Fanzine Brasil

sábado, 15 de junho de 2019


 By: Juliana Vannucchi and Abel Marinho
Tobby Dammit: He currently plays on Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and already played with Iggy Pop, The Stooges and Jessie Evans.

1. Toby, I read that you are a "multi-instrumentalist" of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. In addition to drums, what other instruments do you play? And what was the first one you learned to play?

I've only been playing drums for Nick this past month. However for the past five years I've been his keyboard player, occasionaly playing vibraphone and other odd melodic instruments and singing quite a lot. I'm a classically trained percussionist since I was a child, so that is my primary instrument.

2. I always see very different definitions for Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds songs. This is very interesting because I think it shows how peculiar they are. In your opinion, is it possible to say which the band’s musical category is?
I couldn't categorize the wide variety songs made by this band, but generally I believe anyone can find something to identify with at some point and become quite attached for their own personal reasons. It might be one song in 5 decades of songwriting, but once a person has found that link, they often become curious to exploring the entire trove.

"Honestly I feel I'm exactly in the right place for me right now (...)"
3. How did the opportunity to play with The Bad Seeds come about? How and when was your first meeting with Nick Cave?

I met all these guys in January 1993 in Australia. The Bad Seeds were part of a package tour with Iggy Pop, whom I was playing drums for. We traveled together for a couple of weeks and bonded as friends for life. This was a simple phone call and the timing was right.

4. Please, tell us how was the show you did in Brazil in October. Have you ever played in the country before or was it the first time you came here? How was it to be in São Paulo?

I've spent a fair amount of time in São Paulo before, Nick lived here, has a Brasilian family and the Bad Seeds made one of their greatest (in my opinion) albums here, so of course this show was special for us for a long list of personal reasons.

5. What was your feeling playing in a country that lives in such a complicated political situation and and realizing that people took it with them to the audience? Were you aware that this could happen?
I'm aware of the current election, due to the high number of friends I have here and the wild press flying around internationally, but in the end our job is to give everyone a night off from that and a time to have fun and enjoy these songs together. People find a release this way, even for one night, or a reinforcement the next day to look at things in a different way, perhaps based on a feeling they found from that show, that I hope can help them through a decision or a turning point. The songs from the Bad Seeds are almost always about difficult decisions and drastic turning points.

" I collect Brazilian records...a very dangerous hobby."
6. There was an interesting detail: Roger Waters fans and audience did not like it when he expressed himself in politics. But Nick Cave’s fans applauded and praised him when he said "ele não”/”not him." Why do you think this happened? Are these two audiences (of Roger Waters and Nick Caves) so different from each other?

I've never met Roger Waters, nor attended one of his concerts, so I can't answer this honestly. I do know a good portion of his records from the 1960's and 1970's and I really liked those albums and his original band.

7. You've played with Iggy Pop and with The Stooges, and the songs of some Iggy’s solo career (like Avenue B) are very different from The Stooges songs. What was it like working with Iggy Pop creating so different kind of music? And which album did you most enjoy recording with him?
The time I began working with Iggy Pop was an “exploratory” period for him as a songwriter, and I know I pushed that side of him. I think the best results was the “American Caesar” album. In this time, he and I also scored a motion picture for Johnny Depp called “The Brave”, which was certainly the deepest level we traveled together.

8. Your musical works with Jessie Evans has a very peculiar aura. How was the recording of “Is It Fire?” and “Glittermine”? Are any of these albums more special to you?
Both of those albums were adventures, both musically and literally. Those albums involved many journeys recording in multiple parts of the world and involving many people from around the world together. Musically they were both hybrids of sound & culture that were our own bizarre blended vision of what made sense to us, based on our influences and fantasies.

9. Budgie, another fantastic drummer had played drums on the album “Is It Fire?” I think it's great that you two have taken part in a single album. How was it to record with him?

It was “long-time-coming” dream come true for me. I've known Budgie since the early 90's. Though a very dear friend over the years, we never had the chance to play music together as drummers. The timing was right and he needed this moment as much as I did. It was a euphoric day for us both.

10. Do you know Brazilian musicians/bands? What do you think about Brazilian music?
Yes of course! I collect Brazilian records...a very dangerous hobby. I only recently discovered Arthur Verocai and Célia, but for years I've been crazy about Marcos Valle, Jorge Ben, Secos & Molhados, Os Mutantes...on and ON!

11. What was the happiest moment of your musical career?

Walking up the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival with Johnny Depp and Iggy Pop was a very good day.

12. If you could play with an artist you’ve never played before, who would you choose?

There are many maestros I dreamt of... Morricone has retired. Honestly I feel I'm exactly in the right place for me right now, to offer my support and experience to Nick right now, when he needs it more than ever. Though we've been friends for so many years, now is the right time and he asked.

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