Rebels With Guitars: Interview with Renegade Creation

By Zaki JufriEvents - 11 October 2011 11:57 AM | Updated 12:31 PM

Rebels With Guitars: Interview with Renegade Creation

What do you get when put together a group of brilliant musicians, throw them in a roomful of musical instruments? You’ll get one of the tastiest bands ever to grace the stage.

The aptly named Renegade Creation, which comprises guitar legends Michael Landau, Robben Ford, drummer Gary Novak and bassist Jimmy Haslip will be swinging by Singapore for an exclusive two night date at TAB.

Dishing out blues-y, rock vocal tunes and fiery instrumentals, the band draws on the unique guitar interplay between guitar giants Ford and Landau. We caught up with axe-man Michael Landau who gives us the skinny on the band.


What inspired the formation of the group Renegade Creation? We think the name really suits it since you have people like Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak.

Robben and I have been wanting to do a Rock 'n' Roll band project for a long time. We've all known each other for a long time and have played together in different situations over the years, I'm really happy we are finally doing it. Robben truly has his own voice on the guitar, and all the guys are brilliant musicians. It’s a great live band, a lot of improvising; we play the songs different each night. It’s a fun ride.

Can you tell us more about the Renegade Creation album?

Jimmy Haslip got us all together. The band Jing Chi was scheduled to make another record but the timing did not work out. Robben suggested doing this project with Gary and me, and that made it into a whole different band. Thus, Renegade Creation was born. We recorded the record at my studio, a lot of the record is live performances with solos done on the basic tracks, and it all came together very quickly.


How different is Renegade Creation than your previous bands or the people you’ve played with?

A band is defined by its members, and the chemistry doesn't always work out. With Renegade Creation everything seemed to flow out very naturally. Like I said before, the strong points of this band are the ability to really create strong emotions in a live performance, and we can go to some really interesting places musically.


Going back to your early years as a musician, when did your career really start?

I started doing session work on the recommendation of Steve Lukather, Jeff Porcaro and Danny Kortchmar in the early 80's. My first big tour was with Bos Scaggs when I was 19 years old. The studio work really picked up in the mid 80's and at that time I also started recording and touring with Joni Mitchell.


Do you have a particular process you go through when writing songs?

The instrumental tunes usually start with a guitar riff or some sort of melody, but on the vocal songs I usually write them away from the guitar. I can hear the outline of the song in my head. The melody, music and some of the lyrics all come at the same time. It’s a mysterious process, they seem to reveal themselves on their own, I'm thankful for those times.


If you were a young up and coming guitar player, what would you advise as important things to take into consideration, both musically and professionally?

I always tell younger musicians to never let anyone tell them how they should play. Most of the great musicians and artists broke the rules; it’s what set them apart from the norm. It your music! You create it! Take all the influences that you love and make it your own.


Renegade Creation performs live at TAB on October 14, 15. Tickets $75 (early bird), $85 (standard).