On the eve of Kula Shaker’s first return to stateside touring in 17 years, the band’s frontman (and former Jeeva) takes five from us.
1.) What’s your favorite Beatles song and why?
Mmmm. Shit, that’s a hard one. The Beatles is a tricky one, because it depends on what mood you’re in, and they really did the full spectrum. They did the whole kaleidoscope of moods. I think “Mother Nature’s Son.” “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite”? “Hey Jude”? I’ll keep going if you don’t stop me. Well, “Mother Nature’s Son”—some songs are lovely to play and that’s a glorious tune to play on the guitar. Macca was such a good guitar player. But I love listening to “Mr. Kite.” And “I Want To Tell You” by George. It depends who you want to hang out with, you know? If I want to hang out with John, I’ll probably listen to “Benefit of Mr. Kite” or “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” If I want to hang out with George, it’d be one of his songs. But I think Macca was the great songwriter. George was sort of a pioneer and a mystic, and John was a great songwriter and free spirit. But Paul was blessed with this incredible talent for song.
2.) Who are three songwriters—living or dead—that you wish you could sit down and write a song with?
Johnny Cash. Hmmm. George Harrison. And Randy Rhoads. [Laughter] I’m gonna mix it up a little bit.
3.) What’s the one song you’ve written that you think really sums you up as a songwriter?
I don’t know. Well, I think “Infinite Sun” kind of sums us up. It doesn’t just sum up me, it sums up the band. It’s such a mixture of influences, things we’ve stolen, things we’ve dreamt up ourselves, stuff from—you know, thousands of years old—chants from first nation tribes, sitars. It really kind of encapsulates our global identity ethos.
4.) What’s one song that you wish you would’ve written?
“Whole Lotta Love.”
5.) Is there anything you’re listening to right now that you’re particularly digging?
Um, well I live out in the countryside. I’m listening to the silence. And birdsong. And wind rustling in the autumn leaves. I’m digging it. Big time.