Interview with Visionary Guitarist Steve Hillage
BY ANGEL ROMERO – NOVEMBER 3, 2013
POSTED IN: INTERVIEWS
British guitarist and electronic music trailblazer Steve Hillage has been at the forefront of various music trends in the past decades. He was one of the pioneers of psychedelic progressive rock and later became involved in various forms of cutting edge electronic music.
Currently, Steve Hillage continues to surprise with his new projects. The most recent is a collaboration with Japanese band Rovo. Hillage’s System 7 and Rovo have released the superbPhoenix Rising (G-Wave Records, 2013). For those interested in taking at Steve Hillage’s earlier material, Gonzo Multimedia recently released two live albums: Live at the Gong Family Unconvention 2006 at the Melkweg Amsterdam, and Steve Hillage Live In England 1979.
Steve Hillage discusses the Rovo collaboration and his other projects with Progressive Rock Central’s Angel Romero.
How did you connect with Japanese band Rovo?
We first saw Rovo at a Japanese festival in 2002 and subsequently became friends with them, partly through one of the team that do our System 7 animation videos who was also working with Rovo as a VJ. Yuji Katsui, the Rovo main man, who plays electric violin has guested on some our records in including Gong’s 2032album and our System 7 album Up. Back in 2010 we were discussing with Rovo what we could do in exchange for Yuji’s recording work, thinking they would like a remix from us or something like that. But they said “let’s do a collaborative tour together – that can be the exchange”. And we said “OK”. The eventual tour in Japan in 2011 went really well, and we found the way we managed to shift between dance rhythms and completely live stuff to be really innovative. So after the tour we decided to make an album together.