INCENDIO
Summoning The Muse
(Incendio Music)

 

One of the finest Contemporary instrumental, flamenco-flavored, guitar-based instrumental groups on the planet, Incendio returns in 2019 with their latest CD masterpiece appropriately entitled Summoning The Muse. Looking for a way to make their new album different or perhaps to move a step forward compared to their earlier albums, Incendio cofounder / guitarist / composer Jim Stubblefield tells mwe3.com , With Summoning the Muse, I’d like to think we’ve moved away from our rumba roots and into a broader contemporary instrumental sound that includes acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, violin, etc. In fact, I think there is only one rumba out of 12 songs on the new album. We have a full United States summer tour planned which will run from June through the end of August - The Summoning The Muse Tour. Lots of new stuff in terms of how we are presenting the music and JP and I are playing electric guitars about forty percent of the show." Combining with Jim's primarily acoustic guitars are the guitars, bass, keys and horn arrangements of Incendio cofounders Jean-Pierre Durand with Liza Carbe, adding in in her usual guitar, programming and bass flair, while the drums are handled by Tim Curie. Speaking about his work on this ninth Incendio album JP Durand explains, "We decided to make the pop and dance influences a little more obvious on this album. We have always been known as primarily an acoustic guitar band, so we wanted to add a bit more electric guitar than usual plus some keyboards." A number of guest artists add in a range of instruments—from horns and percussion to accordion, Hammond B3, strings and even ‘virtual’ orchestration. Featuring a wealth guitar-centric songwriting ideas from Jim, Liza and Jean-Pierre, Summoning The Muse is a winner on a number of musical levels and is the most dynamic and diverse-sounding Incendio album yet. www.incendioband.com

 




mwe3.com presents an interview with
Jim Stubblefield of INCENDIO


mwe3
: The new Incendio album Summoning The Music was recorded in a number of studios in Southern California, six different studios in fact. Is that unique to Incendio to record an album at various studios? Remarkably, sound wise, the album sounds very consistent. Was it challenging to record in multiple studios?

Jim Stubblefield: I would say that since JP and Liza put everything together at their studio, the challenge was more about guiding the various contributors in terms of recording guidelines. There are of course benefits to doing it this way, but yes challenges as well. Technology makes this much easier than it used to be!

mwe3: JP Durand said, on Summoning The Muse, the band was going for a more groove-based sound. Do you feel you achieved that? It sure sounds like it. JP plays quite a number of instruments on Summoning The Muse. Has he played synth and that many instruments on an Incendio album before?

Jim Stubblefield: Absolutely. I stuck with nylon-string guitar throughout the recording, even though I play electric and acoustic guitars as well as keyboards on my solo projects. Incendio has always pushed the envelope a bit since our first release back in 2000. It was neat to hear JP add a lot of the colors to the arrangements.

mwe3: The addition of Tim Currie on drums gives Summoning The Muse a more driving rhythmic feel. Have you recorded with Tim before and what other drummers has Incendio recorded with. Does the band include a drummer on some of your live gigs?

Jim Stubblefield: Tim has been our drummer for the last four years. His first full album with us was our 2015 O Night Divine holiday album. Before that, he was a Josh Groban’s percussionist for over ten years. We’ve also had Bryan Brock, Nicole Falzone, Joe Shotwell, Tom Brechtlein (Chick Corea, Eric Johnson, Robben Ford) and Dave Karasony (The Rippingtons) on our albums.

mwe3: What guitars are you playing on Summoning The Muse?

Jim Stubblefield: I played Jorge de Zofia and German Vazquez Rubio guitars on the album. Other guitars featured were made by Pedro Maldonado, Marcellino Lopez and Kenny Hill.

mwe3: There’s also some electric guitars on Summoning The Muse. What electric guitars are played on the new album?

Jim Stubblefield: Although I play a lot of electric on my solo albums, JP did the electric work on this project. He used a Warmoth “Partscaster” and various other guitars, including Telecasters, hollow-bodies and the like.

mwe3: Did you try to give Summoning The Muse a more synth like feel? With the added drums and keyboards, the sound of the new CD is greatly enhanced. Why hasn’t Incendio had a kind flamenco-rock fusion style album out before? I’m thinking of track 3 “Running” which has a fitting title, with its driving rhythms. What can you say about “Running”? The guitars really intertwine perfectly.

Jim Stubblefield: We’ve experimented with rock elements as far back as our 2001 Illumination album, but after nearly 20 years together we thought we’d really mix it up. The electric rhythm guitars on “Running” were very Rush / Alex Lifeson inspired.

mwe3: “Blue Bolero” is classic sounding.

Jim Stubblefield: I wrote the song mainly because I had never written a Bolero rhythm before. It has a quasi-blues structure... thus the title. JP did some very evocative piano work, which I love.

mwe3: “Dog Mountain” has a kind of Euro feel to it. Are the guitars multi-tracked on that song or are all the band members playing guitars on that track? You mentioned the Morricone influence on “Rumba Ponderosa” and I also feel it too.

Jim Stubblefield: “Dog Mountain” has a bit of Tom Petty style guitars in the rhythm track ala “I Won’t Back Down”. There are tons of layers. With “Rumba Ponderosa”, I definitely heard that as a Spaghetti Western style tune when I wrote it. JP wrote a killer “twang” electric part for it.

mwe3: “Morning In Maui” is a good example of the different sound of Summoning The Muse. Is JP playing the synth keyboards?

Jim Stubblefield: The Hawaiian influence is simply in the title because that song was written by Liza and JP while on vacation in Maui. The orchestral arrangement was done by Brian Langsbard. I don’t believe there is any guitar synthesizer on that piece.

mwe3: There are numerous guest artists on Summoning The Muse on a range of instruments. How do other players influence the Incendio sound?

Jim Stubblefield: Well they certainly contribute to it and it’s nice to have other instruments like accordion, horns, etc. I don’t think the other players “influence” the sound as much as help us attain what we are looking for. We usually have a pretty good idea of what we want.

mwe3: “Don’t Pretend” has a cool dance music groove to it. Is that track one of the bigger production numbers on the Summoning The Muse album, horns and all? What about JP Durand’s classic Santana-esque guitar solo?

Jim Stubblefield: Yes. We have a real horn section on that song as well as a Hammond B3 played by Carey Frank. JP did a great electric solo on the track! Ironically, I play the electric guitar on this song when we play it live.

mwe3: “High Tide” is one of your compositions. Is that one of the most picturesque tracks on Summoning The Muse? What is the lineup of musicians and what are they playing on that track? You mention the South American beach imagery on that track. It does sound more Spanish than Hawaiian.

Jim Stubblefield: It’s really just a chill out lounge tune with some jazzy chords. It was the second song I wrote for the project. JP did some very evocative piano work, which really highlighted the vibe I wanted. JP takes the first solo and I do the second. We alternate back and forth playing the melody.

mwe3: “Amazon River Hoedown” is a great way to end the Summoning The Muse album. Were you going for a kind of country and western Flamenco meets World Music groove on that track? Joe Craven’s violin really nails the spirit and there are also some cool twangy guitars on that track. What is everyone in the band playing on that track?

Jim Stubblefield: We have Joel Guzman from Paul Simon’s band playing accordion as well. JP plays the electric solo and I play the fast nylon-string solo. It’s a fun tune and definitely a first for us.

mwe3: How does Summoning The Muse influence your ongoing work as a solo artist and as well as Liza and JP’s work in Carbe Durand? Let’s hope there’s more music underway this year into 2020. Change is good as long as it’s entertaining right?

Jim Stubblefield: I think we all influence each other and I think Incendio is a great way of melding our various influences together. It also allows us to do different things on our solo stuff. Carbe & Durand have their guitar duo approach, which is a nice contrast. We all get to throw in our ideas with Incendio. I come from a more prog-rock background while JP loves the blues, Steely Dan and traditional South American music. Liza brings a lot of classical influences to the table. But we all share a love for classic rock bands, power-pop groups and jazz greats. Incendio has always been a world fusion group. We have Celtic pieces, Middle Eastern and even Eastern European influenced tunes on our various albums. With Summoning The Muse, I’d like to think we’ve moved away from our rumba roots and into a broader contemporary instrumental sound that includes acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, violin, etc. In fact, I think there is only one rumba out of 12 songs on the new album. We have a full United States summer tour planned which will run from June through the end of August called “The Summoning the Muse Tour”. Lots of new stuff in terms of how we are presenting the music and JP and I are playing electric guitars on about forty percent of the show.




 

 
   
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