Out On The Town
No Place Like Home -
Exclusive Interview with "LIVE"
by Karen Coyne
Out On The Town Entertainment Guide
A candlelit stage with couches, lamps, and a TV gave a cozy atmosphere to Live's show when they came to Phila. with Jane's Addiction. It didn't matter that you were in the Spectrum or that there were thousands of people, you were made to feel at home while Live played an entire acoustic show as if you were hanging out with them in their living room.
Opening with Lightning Crashes and playing a variety of songs from all their albums, Live gave an energetic performance that led up to their recent hit Simple Creed, appropriately placed fifth in the set as their new album is titled V.
"V was our first record that was written completely free from pressures of life," said Chad Taylor, guitarist. "We all turned 30, we've sold a lot of records. It was just about the music & the song writing process. V is an energetic record, it's loose, it's free. The audience's energy is so high that it was translated into songwriting. The songs were written as a direct reflection of the audience's participation."
V was recorded in less than 3 1/2 weeks during The Distance to Here world tour. According to Taylor, "We took a three-week break for holidays and vacation but instead we went in the studio to document songs Ed had been writing while on tour. Ten songs into the process we knew it was an album."
Other songs throughout the show included I Alone, Dolphin's Cry and a cover of John Lennon's Imagine. As a tribute to the victims of last month's events they ended the night with Overcome which was released shortly after the terrorists' attack on America.
"Overcome was written during The Distance to Here sessions," Taylor explained, "but it was left off the album & catalogued. Our manager of 10 years, Peter Freedman, died and we pulled the song back out because it was one of Peter's favorite songs. We redid a version of it for V. It also helped us to get over the grief of Peter. We released Overcome after the Sept. 11th incident as a platform for the people to heal themselves. You have all these relief workers, police and firemen helping. As musicians, what can you add but 4 1/2 min. to elude yourself in a song."
Live is Ed Kowalczyk - lead vocals & guitar, Chad Taylor - lead guitar, Patrick Dahlheimer - bass and Chad Gracey on drums.
Adam Kowalczyk, Ed's younger brother is Live's touring guitarist. "We wanted to try a different approach," said Taylor. "U2 went the route of sequences but we felt that it would limit Live so we went with side musicians. We had to find people who would fit right in and be Live. Adam has a lot of heart and soul. A lot of his influence is from me and Ed, so Adam has always fit right in."
Michael Railo, Live's touring keyboardist, grew up in Liverpool, England and is no stranger to the Philadelphia music scene. During the early 90's, Railo played keyboards for LeCompt and was well known throughout the Phila. recording industry. Since leaving Phila., he has produced records with Sting, UB40, John Taylor, General Public and others. He won a Grammy for his production work with Sting and was nominated for a Grammy with UB40. "I just finished working with Ozzy Osbourne on his album which will be released shortly. I'm really proud of my work on that album," said Railo.
Railo has been touring with Live since 1998. In addition to playing keyboards and backing vocals on V, he also co-produced V with Live and Alain Johannes. "I had a lot of production ideas that I worked on with Ed. At one point, the guys turned around and invited me to be a co-producer. It was a real honor." Railo also arranged the strings on Nobody Knows, Overcome, and Hero of Love on V. "The guys in Live are really a bunch of decent guys, we get along really well," said Railo.
"We had always heard of Railo through one of our managers," added Chad Taylor. "When I met him, we spent a night drinking English Ale in a little bar. I decided then I wanted to play music with him for the rest of my life. The guys in the band are my best friends, they'll always be my best friends."
For more information visit Live's web site at www.friendsoflive.com.