Paul Gilbert (1998)


First off, all the guys in Mr. Big have found side projects or are making solo records - where does that leave the future of Mr. Big?

Mr. Big is currently on hiatus. The future is unknown at this time.

I will come back to Mr. Big, but first to your solo record - Congratulations on a fine album!
In the lead up or approach to this album, what were you looking to do?
In my approach to my first solo album, I wanted to introduce myself as a
singer/songwriter and still keep interesting and heavy guitar

How long were you writing for the record?
The songs were written mostly a few months before I began recording, but
there are some old favorites of mine too.

How long did it take to record?
The album was recorded in 3 months.

I see you enlisted the help of Bruce Bouillet. Are you two buddies?
Bruce Bouillet is a very good friend of mine! We worked very hard
together while recording and still had lots of fun.

So how do you like the outcome?
I am very happy with both the recording experience and the finished product.

I know of your love of the Beatles, and there is certainly influences of them the record, but I thought the record may have been a more acoustic feel.
I was actually pleasantly surprised at how rocking the album was!

I am very influenced by the Beatles and much of the music from the 60's
and 70's.
I am glad that you liked my direction on the record. Most of
the time I prefer to rock!

Your vocals are sounding great. Were you nervous to sing, and be featured on the whole album?
I felt good about singing because I made sure to write songs that fit my
voice. Plus, I have been practicing a lot!

Tell me about some of your favourite tracks on the album. I love the first 4 especially.
I like the first songs on the album too. I like "Champagne" because it
is up tempo and has lots of different drum beats. Plus, the electric 12
string is always fun to play. I like "Vinyl" because it has lots of
tom-toms. I also like the lyrics and the vocal harmonies.
"Girls Who Can Read Your Mind" was written a few years ago, and after doing several demo's, I finally found the right key and arrangement for the album.
"I'm Just in Love" is the only track with me playing drums. Plus, it has
big heavy guitars and a surprise flamenco solo!
I think my other favorite is "Streetlights". It sounds live to me even though the parts were over dubbed.

And I hear there is going to be a US release of the album shortly.
Yeah, "King of Clubs" should be released in the U.S. on April 21.

So how have you enjoyed the ride with Mr Big?
Mr. Big was incredible! I was able to tour all over the world and make
some records that I am really happy with. Everybody in the band is an
incredible musician!

Japan has been the first release point for most Mr Big albums, and your solo record - how have you found the Japanese and their dedication to hard rock and to Mr Big?
I feel very lucky to have people listen to my music ANYWHERE! I'm not
sure why, but there are a lot of people in Japan who like my music. This
is fantastic for me because I love Japanese food and Japanese people. It
is a long way to travel and I wish I could do more touring in the
States, Europe, Brazil and anywhere they will let me in!

I have to ask this! Do you have any control over the amount of live albums released in Japan, or is that purely a label decision?
We do have a lot of live albums! We usually put a live album out while
we are touring since we don't have time in the studio. Plus, Mr. Big is
best live!

The song 'Unnatural' is written and sung by yourself, can you tell me a little about the lyrics? The first verse seemed to be applicable to the last question.
"Unnatural" doesn't have a specific lyrical theme, but it is
occasionally about me wishing that I had a voice like Aretha Franklin!

Okay, on the lighter side, have you been talking to the guys lately? What are they up to?
I played a few solo's on Pat Torpey's upcoming solo album. He flew out
to my studio in Las Vegas to produce me. We had fun and it was good to
see him. I haven't seen the other guys lately, but I live in Las Vegas
and they live in California.

Do you have a favourite Mr. Big gig?
Some of the most memorable Mr. Big gigs were the benefit for the Kobe
earthquake victims, our show for 100,000 people in Brazil, and the time
that I got the drill caught in my hair in Atlanta!

Yeah! Ha ha. And a favourite Mr. Big song?
My favorite Mr. Big song is probably "Green Tinted 60's Mind".

So where to from here Paul?
I am currently preparing for my solo concert tour. I have a show in West
Hollywood at the Troubadour on March 4, and then a week of shows in
Japan. After that, I hope to go to Europe...probably in May. Also, I
hope to record my second solo album this year!

Damn! No rest for the wicked! Thanks Paul for taking the time out to answer some questions.
Thank you again for listening to my music and I hope I answered your

You bet! See ya.