Rapid Fire Questions
Australian blues musician Lloyd Spiegel isn’t here to change the world, just make it a little more bearable. As Lloyd celebrated his 30th year on tour in 2019, he can’t recall a time before playing guitar. Picking up the instrument at age four, Lloyd played his first professional show at age ten and was touring the east coast of Australia at 12.
By 16 he was on tour in the United States, cutting his teeth as a true travelling blues man. Lloyd’s travels not only honed his craft, earned him a swag of awards and brought him to take counsel with the founding fathers of modern blues – it taught him the most important part of being a blues musician: connecting with everyday people.
Lloyd has toured extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, viewing himself as a social worker more than anything else – someone to help people forget about their worries for a few hours and put a smile on their face. His contributions to music have earned him myriad accolades, such as Best Artist and Best Album at the Australian Blues Awards and being named as one of Australian Guitar Magazine’s Top 50 Australian guitarists of all time.
He has also supported the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Etta James, and sat in with masters of the blues genre such as Brownie McGhee and Luther Allison.
In 2019, Lloyd released his tenth album ‘Cut And Run’, the final part of an unexpected trilogy about personal redemption Lloyd didn’t even realise he was writing until it was finished. Where previous albums ‘Backroads’ and ‘This Time Tomorrow’ had Lloyd asking questions and begging forgiveness for the sins of his past, on ‘Cut And Run’ he has found the tenacity to face the next chapter of his life.
First taste of the album is lead single ‘Track Her Down’, a deep and soulful blues number about the fleeting, yet precious, nature of connections he makes with people on the road and the fragility of personal relationships for a travelling musician.
Since 2004, Lloyd has been the world-wide demonstrator and premier endorsee for Cole Clark Guitars, an Australian company that designs and builds its guitars with Lloyd’s hard-hitting style in mind.
Somewhere between songwriter, social worker and truth-seeker sits Lloyd Spiegel, guitar in hand and a song at the ready. Don’t miss this incredible talent and charismatic personality when Lloyd Spiegel returns to stages around the world.
We asked Lloyd some Rapid Fire Questions Below
1. Rockin' Blues or Ballad ?
Yes!! I love a good rockin’ blues ballad.
Honestly though, both are essential at different times, both for listening and for writing.
2. Dog or Cat ?
As a pet? Dog.
To be? Cats have it so cushy. They’re the sunbathing millionaires of the animal kingdom.
3. Electric or Acoustic Guitar ?
I love the honesty of the acoustic guitar. I really believe tone is in the fingers and the acoustic allows that to come through without the temptation of hiding that tone behind effects.
Plus, a good song can be brought back to a voice and an acoustic guitar, so in a sense, playing acoustic weeds out your terrible stuff and makes you a better writer. Ha!
4. Coffee or Tea ?
Coffee in the morning, on the road, in the studio, before the show, at the airport, visiting friends, plotting against enemies, watching tv, doing interviews, relaxing or dealing with high pressure situations
Tea.... at Mum’s house.
5. What's Your Ideal Holiday Destination ?
I’ve spent so much of my life on tour that the usual answer to this would be ‘home’. After 2020 though, having that ability to travel taken away has made me realise that after all those years touring, I have barely even scratched the surface when it comes to experiencing this planet.
I’ve only ever had one trip away without a guitar. That was to Mexico and Cuba and I bought a travel guitar half way through.
I think I’d like to challenge myself to travel through Europe or Canada without performing. These are places I frequent, but performing gives me an easy way to connect with people and it’s not quite reality.
Pushing myself to find other ways of meeting people wouldn’t feel like a holiday as such, (off stage I’m not so comfortable) but it would be an incredible chance to find out more about myself and those places I’ve grown to love.
6. Beer, Wine, Liquor, Non-Alcoholic ?
I’m a rare breed. A non-drinking blues guitarist. People look at me like I’m a unicorn when I say that in Australia. It’s simply not to be believed.
I stopped drinking around the time my son was a toddler. They wake up at 100% energy and that’s not suited well to a late gig. Adding a hangover just seemed unnecessarily cruel.
7. Bongos or Cajon ?
It would depend a lot of who is playing them but in general, cajon has so many layers to it when it’s played well.
I toured with a wonderful percussionist for a couple of years who astounded me with how many sounds he could create with something so seemingly simple.
8. Car or Bicycle ?
Car... but only til drone taxis are big enough to carry humans.
9. House or Apartment ?
Definitely a house!
I need space for all the guitars...
I mean, I don’t play most of them....
Some haven’t been played in years...
But I might want to play them one day...
Even if I don’t, they look great....
They wouldn’t age well in storage....
No way I could sell them...
Ok, that’s enough of THAT. Next question.
10. Chicago Blues or Delta Blues ?
That might be the hardest question I’ve ever been asked. It’s like choosing between your two kids. They connect with you in their own way but no matter what that connection is, it’s so instantly familiar that it’s not a choice. It just is.
11. Perform Standing or Sitting ?
I need a stool so I can use my stomp box and I’m ashamed to admit that I’m very particular about the height.
I stole a stool from a Melbourne music venue when I was a teenager. It’s been rebuilt and recovered a dozen times but it still travels with me in Australia.
About half way through a tour in a new country, if the tour is going well and I think I’ll be back, there’s this somewhat ceremonial search and purchase of an identical stool for that country. Ha! It’s like a symbol of my commitment.
12. Shower or Bath ?
Bath. Have you ever tried reading in the shower?
13. Indian Cuisine or Italian Cuisine ?
Italian seafood dishes or anything with truffle.
14. Country or City Living ?
If I could, I would step out my front door and be in the busiest street in Melbourne. But I can’t.. I need space for all those guitars.
15. CD or Vinyl ?
I play a lot of LP’s at home. It’s not about the sound. It’s about the procedure.
You take it out the sleeve, then out of the plastic sleeve and check both sides for scratches. You pop it on and dust it as it revolves, then set the needle gently down.
That whole thing is kind of calming.
It’s a process that respects the album and endears it to you.
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