Ty Tabor says in the bio that his main inspiration for this project came from his frequent jam sessions with renowned artist's such as drummer Carmine Appice (Guitar Zeus and Guitar Zeus II-only available as imports), ex-Loudness drummer Muneaka Higuchi's solo album (only available in Japan) and Greg Bissonette's (former David Lee Roth band) newest effort to only name a few. "After seventeen years it was very cool to play and write songs that were just for me," pretty much sums up what "Moonflower Lane" is all about for Tabor.
Q&A with Ty Tabor
Sheila Rene': Hello my friend. If you were happy with the last King's X
album, you must be out of your gourd on this one.
Ty Tabor: Thanks, it was lots of fun to record.
SR: I never knew you had such pretty blue eyes.
TT: Computers can do wonders.
SR: The artwork just leaps out at you. The whole family got involved on
this one with wife doing the artwork and son Josh on French horn.
TT: It was a real treat to be able to do this and for it to be a home spun thing makes it all the better.
SR: Not only that we you called in all the members of one of my
favorite bands, Galactic Cowboys.
TT: We've been friend for a long time now.
SR: Working in your own studio for starters. Since you played many
instruments, you didn't have to work unless you felt like it. What was
the hardest part of this project.
TT: It was a treat. It would have to be the vocals. I'm never very comfortable doing vocals. That's the part I dread the most. I enjoy everything else about recording a lot, but doing vocals is like work for me. It doesn't come naturally. I'm not a real singer.
SR: You couldn't prove it by me. I think your vocals match the songs
perfectly. I now have to get me a copy of your "Naomi's Solar Pumpkin"
album. Especially since I now know that four songs on that CD aren't
found on "Moonflower Lane" and six songs in their original form are on
TT: The six songs are not massively different but they do sound different because the performance are on different guitars. The drums are more industrial sounding because it was all done by a drum machine on the earlier tunes. It's definitely a different vibe.
SR: You don't waste any time on this album letting us know how you feel
about your life. "I Do" is one of the tunes that I can relate to very
TT: I thought it might be unpopular to write that kind of thing, but I didn't want to be ashamed to say it either.
SR: "I Know Everything" is the tune Josh plays on. It takes quite a
balancing act between the mystery and knowing all.
TT: Cool, I'm happy you enjoy that one.
SR: Are you still surprised that you're still doing this?
TT: I've very surprised after all these years. Not only am I allowed to make albums with King's X, but I'm doing so much other stuff also. At this point in my life I'm busier writing and recording more than I've ever been in my life.
SR: And, you get to spend time with the family at the same time. "Her
Palace" is another tune I relate to.
TT: That's one of my personal favs as well. It usually gets a lot of comments from people who've listened to it. For me, that song has as lot of meaning for me personally. I was glad to finally be able to release it.
SR: What guitars did you use? I'm sure you pulled out that Zion
Signature Ty Tabor instrument.
TT: I used a regular Zion on most of it and I also used my Fender Strat Elite which I used on all the early King's X material. I put it in retirement a few years ago but brought it out to use on this record.
SR: You've never kept your Beatle influence a secret. You've got some
fun audible Beatle-esque sound on this one.
TT: There's some strange sounds going on here and there. We did all kinds of stuff to the music. We did most everything through real sounds one way or another. We did bring in samples on "I Know Everything" for some of that Indian stuff. The sitar sound is actually a guitar. We did have a sample for the tambura and for the tabla. For the most part everything was actually played in one way or another. We experimented with an organ Leslie cabinet that I played my guitar through which gave it a Bad Finger vibe.
SR: Has Josh taken the CD off the player yet?
TT: Actually, he doesn't listen to it hardly at all. Little Josh is a highschool kid now and he's a little too cool for that. (Laughing) Although, he said some kid came up to him yesterday at school with the latest Guitar Magazine that had an interview in it on this album. In the interview it mentions that Josh played on the album so this kid pointed it out to him and he got a kick out of that.
SR: The song "The Truth" brings me to say how wonderful this world
would be if everyone told the truth about everything.
TT: Yeah, it would be unreal wouldn't it? It seems to be an easy thing when you think about it but we've all found ourselves in situations when the truth was hard to talk about. It sure would be nice.
SR: Did any of these songs come to you in a strange way?
TT: "The Truth" came to me in a dream actually. I jumped out of bed, ran to the tape recorder and sang it before I could forget it. In the dream it was one of my favorite songs ever. It didn't come really come out exactly as it was in my dream, but it wasn't lost entirely.
SR: It's a show stopper for me.
TT: I'm glad to hear that.
SR: Are there many musicians out there that you're still in awe of?
TT: Oh, yeah a lot of them. Absolutely. There are plenty of them. I think Alan Holdsworth is definitely out there on his own. He is unique and I enjoy everything he does. The first time I heard him it literally changed my entire idea about guitars. More so than anyone I've ever heard before. I heard him and something went off in my head 'oh, that's a different way of looking at guitars. It definitely opened up my mind. It was like hearing an instrument for the first time and it was the same instrument I'd been playing for years. All of a sudden it was a foreign object to me in his hands. That really showed me how much further it could go and how much more could be done. There are so many out there that I respect and admire musically.
SR: Did Wanda come up with the Japanese feel on this cover?
TT: Actually, it was my idea. I wanted it to be a combination of Japanese and psychedelic.
SR: I love the eyes. What computer/program did you use?
TT: I used Photo Shop and the computer itself was one that I built myself. I've built all the computers in my studio.
SR: How does one build their own computer.
TT: It's not really that difficult. You just decide what you want to use and go out and buy that piece of equipment from the case to the motherboard and memory. You just pick and choose what you want for your system and put it together. You have to know what's out there and what does what. It's not as difficult as it sounds.
SR: Are you always writing, Ty?
TT: Pretty much. I don't every stop.
SR: I like the way you rhyme everything. The Beatles did that. It's
easier to remember a song I think.
TT: For some reason I'm locked into that. I feel it has to rhyme.
SR: Are you doing any new projects out of your Alien Beans studio?
TT: Oh, yes. Tons. I'm doing a little bit of everything from all over the world. Right now I just finished doing a project with Rod Morganstein on drums, John Myung on bass and Derek Sherinian on keyboards from Dream Theater and I'm doing all the guitar and vocals. We've put together this album and I'm doing the mixing and mastering on it in my studio right now for world-wide release. I just finished remastering the latest King's X Best Of CD. The new King's X material will be mastered and mixed in my studio as well. As far as other bands I'm doing a lot with different bands all over the country.
SR: I'd think sharing your knowledge with these young band would be
TT: I just enjoy doing it.
SR: Congratulations on your signing both for solo and King's X
projects. I have the utmost respect for Brian Slagel and his team.
They have such great ears which comes from a big heart.
TT: I'm very, very happy with them also. They're so cool about giving everyone the artistic freedom they need to do their projects.
SR: You're starting in March with the next King's X album.
TT: We'll be back at it as soon as I finish the project I'm working on now.
SR: You've got the best of both worlds.
TT: Yes, I do actually. I think it's quite an honor to be able to do my own thing and play with a band I really love.
SR: ..."I've got a good life, I do" pretty much says it for you and for
me. Will you be touring on this album?
TT: I'm thinking that I may tour with it. When we do the King's X record there will be a period of two to three months before it's released. I may be able to do a short tour with the Moonflower album. If I don't tour with my solo thing at that point I hope the guys I just told you about, John, Derek and Rod will join me on a tour. The music on that project is some of the fun-est stuff I've ever played in my life. It's difficult but it's very melodic. It's a good record and I'm very proud of it. We all want to tour with it because it's so much fun.
SR: That's great news. You'd definitely play Houston, wouldn't you?
TT: Oh, yeah we'd have to play Houston.
SR: Ty, once again thank you for your music and your time to talk about
it. See on the road. Say hello to Wanda for me.
TT: Thank you. It's always a pleasure.