Michael Landau is a renowned session guitarist working with Boz Scaggs, Joni Mitchell and many other equally respected musicians over the years. A lover of jazz and blues, Landau often plays with The Gadd band (who he is doing stint with at Ronnie Scott's in March) and he's got a tour planned with James Taylor later this year, but for his current solo project, he has gone to rockier pastures. Photogroupie caught up with Michael to find out more about his new album, Rock Bottom.
PG (Photogroupie): WHAT PROMPTED THE MOVE AWAY FROM INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC FOR THIS ALBUM?
ML (Michael Landau): I'd been playing so much instrumental music these last ten years and I grew up on vocal music like The Beatles and all the good stuff. I just wanted to make a tougher vocal record.
PG: THE NEW ALBUM IS ENTITLED 'ROCK BOTTOM' IS THERE ANY SIGNIFICANCE IN THE TITLE?
ML: It's a bit of a play on words. I just wanted to let people know that it's definitely not a jazzy instrumental record. The world today is a little bit rock bottom too. It's supposed to be a little bit funny.
PG: THERE'S A BIG JAZZ INFLUENCE ON THE ALBUM, HOW DID THAT STYLE DEVELOP IN YOUR MUSIC.
ML: It was in my later teens. When you're a teenager you go one way or the other and I definitely put rock music away and became this jazz snob and thought that all rock music was silly. It began with hearing artists like Pat Martino, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius and I became a big fan of the early fusion music like Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report too. I spent five or six years only listening to that and then in my early twenties I came back around to the rock.
PG: THERE'S A BIG HENDRIX VIBE THERE TOO?