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
cofounder / guitarist / composer Jim Stubblefield tells mwe3.com
Summoning the Muse, Id like to think weve 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 instrumentsfrom
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
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?
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 Grobans percussionist for over ten years. Weve
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: Theres 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.
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 hasnt Incendio had a kind flamenco-rock fusion
style album out before? Im 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: Weve experimented with rock elements
as far back as our 2001 Illumination album, but after nearly
20 years together we thought wed really mix it up. The electric
rhythm guitars on Running were very Rush / Alex Lifeson
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.
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 Wont 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
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 dont
believe there is any guitar synthesizer on that piece.
There are numerous guest artists on Summoning The Muse on a
range of instruments. How do other players influence the Incendio
Jim Stubblefield: Well they certainly contribute to it and
its nice to have other instruments like accordion, horns, etc.
I dont 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: Dont 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
Durands 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.
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: Its 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 Cravens 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?
Stubblefield: We have Joel Guzman from Paul Simons band
playing accordion as well. JP plays the electric solo and I play the
fast nylon-string solo. Its a fun tune and definitely a first
mwe3: How does Summoning The Muse influence your ongoing
work as a solo artist and as well as Liza and JPs work in Carbe
Durand? Lets hope theres more music underway this year
into 2020. Change is good as long as its 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, Id
like to think weve 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.