Interview: Mr. Big (thebeijinger.com)
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Interview: Mr. Big (thebeijinger.com)
Publication (on Midi Festival English Pages): April 25th 2011
Mr. Big is the main head liner band of Midi Music Festival 2011 both in Beijing and Shanghai. Beijing's famous expat magazine thebeijinger.com wend talking to guitar virotuoso, Mr. Paul Gilbert about the band, the past, the now and about China.
Interview: by thebeijinger.com
Mr. Big rocks China!!
1. How many times have you played "To Be With You"?
PG: Not enough times. That's why Mr. Big is coming to Beijing. We need to play that song some more.
2. When was the first time the audience sings along with you? What was it like?
PG: I was a teenager when I started playing in rock bands. At that time, I wasn't so concerned about the audience singing with me. I just wanted them to rock! When I joined Mr. Big in my twenties, I experienced the audience singing together with us. It actually surprised me at first, but I liked it. Our audience sings pretty well, so it sounds good.
3. What is the scariest city you've toured?
PG: I did a guitar clinic in Guatemala. Most of the shops and restaurants had security people with machine guns standing outside. That was a bit unsettling.
4. Where are most of your fan letters from? Do you read them?
PG: I have an e-mail address on my website, and I read a lot of the e-mails that people send to me. I like replying to musical questions. I'm always interested in music. The e-mails come from all over the world.
5. What was the funniest fan letter you've read/ heard?
PG: Recently, I've been using a small video monitor in front of me onstage. It is connected to a camera that is pointed at the drums. That way, I can always see what my drummer is playing, and I can play more accurately with the band. I got an e-mail from a fan who saw me watching my monitor. She thought I was checking Twitter messages or looking at pictures of my wife while I was playing the concert. I was impressed at her imagination. I'm just looking at the drummer!
6. What did you feel when you cut your hair short?
PG: It was amazing because I could go to public places and people would be nice to me. When I had long hair, I think everyone was scared of me.
7. Ever thought about get your long hair back?
PG: I grew it pretty long a few years ago, and then I cut it short again. I don't really think about it much. I think about music and guitar a lot more.
8. You still sound so young in your new album and look young in your new music video, what's your secret?
PG: Playing in a rock band keeps you young! I like to eat good food. I don't drink much alcohol, and I never smoke.
9. What was the most intense moment you've had with each other?
PG: Every show is intense. We put all of our energy into our show every night.
10. If you have a chance to say something you've never shared before to the other members, what would you say?
PG: I think they know everything. We spend a lot of time together.
11. Any difference of the band hit you when you got back to studio after the reunion?
PG: It's all the original members, so it feels the same to me. I'm happy about that. I want to keep our sound!
12. Who's your favorite Japanese actress?
PG: I pay attention to musicians more than I do actors or actresses. There's a Japanese singer named Epo that my wife listens to a lot. I think she sings and writes really well.
13. What do you think about the 2012 theory?
PG: Is that the Aztec calendar thing? I don't really know anything about it. Myths and superstition aren't very interesting to me.
14. What's the most expensive thing you own?
PG: My house was more expensive than my guitars, but I love my guitars more.
15. Name three young bands that you like.
PG: I like Melody Gardot a lot. I like Justin Currie too, but he's not so young. And I just discovered Magic Sam and he's not even alive. Sorry, I don't know very many new bands.
16. What was the last thing you heard about China?
PG: I know that we're going to play some concerts in China, and I think that is fantastic. I remember in the early days of Mr. Big, our managers would tell us that it was impossible to get permission to play in China. I'm really glad that our countries have become friendlier so we can come and play our music. Also, my guitar company, Ibanez, makes some guitars in China. I just got a new Ibanez hollowbody guitar that was made in China and it's great!