
CB: It's know that you worked on the first three Dave Matthews Band albums, Under The Table and Dreaming, Crash, and Before These Crowded Streets. I read recently that you are in the studio with them again. How did that come about?
TR: A friend of Bruce who works for them called me and asked me if I wanted to do it. That's basically how that got rolling.
CB: was it the same thing with the summer tour?
TR: Yea! It just kind of bled into that as it were.
CB: How was it playing Busch Stadium this summer?
TR: That was awesome! That was great.
CB: With the Summer tour you played some major music festivals like Rothbury and Mile High. What do you prefer the large music festivals or the smaller ones like Summer Camp?
TR:I kind of prefer the smaller one because it's an easier day. The bigger festivals have a lot more people and they're going crazier. Its all kind of a blur.
CB: Which is better? Rothbury, Bonnaroo or Mile High?
TR: I liked Rothbury because that was a really good gig. Mile High I think I was to high. (Laughs) Bonnaroo, that was fun to, that was like 4 years ago.
CB: Who was the coolest guitar player or other musician that you have sat in with?
TR: For me, it was along time ago the coolest guy for me that was famous that I got me and play with was when I was playing in Cosmology in Charlottesville. John Abercrombie came down from New York and to me that was the most like "Wow!" experience. All the other stuff is awesome to and actually playing with Stanley Jordan at the Outer Banks which was a amazing because he's a real sick guitarist.
CB: You're know as a guitar player and you're know mainstream because of the Dave and Tim shows. Which would you rather be prefer, to be known in guitar circles or on a national level?
TR: I'd rather be known as an archeologist, a physicist, and a neurotic schizophrenic. (laughs) I'd prefer the guitar circles but I'm just a fan or really good guitar players. I'm not worthy of all that (media spot light). I'm just still trying to learn how to play. There's a lot of really good guitar players and I'm honored to be a guitar player. I'm still a student of the guitar.
CB: How long have you been playing guitar because I know you started out playing bass for a church?
TR: Right. Um…I don't know. (laughs) My Uncle Bill came to live with us and he taught me a couple chords and that was also when I was taking piano lessons in the late '60s. I would jam with him because he kind of got me into it (guitar) and I would watch TV. I'd watch guitar players on TV like Hee-Haw. I'd watch Roy Clark play and then I'd listen to a lot of records in my bedroom.
CB: What type of records would those be because I know your father was a religious man and I don't know if he was against secular music or not?
TR: Yea he was totally against it. He destroyed a couple of record collections of mine but I basically hung out in the basement for most of my teenage years and my record stashes. You know anything that was around then from all the different phases. Late '60s, Hendrix and Led Zeppelin then Yes, Genesis, John Mclaughlin, and then I got into older school Jazz. Its just an on going journey really. Then I got away from that and started listening to World Music and the I took acoustic guitar and it's a kind of on going journey of learning how to play music. Even old acoustic blues like Robert Johnson, who I kind of passed over that when I was younger so I got into that later.
CB: Do you remember the first guitar you ever got?
TR: The first one I ever played was my Dad's Silver Tone red guitar that looked like a Fender Jaguar and the first guitar I ever got was a $65 Epiphone.
CB: Do you still have it?
TR: No, I sold it years ago. I don't have any guitars that I've ever had.
CB: How many guitars do you own?
TR: I've given a few away but I don't know maybe 10? Not that many. I had more for awhile but I felt bad for not playing them. I gave them away and sold them. I don't have that many. I keep up with the ones that I play.
CB: How many other instrument can you play?
TR: Well I played Bass for awhile and that's where I learned how to play music by ear. I played a little bit of mandolin when I was a kid because my Uncle Shorty had one at his house. I played Drums for awhile. Then when I was older I played a little violin for awhile and then I was really into Sitar for awhile. Then the mandolin again. I've played keyboards for a little bit but not much.
CB: Since you're into all different kinds of music and you try to meld that into TR3 and your solo work, how would you explain what you're sound is to a person who has never heard you're music before?
TR: I could never do that except TR3 is a power trio, a traditional rock power trio with open sharp edges is the way to describe it with out using genre words. Its really just an umbrella of rock music which includes everything from Jazz to Classical to African. I really couldn't explain it really.
CB: What kind of music and which artist do you prefer to listen to now and how do they influence your music?
TR: I'm not really conscious about how it seeps into the music but I'm always, not always but often trying to hear something new that I don't know to check it out. For quite a few years I was into Metal because it was something I had never really knew much about and started to listening to it more. I never really got into '80s Metal because it was all pretty awful. But now I really like Skinny Puppy from the '80s. I really like Ministry. They're not old bands but they've been around for awhile. I also like My Morning Jacket a lot, Gnarles Barkley, Rob Dougan. There's a lot of great music cause even in the 70's there was a lot of great music but there was also a lot of crap to. It's always been that way. Commercial interest is to sell crap music that what's they do but there is also people in the same business who want to hear good music. What's been good about the lack of good music is that they're reprinting a lot of old good music. A lot of records from the 70's. They've been re-releasing them re-mastered with stuff you did get to hear then. It's great.
CB: I know you're doing some benefits for Barack Obama. How do you feel about this upcoming election?
TR: I don't know what to expect any more. I invested a lot of energy in 2004 when Dennis Kucinich ran. I wasn't really interested in this election at all until I saw Cornell West, whose fucking awesome, started talking about Obama more and I kind of got it.
CB: Do you think artist should express their political views?
TR: Yea, it's also like how music is someone's taste and opinion, it's the same with politics. No body knows everything. The only people that were brilliant were Buddha, Jesus, and Dali Lama because they don't play those games. They go right to the point.
CB: Speaking of the Dali Lama, I know you recently met him. How did that go?
TR: Awesome! I only had a few minutes with him. I didn't personally get to hang out with him one on one but he blessed Dave and his family and myself. It was really cool just being in his presence as a teaching.
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