Tim Reynolds, Up Close and Personal                                           

Article and interview by Jeff Fernandez

Tim Reynolds, multi-instrumentalist, solo artist, TR3 founder, and lead guitarist for Dave Matthews Band, was kind enough for an impromptu interview this past weekend in between dates on the Dave Matthew’s Band’s tour, currently in progress. Tim will be performing a solo VIP performance at KAABOO Del Mar Art and Music Festival in San Diego on September 14 and also headlining with the Dave Matthews Band later that night. We were fortunate to speak with Tim by phone, gaining insight into what it is like to be the axe behind so many great songs, lyrics, etc., from one of guitar’s masters of our time.

MFN: Tim, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to spend a little bit of your time with MusicFestNews and discuss recent works and upcoming events.

Tim Reynolds. Foto by Chuckie

MFN: Earlier this year you released your 9th CD for TR3, The Sea Versus the Mountain. Can you please give us a little background on the CD, the name, songs, and history?

TR: It’s been three years since TR3 released a CD. We still have many songs from the different decades that TR3 has played for eons, that have not been published. The Sea Versus the Mountain allowed us to add three of these songs from long ago. “Breathing Space,” “Radar Contact,” and “666 (I Have to Call My Boss)” are all old songs that never made it to previous CD releases. The rest were pieces of songs on my phone that I have had over the last three years for a total of 11 new tunes; I’d call them multi-instrumental tunes with heavy guitars including synthesizers, drums, bells and horns, resulting in my latest musical release.

It was great to get into the studio with TR3 as the remaining eight songs on the CD evolved during the recording sessions. I say this CD is mostly instrumental, which I haven’t done since 1991. Having lived in the mountains for many years prior and currently living on the beach in Sarasota, Florida, and considering a Palestinian history book that I had finished reading, one of the chapters was “Sea Versus Mountain,” which was really about the two Palestine cultures. It was only fitting to name the new CD The Sea Versus The Mountain.

By the time I recorded “666” it had changed; we disassembled and recreated an whole new version, and this progressed to what is on the CD today. This was originally recorded in two weeks in the studio in between Dave Matthews Band tours. We went into the studio in early April and laid down the first wave, and then I was off on DMB tour until October. We then went back into the studio and some of the songs had evolved to more. “666” became much harder and better after the break in recording; I liked it more after the evolution. A little tweaking the mix, and it was finished. Instrumental rock jazz, that’s how I’d classify this CD. When we toured after the release, we would play the CD in its entirety.

MFN: I see you are playing a solo gig at the VIP tent at KAABOO Del Mar Festival Saturday September 14. What can we expect?

TR:  My solo gigs are completely different from TR3 or DMB. Solo is a whole different repertoire. I love it, just me and my guitar all by myself. I’m the band; I’ll lay down a little bass, rhythm, melody and lead, all in one. Almost zero overplay from my other gigs. These solo gigs are totally free-form. I’ll play a lot from my last solo CD That Way. I always have a set list each night but rarely follow it, as I’m constantly changing direction and song choice on the fly.

MFN: I am looking forward to it, Tim, as I have never seen your solo gigs. Can’t wait till next month.

MFN: What is a day in the life of Tim Reynolds like?

TR:  It depends, if I’m on tour with DMB, its wake up at the venue after bus ride to the next city , practice, sound check, eat  and show time, but if it’s  TR3, we sleep in until noon and make our way to the next city/town … set up , sound check and then perform…   Repeat, Repeat……

MFN: What about TR off tour?

TR: Home in Sarasota. I wake up and try to do some sort of exercise and eat a healthy meal. While this is not the norm on tour, we all know exercise and a good diet will add to longevity. That’s what life is all about, and of course I listen to music, continuously and often. Listening to music is the thing I like to do most.

Tim Reynolds and Joe Lawlor, DMB After Party
Tim Reynolds and Joe Lawlor, DMB After Party – Photo credit: Jody Carbone

MFN: With a musical career in excess of 30 years, who were your influences?

TR:  Wow! So many, but let’s try. Early on Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Aerosmith, and James Brown, and, as I got older, ’80s influence set in: Deftones, Cult, Ramones, all the modern music influences from the ’80s. Definitely played a part in my styles. String quartets, blues, and rock and roll all have and continue to influence me and my style. 

MFN: If you didn’t create and play music, what else would you be doing?

TR:  Outside of music, which is my life, I guess I’d be doing money-making practical things. I really like Science, Anthropology, History, and higher educational learning, and teaching would be an interest for sure. But at the end of the day, music is my life and is what motivates me constantly and throughout each and every day.

MFN: Tim, once again we thank you for taking time to speak to MusicFestNews and our fanbase. I will see you next month at KAABOO Del Mar festival in San Diego, California on September 14.

Tim Reynolds and TR3

11/06  Last Concert Cafe | Houston TX
11/07  The Parish | Austin TX
11/08  Sam’s Burger Joint Music Hall | San Antonio TX
11/09  The Post at River East | Fort Worth TX
11/17  Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub | Sacramento CA
12/06  The Funky Biscuit | Boca Raton FL
12/20  Evanston SPACE | Evanston IL

TR3 with Tim Reynolds

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