This Is The Life Tour April-May 2002
CMP Entertainment March 2002
RICKY ROSS SHEDS HIS DEACON BLUE SKIN ONCE AGAIN AS HE SETS OFF ON HIS 3RD SOLO TOUR, COINCIDING WITH THE RELEASE OF SUPERB NEW LP THIS IS THE LIFE, RELEASED IN APRIL. HERE HE REVEALS HIS THOUGHTS ON JUST HOW MUCH HE IS LOOKING FORWARD TO THE TOUR.
Q – WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM?
RR – I’m extremely pleased with it! It was actually recorded almost two years ago, but part of the arrangement for the new record deal was that we put the Deacon Blue CD Homesick out first. So it’s taken a while!
Q – WAS THAT FRUSTRATING FOR YOU?
RR – Not really. I’m writing all the time and the shows we did live last year with Deacon Blue were fantastic. It makes it all the sweeter for the wait now that the album is finally here and ready to go.
Q – THE ALBUM DISPLAYS A PHENOMENAL BREADTH. PRESUMABLY THAT IS A CONSCIOUS DECISION ON YOUR PART TO MAKE IT AS DIFFERENT FROM DEACON BLUE AS POSSIBLE.
RR – It’s not so much conscious, but it’s a result of having the freedom to be myself more than I can in the band situation. I suppose the material naturally develops in new ways.
Q- AND DO YOU HAVE SONGS WHICH YOU WRITE SPECIFICALLY WITH THE SOLO PROJECT IN MIND?
RR – probably not. I write all the time, so there’s so much material to choose from, but songs tend to lend themselves to one format or another naturally.
Q – IS THE BAND FEATURED ON THE ALBUM GOING TO GO ON THE ROAD?
RR – Yes and no. Davie Scott and Mick Slaven are going out with me, but we’re not taking bass and drums, which means we can reproduce a real flavour of the album, but also have the chance to be intimate, experiment with new arrangements of the songs and still do them justice. It’s a question of balance.
Q – WILL YOU BE PLAYING DEACON BLUE MATERIAL AS WELL?
RR – Of course. I realise that the vast majority of the people coming to the shows will be Deacon Blue fans. The idea of going out before Christmas was to give everyone their fix of the big songs if you like. We still love playing all that stuff, and there will be a certain amount included. But the idea is to play everything, revisiting some of the less obvious older numbers too, drawn from all the Deacon Blue and solo album back catalogue. Old songs, new versions.
Q – FOR A ROOM FULL OF DEDICATED DEACON BLUE FANS, THIS WILL BE MANNA FROM HEAVEN WON’T IT?
RR – I hope so!
Q – DO YOU HAVE A PREFERENCE IN TERMS OF PLAYING WITH THE BAND OR AS A SOLO PERFORMER?
RR – If I’m honest, this is actually more enjoyable. Scarier, but more enjoyable as a result.
Q – WHY SCARIER?
RR – I suppose because I have to give more of myself, you create your own stark intimacy with the crowd when you’re in smaller venues. And the acoustic format immediately brings you so much closer to people.
Q – BUT FROM AN AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE, THAT’S SURELY WHAT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR HERE, SOMETHING THEY WOULDN’T FIND AS READILY AT A BIG ROCK AND ROLL SHOW?
RR – Yes, very much so. It’s more special, it’s more about personality and it’s more about the songs.
Q – WHAT OTHER FREEDOMS DOES IT OFFER?
RR – I think the main thing is that I can be myself a lot more. If Dave or Mike don’t turn up one night, I can still get on stage and do the show!
Q – NOT THAT THEY’RE PLANNING TO RUN OUT ON YOU?
RR – I hope not. I also talk a lot more when I perform solo, there’s more dialogue between the songs, it’s closer to traditional storytelling because it gives me so much more of an opportunity to express myself.
Q- WHICH IN TURN MUST BE HUGELY REWARDING?
RR – Or more frightening, depending which you think.
Q – I GUESS THERE ARE NO BIG LIGHTS AND LOUD AMPS TO HIDE BEHIND?
RR – Exactly. But that’s great. It’s a challenge to bring the songs to life, and it’s fun because we all swap instruments around. I play piano and a bit of guitar, Dave and Mick do the same, so there’s still a lot variety in there.
Q – AND WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?
RR- There are no big plans really. Maybe one or two Deacon Blue shows later in the year or in Europe but I’m really looking forward to working this record and see where it goes from there.