Time to meet a wonderful current artist who would have been vital in my favorite musical decade, as he is today. Tim Langan has a very full and impressive musical resume. He gave me the opportunity recently to get to know him and I’d like to share the experience with you. Be sure to take the time to check out Tim’s music on YouTube, as well as the various websites posted at the end of the interview.
Tell us about who or what (or both!) has influenced your music.
From the time I was very young, I have known that I wanted to be a musician. My very early experiences in grade 1 involved singing the National Anthem first thing in the morning.
My mother likes to recount a story of being called in to the school by the principle and being told that I had a very good voice and they were recommending that I be sent to a choir school, as they felt that I had a sense for music inside me. She and my father decided that I was a little bit too young to be travelling downtown on the subway every day for school, so they decided instead to get me involved in piano lessons.
What is your first significant musical memory?
The singing of the National Anthem was one of the very first things that I remember about my discoveries in music; however, there were a few other things that were to come that also stick out in my mind.
I was the youngest in my family. My 3 older brothers liked music a lot. They were between 11 and 16 years older than me. I remember for my eleventh birthday getting 2 vinyl records. One was Elton John’s Greatest Hits and the other was Paul McCartney’s Band On The Run. I was hooked. I also enjoyed sports as a kid and used to spend hours hitting a tennis ball against our garage door. My brother had a Volkswagen beetle with an 8-track player in it and I remember specifically listening to Jeff Beck’s “Wired” over and over again while smashing the tennis ball off of the garage door. I must have listened to that album 1000 times as a kid and still enjoy giving it a listen today.
How soon after that did you decide that’s what you wanted to do?
I have almost always had a sense of wanting to be a musician from a very, very young age. It has always seemed like the natural and obvious thing for me to do.
In fact, I have tried to make it “go away” on several occasions, but it just won’t seem to leave me alone.
What was your first group/band and what part did you play?
My first performance with a band was in grade 8 when I performed with 2 friends at our grade school. We played 3 songs together. I believe we opened with Elton John’s “Rocket Man” with myself playing piano with drum and guitar accompaniment. Then I switched over to bass guitar duties and we performed Edgar Winter’s “Free Ride” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” – I don’t recall whether any of us wanted to actually sing these songs, so we may have played them as instrumentals. I find it amusing that this still seems to be a trend for me in my own writing, as the vast majority of the music that I am involved with, somehow seems to bypass the urge to add vocal to the song.
The name of this band was “Jupiter” and my next door neighbor, who was 4 years older than us wanted to be our manager and went out and bought us matching bracelets that had “Jupiter” engraved on them. We used to joke, what could be stupider than calling a band Jupiter?
The drummer in that first group was my lifelong friend Sascha Tukatsch, whom I have had the privilege to write and record with on so many projects over the years, including our high school band, which started as Reign, which would later be released on CD under the name “The Harrison Fjord”
Do you prefer to perform in the studio or live? Why?
I love both. The studio offers the very unique experience of capturing your ideas and how you were feeling at that exact moment for the rest of time. That is very special indeed.
The live experience is also very special, because there is a nervous energy and adrenaline that is created from performing in front of people, with the pressure of wanting to perform perfectly and put on the best show possible for all of the people who have come out to see you play.
What inspires you to write your best music?
This is a difficult question to answer. Inspiration is taken from so many potential sources. Music is also very subjective, so who can really say what is “best?”
My own compositions are so varied in style from one to the next that I have a hard time trying to define what it is that grabs me or guides me in a certain direction. Usually, I am just a conduit that the music flows through. Most of the music that I write happens very quickly, indeed. People, places and events are most often secondary to the writing process. In peak writing times, I just sit down and compose and usually at the end of the day/night I have a finished piece of music, whether it is a short pop ditty or a full orchestral score.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended and what made it so special?
Concerts are a wonderful experience for me. I usually do not attend massive venues, as most of the musicians that I tend to be inspired to watch, are lesser known, virtuoso types of players.
While I have been to may rock shows in large venues, like Supertramp, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Queen, Aerosmith and Rush in the late 1970’s, it is the acts that perform in the smaller venues that I truly cherish.
Performances by Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin & Paco DeLucia with Steve Morse as the opening act, The Pat Metheny Group, Frank Zappa, Weather Report, Return To Forever, Yes, Uzeb, King Crimson, Joe Satriani, Youssou N’Dour, Level 42, Adrian Belew, Marillion, Hugh Marsh, Manteca, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Alain Caron, David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Steve Vai, Victor Wooten, Dream Theater, King’s X, Michael Manring, Fishbone, UK, Zappa Plays Zappa, Tommy Emmanuel, and Porcupine Tree are stand outs in my mind over the years; but probably one of the greatest shows that I ever saw was Andreas Vollenweider and friends on Oct 16, 1989. My reasons for liking this show specifically over all of the others is musicality. The inspiration that I drew from all of these shows is incalculable, but this one Andreas Vollenweider show was indeed something very special.
If you had a “do-over,” what would you do differently?
While I do read and write music, perhaps I would have tried to go to a “music” school to acquire a piece of paper with my name on it, although, I guess it is never too late?
What’s coming up next?
I have been quite busy this year adding my musical voice to many different recording projects. I have recently finished playing bass for a guitarist, singer, songwriter, named John Jamieson. I am hopeful that this CD will be completed and ready for release by the fall.
Also, I have recently re-connected with a guitar player friend of mine that I worked with about 20 years ago. Her name is Irene MacKenzie and she is very talented indeed. Irene called me, asking if I would record with her and her son MacKenzie Coburn on a piece of music that she wrote for her Mother, who had passed away from pancreatic cancer 20 years ago, shortly before MacKenzie was born. I had always enjoyed working with Irene and given the music that she and her son were jamming on, I immediately agreed. We initially sent a bunch of ideas back and forth through the sky drive in a common email account over the internet and when we were ready, I drove out to their home studio to record my bass and keyboard parts on the CD.
We are currently in mixing and mastering for this debut CD and I am very anxious to get this one out. The CD will be released under the name “The Green Rain Project” and the disc will be entitled “ToRUTH” – Irene and I have talked a great length at working on many more CD’s together, as the music for this CD came together very quickly.
Another project that I have been recording and performing live with is “Lisa Smith’s Powerhaus” – I had been asked to join this band after they had released their debut CD “Maze Of Souls” and we have been working to put the finishing touches on the band’s second CD – “612” – I am hopeful that this disc will be completed and released later this year. I am confident that this disc will be well received by fans and critics alike, as I feel the writing is very strong within the rock genre.
I have also been recording and performing with The David Bacha Band. This has been quite a long term project for me and I am hopeful that 2013 will be the year that we finally get this one to the market. We shall keep our fingers crossed.
Lastly, I continue to write and record at my home studio, as this is just something that I have to do to maintain my sanity.
I have my entire musical catalog, (11 CD’s) which does not include the 5 CD’s that I was commissioned to do for a friend’s record company, that I am trying to get remastered and up for sale online. It would be a major achievement for me to get all of these up to CD Baby and iTunes this year, I remain vigilant in trying to complete this task.
What advice can you give to aspiring musicians?
Follow your dreams, work your butt off to be the very best you can be and don’t stop doing what you love for any reason.
Where can people listen to and purchase your music?
While some projects are currently available for purchase online (try Google to search out the band names) some are available through CD Baby or iTunes – (The Harrison Fjord – Machine Tree / Splub – Splub )
Most of my catalog is not currently available for purchase, although I am trying to rectify this problem.
Should you wish to check out a lot of my music and several of the bands that I have played with and currently am playing and recording with, I have over 100 videos, slideshows and music posted at my youtube channel, which can be found at:
Also, be sure to check out these related sites:
John Jamieson – http://www.johnjamieson.ca
The Green Rain Project website, which is still under development, but can be found here: http://www.greenrainproject.com
The David Bacha Band: http://www.davidbacharocks.com
Lisa Smith’s Powerhaus website: http://www.lisasmithspowerhaus.com
The Harrison Fjord website: http://www.theharrisonfjord.com