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A Fireside Chat with John Medeski

By Published: February 21, 2004

AAJ: Is this going to be the Medeski, Martin, and Wood flavor we are all accustomed to.

JM: No, I think it's a new flavor from New Orleans and some other flavors. We're going to come back and do some more work on it in February. We're moving slow with it. We're taking our time. We're trying out some new things, new vibes.

AAJ: Much of your audience may not know this, but you moonlight with DJ Logic and John Zorn.

JM: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. A lot of different people. I do different stuff with Zorn and all those different people. I'm doing some gigs with Joey Baron.

AAJ: Marc Ribot plays with you and Joey.

JM: Of course, yeah, I'm doing some gigs with Joey Baron and Ribot. We play in a trio together. And Zorn, I don't know if a record will be released, but we have a band that's great. That's one of my favorite things to do these days. The band is called Emergency. It's live. It's got Marc Ribot, Kenny Wolleson, who is one great drummer, and Zorn, who is just incredible. It's just a blast.

AAJ: Diversity suits you well.

JM: It's the way it's always been for me. I've always done a lot of different types of things. It keeps me fresh. It keeps me growing. It keeps me into it.

AAJ: Medeski, Martin, and Wood is a touring band, possibly the only one left in the music.

JM: Oh, I love touring, Fred. I love playing out there on the road, being on the road and playing for people there. We figured if we played for a while, we'd get something back later and we have.

AAJ: What is the oddest place MMW has played?

JM: It was East Lansing, Michigan. And the club that we were supposed to play got closed by the fire marshal the night before, so we ended up playing like in this little alley next to the club. We brought all our stuff, B-3 and everything and set it up. The alley way slowly filled with all of these people. It was pretty wild. It turned into a pretty bizarre scene.

AAJ: What is the challenge for MMW in the coming year and thereafter?

JM: To keep it fresh. To keep it exciting for us, so that we can translate that excitement to the audience. That's always the challenge.

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