Joe Zawinul Unofficial Italian Fansite


Tour Dates
Online music
Weather Report
Mailing List
Contact us!


You are browsing the old website.
To see the new website, click here.


Home | About | Links | Guestbook | Contact |

Clicca qui per la versione italiana di questa pagina

Joe Zawinul Italian Fansite
Interview with Joe Zawinul
by Marco Piretti
Rome, July 2002

I'm happy to start this new website by publishing an unedited interview to Joe Zawinul, that has been taken by me on July 2002. The interview has been done in bad environmental conditions, so it's particularly brief; anyway, it's very interesting.
In July 2002 I have had also the possibility of seeing Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter together in my town before a concert, it has been a very nice experience.

OK stop with speechs, I leave you to the interview:

Now you are launching this new album and it's exciting, the first song of the album is titled "The Search". You have always been a searcher in your music. Are you still searching something? And what?

Yes, but this song is not about music. In the introduction of this song i say: "We travel all over the World in search of what we need, and then we return home to find it". So it's about life in general, not only about music. I'm at home, I never need home, in my hearth I'm always at home. This song is not about me but life in general. Young people go all over the World, they want to learn, they wanna search for what they need; but only then they can find it at home, if you stay at home you'll never find it. You must go away, you look for everything and then when you go gome you bring with you all your knowledge. So it has nothing to do with searching in music, it's about telling stories.

You already told us that this album is very different from the others, it's very danceable, optimistic...

Yes, all my music is optimistic, but this album is different, there are different sounds and a lot of singing, very good singers. Very nice, you must hear it.

We knew that "Familiar To Me" was an old composition you used for this album. Can you tell us something about this?

Yes, it's a very old song, I wrote it a long time ago, and I played it for a very good singer, you know him? It's Richard Page. I worked with him in the Immigrants album for the "Shadow and Light" song. And then John Lang wrote the lyrics. It's on the record and it's very nice. It's about when people get married and they leave their families and they have children and beautiful families, it has nothing to do with me, and they find that something is missing, and we return again to the search, we travel all over the world in search of what we need, and then we return home to find it; and it's so familiar to me... anyway, when you'll hear you'll understand.

You also have a song dedicated to Cannonball, we remember the famous "Cannon Ball" that is on Black Market...

Yes, but this is different. On Black Market it was my feeling of my sadness, we said 'Goodbye' to Cannonball because it was when he died, in 1975. This song is about the spirit, not the music of Cannonball. It has nothing to do with Cannonball's music. His spirit was very complex, he was coming from the Church, and he really believed in Jessie Jackson, and Jessie Jackson is at the beginning of this song and he's speaking. It's a very complex song, very interesting, you must hear it.

There is also Scott Kinsey as assistant to the production. What can you tell us about his work in this album?

Well, he did a lot of work on this record, but another kind of work; you know, I have a lot of guitar parts on this album, I needed somebody for fix things, he did this introduction of Jessie Jackson and it was a very wonderful work. He did a lot of things, but anything in the central part of the record, it was an helping thing, but nothing like playing or similar. He's a tremendous musician, but I needed somebody to do things that I couldn't do, he did a lot of things, I have a lot of musicians on this record and they are all exceptional, Paco Sery for instance, everything he played was perfect, but i had a lot of guitar parts and there was something to fix, he did this important work for me.

There is always a lot of Africa in your music...

I don't feel so. I feel that I have a lot of African musicians, but they are so familiar with my music. There is no african music in this record, as well as other records. You must remember one thing that's very important: all of these african musicians which we know now, like Salif Keita or Richard Bona, became from Weather Report, from Black Market, that was how they started, they did know that there was a band, with mixed black and white musicians, that was playing new music, different music with also African sounds. You can ask them, you can ask Etienne Mbappe', they grew up with this music, I don't play african music, I only have some african musicians.

One of the tracks, "Tower of Silence", is connected with death in some way. What do you think about the death, and the idea of another life after it?

Yes, but this song is not about my relationship with the death. There is a sect in India, it's called the Soudras, they are only a step over the untouchables, and they believe in nothing should be wasted. So when somebody dies they put him in the Tower of Silence in Bombay, and big birds eat his body, and they leave only the skeleton. I've been in Bombay and I wanted to know about this tower, somebody told me the story, and I wrote a tune. And then is Nirvana, in the other life.

Many thanks.



Many thanks to:
Gea Marotta (Emmeci Srl)




If you have a Paypal account, you can help us by donating a small amount of money. All the donations will be used for improving our website (hosting costs, making translations, web graphics, etc.)
Thank you!


Home | About | Links | Guestbook | Contact |