During the production of my new album I learned a world of new things. One of the most thrilling of them was that I learned how to arrange and write parts for each instrument. You’d be surprised to know how much music is recorded without having plans for each part in advance. Many producers simply bring in a musician that they like, and let him/her roam free on the track. The musician then makes his or her own creative decisions as to what to play on the song. Same thing often happens with live shows. This is totally cool with me, but it is no longer the way I operate. I like to have a full vision about my music, and to hear that executed.

Musicians like to be creative. Of course they do! That’s why they’re musicians..! But here’s the thing: they are entitled to their art just as I am entitled to mine. And if I’ve made a specific creative choice on a song, that is what I now expect to hear in rehearsal and in the studio.

My music these days is a place where I, and the person I’ve chosen as my producer or musical collaborator, get to be creative. There is purpose and meaning to each musical choice; it is not haphazard what the bass does, what the guitar does, what the piano does… And now I want that vision represented in my live shows as well. To hold on to my musical choices is the only way for me to create the artistic identity I strive for. If my music becomes a mix&match of other people’s ideas as to what might sound pretty, well then…it is no longer my art. Imagine some random dude having come up to a painting Jackson Pollock just painted, to add a couple of choice designs to it. The dude would probably have been quite proud of his contribution, but Jackson Pollock would most likely have scrapped the whole thing. I’m pretty sure of it actually. In my opinion it is the same with composed music, whether it’s classical of contemporary. The parts aren’t a suggestion, it’s how the song goes..!!

That all being said, I am happy to be working with a group of highly talented and respectful musicians, who know the drill. We had a couple of breathtaking musical moments in rehearsal on Thursday, and by the time we take the stage next Wednesday, I know there’ll be many more. And just to clarify: by breathtaking musical moment I mean the sort of thing where you are transported by the experience. When you feel that, it’s quite something. It’s the reason why I make music.