John Taylor interviews Jonathan
Elias about the Resume CD....
JT: So, you
listened to the CD and...
JE: It was a
lot of fun for me, it brought back a lot of
memories... Walking down Fifth Avenue...
JT: That's what
it brings up for me... is feelings of... How long
ago was it? Have you listened to any of it (since
we did it)?
JE: 'Tell Me
All You Know' (sings) I still quite like that
one... 'Dance For Freedom' I love...I just heard it
the other day
JE: On the
movie cues you knew what you wanted...
JT: But I was
JE: How could
you be? Pat (Rebillot- Pianist) is such a sweet
man... He was John's (Barry) man...
actually Pat... Absolutely... I was thinking more
about Ron (Carter-Bassist) and Grady (Tate-
Drummer) It would have been irreverent to have
tried to produce them, Could you please play that a
little more... I remember you had a lot better
handle on it than I did
JE: I was used
to working with Ron Carter... also because I went
to the same school as he did for a while. They had
played with Coltrane!
sounds so good... A lot of the work that I hear,
over and over again, like some of the Duran stuff,
I lose touch with how it was made, but this stuff,
it is like taking it out of a sealed envelope...
Now I am driving around LA listening to it, and
being taken back to the time and the place... Where
you were living... The girl you were living
JT: I can
remember one hurricane blowing around my
apartment... you know..
JT: I think
that the music is very emotional... I think we were
both in pretty emotional states at the time... and
I think it comes across... I'm not sure whether
that's just because I know... Or whether it really
JE: I think you
and I are always pretty emotional (laughs) We're
always in an emotional state... Good or bad... You
know that's how we all are... certainly anyone who
JT: I was on
tour with Michael Des Barres... and he was asked to
do a thing for this movie 'Nine and a Half
Weeks'... I had heard something about this movie
and wanted to get involved with it... so they sent
him out a clip of the movie while we were on tour,
and I thought, this is hot stuff! When I saw it I
thought oh!... I really wanted to do something for
this movie, and I guess, we got to the end of the
tour and we had met before... We didn't actually
meet during the making of 'A View to a Kill' did
JE: I'm sure we
JT: No we
JE: We had met
before then but we didn't cross paths when you
worked on that song...
JE: I'm not
sure... Were you working at the Power Station one
night when I came up to... You came in with the
JT: You were
wearing an oatmeal colored jacket!
JT: I know that
in 'Dance For Freedom' we used those orchestra
stabs that are actually on the Bond song... 'Tell
Me All You Know' the bass was going through similar
moves... We had just done that song together... and
er, we knew we had something... I remember we set
out on a trip, we came over to LA one time, I was
thinking about it this morning... It was kinda like
a version of 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'!
JE: (Laughs) I
remember Andy (Taylor) picking us up... at the
airport one time, that was kind of... That might
have been the second trip...
JT: Oh my
God... And one to England as well... I remember you
had to come out there for some... you were
recording an orchestra in London... We set up all
these meetings because... you know... people were
very keen to meet us...
'Highlander', remember 'Highlander'?
JT: But by the
time the meetings came around... I don't know... I
mean we did kind of party... but it was more like a
party in a vacuum really
JE: We never
went out... we really liked to just sit there
and... play... I was doing 'Requiem for the
Americas' at the same time... that took five
JT: I remember
you playing me I think, the first movement and you
saying (laughs) I don't know if I am going to use
this for an AT&T commercial... Is it for this
or... shall I keep it for that?
JE: Yeah... I
still do that all the time
JT: I'm sure
Beethoven would be writing the odd commercial if he
JE: Well I
don't know... Film scores...
JT: Oh come on!
JE: Well they
did of the day write little dance pieces, or little
pieces for the Empress, for four and five year old
kids to sit and learn how to play their D scale...
They made up little... They had to get paid for
their work too...
JT: Let's talk
about 'Big Thing'
JE: The coffee
shop on the corner of... I had never really had
Capuccino that zipped me the way that did! The
place on the corner of Boulevard Davout
JT: Salade de
Chevre Chaud! I remember it was hard for you
because you had this very demanding business and
you had to go back and forth
JE: I went from
doing that album to doing a Yes album... And I look
at both experiences... The Duran experience versus
the Yes experience... Yes put me off
JT: At the last
minute the A&R guy suggested that we use the
hip mixers of the moment... (on 'Drug')
JE: He was
probably fired four months later!
JT: Well yeah
(He wasn't)... And I think that impeded the flow of
JE: I do
remember that... There was a great version of it
that we had done, and I knew it was being changed,
it was being taken off
There's a Japanese version of the album out now
that has as a bonus track the original, but I just
wish that they had scheduled it into the album
JE: For you
guys it was an interesting time... You were
reinventing yourselves... Well 'Notorious'
JT: But on that
album Warren came in... we didn't really notice...
I remember that's how I felt... I didn't want to
acknowledge any change taking place... (On 'Big
Thing') nobody really knew what it was we should be
JE: That was
interesting for me... Everyone had such natural...
ideas... Nick had a natural concept, and you had a
natural concept... But you always second guessed
yourself... You were famous for that!
JT: The band
JE: No no...
You... You personally. Nick had very set ideas
about things, I mean he would try anything... But
you really, you would have a great idea, and then
the next day you would come in and rewrite that
idea... I mean I saw that a lot on our own stuff,
when it was just you and me... I remember trying to
convince you about something that you had come up
with two days earlier and you were totally second
JE: Often it
was over the Linn drum machine...
JT: That was
the first album that we used sequencers on.
Everyone got funky fingers. I would come in from
lunch and Nick would have programmed some Prince
thing, and I'd say "What the fuck is this?" That
definitely became a problem over that album and the
subsequent one, 'Liberty'... But let's move along!
Patty, take some pictures while we are talking, you
JE: You see, I
think you were exploding creatively at that time...
I think I was too... I was learning things I had
never really known about. Don't forget for me my
whole background was... you know... I went to
school as a classical conductor... So I knew about
things like how to conduct... and orchestration
laws... I knew so little, the stuff I knew was so
fragile about pop production, I wasn't a rocker,
obviously... and your strength was so rooted in
that world. And so the combination of us was very
interesting. It was interesting musically, and
friendship wise, and you see it all came out in
the... many... and you know, both of us were
somewhat unhappy in that period... Personally too,
you know the challenges, so a lot of it did come
out in the music. In that period we went to see
ballet... You got into playing keyboard, you became
obsessed with playing keyboard... You were up there
playing the piano in the apartment for hours... you
came out of it playing better than Nick at the
JT: I could
hear so many influences... I still think (Resume)
is a very unique sound. I never really knew
Prince's music at that time, but everyone was
talking about 'When Doves Cry' and what an
important record it was because it had no bass on
it... and then that became a trademark for him...
And a lot of what drives these songs rhythmically
is this really hard tonal kick drum...
JE: Oh sure,
you weren't playing the bass much, the music wasn't
really bass driven...
JT: For the fun
of it really, give us a typical week here at Elias
associates... like a client list...
JE: Oh what?
Out here? A typical week would be Budweiser,
Lexus,Taco Bell... It's really like playing in a
surround yourself with great people. When I first
came to Six West Twentieth I felt so at home,
everyone had great ears, this stuff is recorded
really well, better than some of my recent
JE: Well you
know, in another room we might have Michael Bolton
recording a coke commercial!
JT: Tell us
about 'The Prayer Cycle'
JE: The project
is called 'Prayer Cycle' It's a choral piece that
was recorded with the English Chamber
JT: It was
inspired by the holocaust...
JE: It was
inspired by the holocaust, but also by the dropping
of the atomic bomb... It's really inspired by the
power of man's inhumanities. My own fatalistic
impressions came when I started writing the lyrics.
The lyrics are in several languages...
JT: and it's
coming out in April on Sony Classics
JE: As the Pope
is... You know the Pope has an album coming
JT: The Pope's
Hear a sample from "Resume": "Tell Me All You