Interview with Ian Anderson
Ahead of Ian Anderson’s concert in Yerevan on September 24, 2010, Vibrographus collected questions from Jethro Tull fans and addressed some to Ian Anderson, who kindly answered to them.

Vibrographus: The majority of Armenians love Celtic folk music and find in it something close to their soul. Some archeologists claim that there’s a link between Celtic and Armenian nations, which is also evident in some aspects of their culture. What can you say about it? Are you familiar with Armenian folk and sacred music?

Ian Anderson: The migratory wave of people and their music from India and the historic cultures of Mespotamia may have migrated through the central regions of Europe to Brittany in France and on to Ireland and Scotland. This is seen in the drone-based music of the Bagpipes (the drone strings of the sitar, bagpipe drone etc). So, yes – there must be some link which we all respond to instinctively. I am sure Armenian music follows similar traditions. We are all from somewhere else. Originally. Even I – with heritage in the Norse Lands of Denmark and Norway – probably have a bit of the Indus running through my veins!

VGS: Many of your fans are interested in what terms you are/were with other well-known musicians (Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Black Sabbath, Yes, etc..). Do you make friends, or it’s just about music and human relationship?

IA: Not really friends, but I know many of them to say hello to. The only two I have actually played with are Ritchie Blackmore and Tomy Iommi. Most of my friends are not human. They are cats.

VGS: Can your fans expect a new album, project from JT or Ian Anderson?

IA: In 2011 I have decided to cut down on the touring dates to spend some time in the studio and with my family and friends. Human and feline. So maybe just 75 concerts to leave some time to record the new songs we have been playing in the last few months as well the even newer ones we are rehearsing for the USA tour in the next week.

VGS: In the program “Ian Anderson Plays The Orchestral Jethro Tull” you play with different orchestras in many countries. Is it important for you that apart from being professionals the musicians in orchestra like your music and be aware of your work?

IA: I guess some of the orchestral musicians I play with know of my work but it is safe to say that most don’t. But musicians are musicians. With professional standards and skills developed from hard work and dedication. They should be open minded and excited to learn new things, even later in life. There is an English saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Rubbish! Old dogs can learn quicker than young dogs sometimes as some of us are hungry for adventure and new challenges. Throw us a bone and we will try to entertain you. And, more importantly, entertain ourselves as well. We all have something to teach each other. My lessons are about rhythm, feel and expression. A few wrong notes are not so important. But a few correct notes help too.

VGS: Is there a principle due to which you choose your guest acts? In your solo program your guest acts are mainly females.

IA: Not really a principle. I have played with so many greasy, wrinkled and tired old men over the years. Like Bobby Kimball from Toto. Jack Bruce from Cream. Eric Burdon of the Animals. Greg Lake from ELP. It's just nice to sometimes have a young, smooth-skinned, fresh-from-the-shower female violin-player, flute-player or singer to work with. I usually get on better with girls and there is a kind of easier and more natural interplay than with the guys.

I find it difficult to look into the eyes and soul of another man and get musically up close and personal. But that's probably because I am a closet homosexual. Or not.... I have a feminine side, artistically speaking, and that's good to admit. Most men can't do that. Just don't ask me to actually touch another wrinkly old or young man. Unless it's a necessary medical procedure, for charity or a lot of money is involved. Important here that you understand the British way of humour.... This could translate badly. The Pope might not approve. Or my wife......

I am looking forward to having, as our special guests, Zara and Heno from Dogma. This is a world-class band and Armenia should be proud of their efforts. Bringing together Western and Armenian national music forms and traditions in a way which, by rights, should get them a US visa. But, so hard to get the opportunity to visit other countries and find success as young musicians in this age. It is so much more difficult, compared to when I was a young man.

VGS: And finally, this will be your second visit to Yerevan with a concert. Are your expectations different from those from your first visit? And what would you like to say to the Armenian audience, who is eagerly waiting for your show in Yerevan?

IA: I never have expectations. Each occasion is a new one. Audiences are a collection of Individuals – all with their own special interests, preferences and social, religious and cultural backgrounds. So I try to keep an open mind and an open heart. And an open stomach too as I like to try the local food!

Other News:

Frontiers Records will release URIAH HEEP's "Live In Armenia" 2CD+DVD package on September 23 in Europe and September 27 in North America.
PanARMENIAN Media and RA Ministry of Culture present benefit concerts of jazz pianist, international competitions award winner Tigran Hamasyan, dedicated to the release of his new album “A Fable”
Ирина АБРОЯН - Республика Армения
Vibrographus expresses his condolences to the family of Ronnie James Dio. We deeply lament the loss of the legend of metal, the voice behind some of metal’s most revered bands Rainbow and Black Sabbat
The great british guitar player John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension Band will play a concert in Yerevan, Armenia on April 28, 2010.
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DOGMA live at InRock Music Club!
After a long recess Dogma will give a concert at InRock Music Club

May 31, 7:30p.m.

For more info and reservations call:
094 38 13 40.