PROOF: An Interview With Pat Metheny

August 2002 by C.J. Shearn for ?

CJ: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview, You have a new album out (Speaking of Now), and have also been touring since the latter half of February. The incredible new band has you at the core, Lyle Mays, Steve Rodby, the amazing multi instrumentalist Richard Bona, Cuong Vu on trumpet/vocals, and new drummer Antonio Sanchez. During the course of this long tour, what have you learned about these distinctive new personalities' approach to the material on the road as compared to the recording sessions and also their interpretations of older songs?

PM: The general level of musicianship is so high in this band with this lineup. And when you get to play each night with people, you really get a unique perspective on their talent. For me, listening to all of these guys night in and night out is a real treat. and as a band, we have really evolved as we have gotten more and more concerts under our belts together. The record was really just a starting point.

CJ: Since we are discussing the new record, there are a number of pieces which demonstrate the breadth of the new talents. In my opinion, "Proof" features Cuong's trumpet solo as a huge highlight. "Another Life" features a haunting, almost Gregorian chant like blend of vocals from Bona and Vu. "You", of course features Richard's mesmerizing voice. "The Gathering Sky" is a tour de force for Antonio. When you and Lyle wrote these pieces, what came first; was it when you knew that all these musicians were joining the band that you took their specific talents into account? Did the pieces surpass your expectations when you heard them at playback?

PM: I had been generating a lot of basic ideas for ...

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