It's been a couple of years since we chatted to Graham Wilkinson. Seen him live a fair bit, though, at places like the Continental Club and the Mean-Eyed Cat. And once at The Parish, when he performed for the first time a tremendous song that was then without a name, but has since been dubbed Focus. It's on Graham's new e.p. - which is set for release at Momo's on Friday. Time for Indie Sounds to get back in touch ...
Indie Sounds: You have a release party on Friday at Momo's. What's it for? And what should your fans expect?
Graham Wilkinson: The show on Friday is to officially release The Spiritual Accessories e.p. ... and fans should expect a new face on bass and some familiar special guests, all performing songs off the new ep as well as some classics
IS: Tell us about making the e.p. - the who, what and when?
Graham: Morning Train and Focus (thewere recorded in the Spring of 2010 while the others - This Life, This World and Child of Light - were recorded in the Spring of 2011. The video for Focus was done on Thanksgiving weekend of 2010.
Patrick Herzfeld, my drummer, was the most integral figure throughout the making of the album because he was the audio engineer recording everything, mixing it, and ultimately producing the entire record with my arrangement requests. All of the parts on Focus were done by myself with Patrick on drums. Bobby Perkins played bass on Morning Train, while the middle three songs had Mark Wilson on tenor/bass sax and flute, Tony Kamel on guitars and backing vocals and Joe Beckham on bass. Patrick's wife, Karen Jane DeWitt, sang back up on almost all the songs as well.
As far as the 'where' is concerned, almost all of it was done in Patrick's apartment. We had two 'sessions' out at our friend Josh Ball's farm house for some live, full band tracking on the middle three songs but as I say in the liner notes, Morning Train and Focus were done in an apartment for no $ because it was just 'trick and I. Furthermore, we were just trying to record this new song of mine in the spring of 2010 and it was from that, that the e.p. was spiritually birthed.
Download The Spiritual Accessories e.p. from iTunes.
IS: In particular ... the song Focus. What does it speak to? Why did you write it? And what would you like people to hear in it?
Graham: I wrote Focus trying to musically tap into something repetitious and catchy. Vocally, I sought out a key almost anyone could talk/sing along with. Next, I wanted to present a message of humility, gratitude, and hope in the face of adversity, not just for myself but for young and old, rich and poor, healthy and sick. The song can apply to all of us on many different levels ... hopefully instilling a sense of empathy while empowering one to maintain focus on the importance of understanding and compromise all the while encouraging one to never lose sight of the life saving capacity of compassion.
IS: What's next for you re. getting the EP out there to the masses?
Graham: There are so many things in store for us. We are using the #1 rated independent radio /record promoters - www.mmmusicsite.com - and have already been added to numerous stations throughout the country. On top of that, after having our video for Focus compete on mtvU.com's tv show The Freshmen, we were automatically added to MTV.com and within a week had the #1 highest rated, #2 most shared, #2 most commented on, and #18 most viewed for over ten days!
From that occupation of the website, we garnered some attention from the worldwide booking agency www.montereyinternational.net and are set to go on tour with Trevor Hall from November 12th to 20th. (Trevor has spent the last three years on tour with Michael Franti, Matisyahu, Ben Harper, John Butler and Dave Matthews and has a song on the Shrek 3 soundtrack). We will continue to tour and promote via radio, video, and live shows - and all that is www.grahamwilkinsonmusic.com.
IS: And what can we expect from you musically in the future?
Graham: Musically, I intend to hone my sound via song in on the pop/folk/rootsy/reggae vibe The Spiritual Accessories e.p. hopefully established. We also have another xmas song/single set for the holiday season and are already working on our next e.p.