Philip Sayce Speaks To SonicAbuse

Philip Sayce is currently touring the UK with the astonishing Marcus Bonfanti, a double act who are guaranteed to excel on the stage as they do on record. We were lucky to catch up with philip just as he embarked upon the tour and he tok the trouble to answer some questions for us about his inspiration, his development and his excellent new album ‘Innerevolution’ which is available now.

A talented, passionate artist you should check out Phlip Sayce while you have the chance.

1.       Your album ‘innerevolution’ has a vast array of influences – what artists inspired you to start learning the guitar?

I am deeply influenced by my Mum & Dad’s record collection. Clapton, Ry Cooder, Knopfler, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queen, The Kinks, The Eagles, you know…some really great music!

2.       You have an excellent band working with you, how did you get the members together?

I was fortunate to meet Joel Gottschalk through our friend Ryan MacMillan. Joel came in and auditioned for my band and knocked the ball out of the park. He’s a beautiful musician and person. On this tour we’re excited to have Fritz Lewak joining us on drums, who I met while working with Melissa Etheridge. He’s one of the best drummers I’ve worked with, and a really wonderful guy. He’s also a member of Jackson Browne’s band and a major session player in Los Angeles.

3.       You are incredibly versatile on the guitar – it must take a lot of practice to get to your standard?

I’m just doing the best I can to keep growing. I’m a student of music and I don’t take anything for granted. Even what I think I might know today, I can improve upon it and make it better somehow, so I keep working hard. Deeper, more connected. It’s my goal to keep growing and getting better. That’s the whole point, right!?

4.       On your first disc you covered Neil Young – are there any other artists you’d like to cover?

Sure, out of respect. If I hear a song and I fall in love with it, I may just want to learn it so I can get inside of it. Of course, songs by all of the artists that influence me! There’s a large number. I want to cover something by James Morrison, from his first album. Love it.

5.       What can we expect from your live performance?

Lots of emotion, and a different performance every night. We play what we feel on a particular day, so we always change it up. Even if the set list is somewhat similar, we look to take the songs on different trips. I don’t think I can play things the same way twice!

6.       How long did it take to write and record the new album?

I wrote the songs over the period of about 18 months and we recorded it in 2 weeks. I wrote with a few friends – Richard Marx, Dave Cobb, Marti Frederiksen, Mike Bradford and Busbee. Mostly, I decided to write about my personal experiences in those 18 months, about things that were going on in my life.

7.       …and to what extent are the rest of the band involved in the song writing?

That’s something that we’re going to be doing more of. For the new album I’m looking forward to writing with the Joel, Fritz and some other cats too. We’ve already started! I will also continue to collaborate with some of my writing pals, and write on my own as well. 

8.       From where do you take lyrical inspiration?

Every day life experience. That’s what I know best, so I write about what I know, from my point of view and perspective. I write about my truth, unless it’s something fictional and then I can just create a story and go where I want. Sometime inspiration comes from a book, a movie, a restaurant, whatever. There’s stories all around us.

9.       You’re touring with Marcus Bonfanti – how did you come across his work?

My agent suggested him and we instantly liked his music. He’s a huge talent and a wonderful person too. He plays real music and he’s the real deal. I hope people show up early to the shows to check him out.

10.   What’s been the high point of your career so far?

Every day! This interview. This moment. As I said earlier, I’m striving to keep growing and moving so every new moment that I allow myself to enjoy and experience, is a high point. There’s been some exciting gigs at The Grammy Awards, The Oscars, Oprah, playing with Jeff Healey, Uncle Kracker, and Melissa Etheridge, and so many more… But I’m looking forward and I’ve grown from these experiences so much. I feel like these experiences have prepared me for what I am doing right now. 

11.   What are your ambitions for the future?

 I’m ready to keep growing!


See Philip Sayce on tour in November with special guest Marcus Bonfanti.  Tour dates include Glasgow O2 ABC 2 (Nov 11), Edinburgh Caves (Nov12), Newcastle O2 Academy 2 (Nov 13) Liverpool O2 Academy 2 (Nov 15), Poole Mr Kyps (Nov 16), London Borderline (Nov 17). 24 Hour Box Office: 0871 230 1101,,

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