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Derek Trucks - Sweet Emotion

Derek Trucks - Sweet Emotion Brought to you by: guitar.com

Derek Trucks - Sweet Emotion
At a mere nine years old Derek Trucks bought his first guitar, an acoustic, at a garage sale for just five dollars. At the time, it was a spur of the moment whim for the youngster from Jacksonville, Florida, who hadn't yet given a thought to becoming a professional musician. All the better for us that that random purchase sparked the genesis of one of music's most consummate artists and slide guitar virtuosos.

Now barely into his mid-twenties, Trucks, along with his stellar, self-assembled ensemble, The Derek Trucks Band, has garnered tremendous public and critical acclaim. The group's non-stop touring has resulted in a grassroots, international following. Formerly signed to the House of Blues label (for which he released both The Derek Trucks Band and Out Of The Madness), Trucks has emerged as one of today's most lauded and esteemed players. Last year saw the release of his stunning major label debut, Joyful Noise, on Columbia Records. Now Columbia has released Trucks and his band's sparkling sophomore record, Soul Serenade.

Trucks' proud mentors and kin, The Allman Brothers Band (of which Trucks' uncle, drummer Butch Trucks, is an original founding member), couldn't deny the natural gifts of this slide and blues player's amazing six string wizardry. In 1999 they asked Derek to become a member, officially inducting him into their legendary fold.

Pulling double duty performing, touring, and recording with his own band and The Allman Brothers (as well as occasional guest forays with the likes of Bob Dylan, Jorma Kaukonen, and Buddy Guy) may seem daunting, but Trucks is more than up to the task. He seamlessly switches creative gears with discipline and inherent talent.

Herein, the affable Trucks graciously discusses Soul Serenade; the Allman Brothers' recent Hittin' The Note CD (the band's first release with Derek); his regard for the positive power and emotion of music; and his pride, joy, and love for the ensemble that is The Derek Trucks Band.

Guitar.com: Hi Derek. Where are you and the Allman Brothers Band today?

Derek Trucks - Sweet Emotion

Derek Trucks: We're in Cincinnati. We're doing pretty well.

Guitar.com: You named your new record, Soul Serenade after the song composed by the legendary King Curtis. And you've said that for you, just those two words, Soul Serenade, encompass the depth of feeling that this record holds for you. Can you discuss the artistic statement that you set about in recording this record - and also - while all of your records with The Derek Trucks Band are imbued with emotion, why Soul Serenade in particular, is such a personal, meaningful project for you?

Trucks: I think with this record, it was that we caught the band at the right time. We got in the studio and everyone was in high spirits. Kofi Burbridge had just joined the band, so his sound was fresh. Everyone was really reactive to that. Sometimes it depended on how it happened in the studio and it just worked. There are no glitches. We finished the album really quickly. We listened back to it and it had a feel all the way through. All of the other records, there were great moments caught on tape, but I never felt that it was a, start to finish, just one underlying feel. This record encompasses that.

Guitar.com: What's there a special feel for you and the band that you attained on this record?

Trucks: It's one of those things that's hard to put your finger on. It's something...

Guitar.com: Spiritual?

Trucks: Yeah! There's something spiritual, there's this urgency. But it's laid back. Something that's really hard to put your finger on, but you can definitely feel it there.

Guitar.com: One of your main influences, Duane Allman, was also inspired by the music of King Curtis, and Duane likewise covered "Soul Serenade." In fact, I have a few different renditions that Duane had done over the years. Can you reflect on the impact of King Curtis' music on your personal growth as a musician, and also, the impact on you musically in knowing that Duane Allman, who is also one of your main inspirations, was equally inspired by Curtis' music in such a life affecting and creative way?

Trucks: Those guys were pretty good friends at one point. Duane had worked with Jerry Jemmott, King Curtis' bass player. So he had a connection, personally and musically with King Curtis. But for me, listening to the King Curtis "Live at Fillmore West" record was just... It's such an amazing record. It's an amazing band. You know, Bernard Purdie and Jerry Jemmott and obviously, King Curtis. They were Aretha's (Franklin) back up band. That's where they started and played first. The first time I heard that, it was the sound, how great of a record it was. We had always wanted to do a King Curtis tune. "Soul Serenade" seemed to be the one song of his that people really knew and remembered. Aretha had covered it. It has such a strong melody, we felt it would be good to give it a whirl.

Guitar.com: Soul Serenade was actually recorded prior to your band's 2002 Columbia Records debut last year, Joyful Noise. When did you record and mix this album?

Trucks: We recorded it... I believe it was 1999 and 2000. We had it finished and we were ready to put it out, but we had record company issues.

Guitar.com: I think the very first interview that you and I did, you said something about a record of yours being completed, but you, the band, and the record were in limbo with your former record label at the time. Was this the one?

Trucks: Yeah. That's it. Once we finally freed it up, we were anxious to get it out. It's funny how things work out, because I think it's supposed to be after Joyful Noise on a musical level. It's more of a band record. There's definitely more continuity from track to track than the previous record. So I'm glad that it came out this way. You know, at the time, it was frustrating, but...

Guitar.com: It was worth the wait though. It's a beautiful record. I'm very impressed with it. It's stunning.

Trucks: Yes! It's very nice.

Guitar.com: That was something that I was going to ask you about next, that you touched on - the fact that it's more of a band record. You had commented that this record... It showcases all of the members and their integral, complimentary contributions to one another's musicianship as an ensemble. You've said that for you, this is the strongest record that the band has done, highlighting the entire creative progression of the group. Can you elaborate on that?

Trucks: Yes. I think the goal that this band has always had throughout, is to make a band record, and not necessarily a solo guitar record. This record definitely showcases the band feel throughout the rhythm section. And Kofi is obviously featured and highly visible on this record.

Guitar.com: Yes. I noticed the flute playing throughout the album. It's gorgeous.

Trucks: Yes! He's such an amazing player. It's great that he can be featured on this record. It just feels like more of a band record to me than anything we've done previously. And there's only one guest on this record, (Gregg Allman), so that makes it a little more concise.

Guitar.com: Explain how for you, sound and emotion, through music, is a universal language that bridges different cultures and boundaries, and speaks to - and even heals people - all over the world.

Trucks: Music is one of the few things left that can really get through to people of all creeds, all religions, all races. I think, especially, with instrumental music, you can say things emotionally that maybe don't carry the negative connotations that a lot of things you could speak, would have. The problem with most things now that are so divided is, you have people looking at things from such different perspectives and different angles. Music can kind of cut through that. It's working on a strictly emotional level a lot of times. So you can do a lot of good work musically, that you can't do otherwise. People lose sight of how potent and powerful music can and should be, and it transcends into something else. With this record, hopefully, there are a few moments that carry that weight.

Guitar.com: This record, like all of your records in your repertoire, is a dazzling expression of your many different grasps at all styles of music: blues, rock, progressive jazz, and World music. Can you detail the creative process of your song selection process for this album?

Trucks: With this band, it seems like a natural progression, where it's stuff that we're listening to, on the road. They're songs that maybe influenced somebody in the band, somewhere along the way. Just a sound that we've been looking for. Sometimes we'll hear a tune, and somebody will say, "That would be fun to play!" And so it ends up on the record. A lot of times, we'll take five or six tunes that we've been thinking about recording, we'll play them all down once or twice, and then some of them just really stick out. A song like "Bock To Bock"... It's such a strong melody and it has such a mood. It seemed obvious to put it on there.

Guitar.com: How did you achieve your wonderful Wes Montgomery tone? Can you describe your playing technique, how you achieved that tone?

Trucks: It's probably just playing octaves, in open E. I guess it's not difficult in standard either, but it's pretty simple in open E to do. A lot of Wes's stuff was playing octave solos, soloing either chordally or with two notes. It's such a distinctive sound and I figured, because he played on the original recording of that, it would be a nice tip of the hat!

Guitar.com: Did you use your thumb the way that he did to get that tone?

Trucks: Yes. I play with my fingers all the time anyway, so with that, it's usually just using my thumb.

Guitar.com: What guitar did you use on that song?

Trucks: I believe that was a Washburn. I'm pretty sure it was.

Guitar.com: You open the album with a nice medley of two completely different songs, "Soul Serenade" and "Rasta Man Chant." These songs couldn't be more different in their styles of music. How did you come upon this combination?

Trucks: It's something where we were playing the tunes separately and they had the same feel to them. They're both in the same key as well. Also, listening to or reading some of the early interviews with Bob Marley and his crew, they were saying that early on, when they were first starting to play, they were trying to emulate a lot of the Motown sound. But coming over to Jamaica, the radio waves would get a little chopped up and that's where some of the alternating rhythms came from, which is a misinterpretation of the Motown sound. There's more of a common thread that is obvious too. A lot of the early Reggae music was essentially just an Island form of R&B.

Guitar.com: "Drown In My Own Tears" is the one song featuring guest vocals by Gregg Allman. You've been creatively collaborating with Gregg for most of your life and your career. What do you feel that you have learned and derived in your playing technique from working with and sparring with Gregg. And do you think you've influenced Gregg?

Trucks: For me, when we were recording that track with Gregg, I was thinking - because I know what Gregg really likes in a track, and it's the simplicity of it - so I was thinking about my playing on that whole track, and I was trying to keep it bare bones and the way that he would want to hear it. Also, when you listen to the Ray (Charles) version, it's pretty pared down too. So that's always been an influence when I think of him (Ray Charles) as well. As far as my influence on Gregg, you would have to ask him about that. (laughing warmly) Hopefully, there's a little spark here or there though.

Guitar.com: I think you bring something out in his vocals, especially because you two are long-time musical colleagues, and so you bring out the best in one another.

Trucks: Yes. I was going to say that. I think a song like that for Gregg, definitely brings out the best in him, because when you're attempting a Ray Charles classic, you have to step it up and he definitely did.

Guitar.com: My favorite song on the album is the sublime' "Sierra Leone." It's just exquisite. And I know that you co-wrote that. What inspired you to write that song?

Trucks: I had been listening to a guitar player from Sierra Leone for awhile. I can't even think of his name. But the melody that he was playing on the guitar was so... It was all in that realm, just really...major - good feeling melodies. And so I had been messing with that on my acoustic guitar for a long time, recorded it, and then threw the sarod on top of it. It felt pretty good, but I wanted to hear the flute and a little percussion on it, so we added Kofi and Yonrico.

Guitar.com: Oh, it's beautiful! It's so pretty.

Trucks: It's one of the few songs that I can actually put on and listen to and feel one hundred percent good about. It's one of those melodies that feels so good to hear.

Guitar.com: Do you think that you will be doing more songwriting in the future?

Trucks: Oh yeah! I definitely plan on getting on that again.

Guitar.com: How did you arrange and construct the two melody lines for both the sarod and the acoustic guitar on the song?

Trucks: It was something that had been floating around in my head for a long time. And the sarod was kind of an afterthought. I originally had just played it on the acoustic and I had the bare form. And then John Snyder had the idea to maybe try the sarod on top of it. So it worked out great, the sound of the two instruments together. The Martin is such a great sounding instrument. And then obviously the sarod has its own voice.

Guitar.com: What model Martin acoustic?

Trucks: It's a pretty new one, actually. I bought it new, probably a '99 or a 2000 model.

Guitar.com: What's your technique for acoustic guitar? Fingerpick, strum...?

Trucks: It's the same as electric. I'm just using my fingers.

Guitar.com: Can you detail how a sarod is stringed, played, and your own personal technique for playing it?

Derek Trucks - Sweet Emotion

Trucks: It has twenty five strings. There are four main melody strings and then, I believe, four rhythm strings that you play underneath. Then all the rest of the strings are sympathetic. They're strung underneath the main strings and they react to any note that you play. Almost any note you play, there are three or four strings underneath, vibrating, for its own natural reverb. It's got a goatskin head and the bridge is made of bone. All the strings rest on the same bridge. So everything vibrates, but with each note. It's got an amazing sound.

Guitar.com: How did you acquire your sarod?

Trucks: I got it at the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music in San Rafael, California. He teaches classes there a few months out of the year. So me and Todd (Smallie, bassist for DTB), have sat in on two or three classes.

Guitar.com: How old is your sarod? I know you had once told me its history goes back quite a few centuries.

Trucks: Oh yes. The instrument itself is quite old, but the one I have is maybe ten or fifteen years old.

Guitar.com: When and what drew you to play such a complex, yet passionate instrument that encompasses centuries of tradition, culture, and history?

Trucks: Just listening to Ali Akbar Khan and his sound. It was such a musical revelation. I wanted to study what it was all about. Then, Jeff Sipe, the drummer with The Aquarium Rescue Unit who now plays with Susan (Tedeschi), had been trying to talk me into getting a sitar or a sarod for a long time. And after listening to Ali Akbar Khan's music for so long, I finally decided that I'd give it a whirl! (laughing)

Guitar.com: You do a great whirl! (laughing) Now, with the exception of "Sierra Leone," wasn't most of Soul Serenade recorded without overdubs?

Trucks: Yeah.

Guitar.com: Why? It sounds wonderful, but what was the reasoning behind that?

Trucks: We just wanted a live feel, to get the same feel like the great jazz recordings are done. With an instrumental record, we figured we would approach it that way. We would just set up and play... play a short set and then if the takes are good, we would keep them, if not, we would come back the next day and do it again. We wanted to get great performances. And to me, you can only have that interaction on that level, if everyone's there, playing, right then. And it seemed to work out.

Guitar.com: So you find it more satisfying when it's that, in-the-moment, one take, spontaneous feel?

Trucks: Yeah! For this record, that's definitely the feel we were going for. We wanted it to feel like you were sitting in the room.

Guitar.com: What were your main studio guitars on the album?

Trucks: I'm pretty sure I used only the Washburn on this one.

Guitar.com: Did you use your '36 National, the guitar once owned by Bukka White?

Trucks: No. Just the Martin on that one tune and the sarod. I also used a Super Reverb along with the Washburn.

Guitar.com: How did you acquire the Bukka White National?

Trucks: It was in a music store in Atlanta behind a glass case. It was pretty random that I came across it. It was something that was just sitting there, and I don't think they knew what they had so...

Guitar.com: That's like when you're at a flea market. Somebody's selling something for a quarter and you find out it's some rare, valuable find.

Trucks: Yeah! (laughing)

Guitar.com: Like on "Antique Roadshow"! (laughing)

Trucks: Exactly!

Guitar.com: What other acoustic and electric guitars are in your collection?

Trucks: I have a few SG's, maybe three or four, and a few acoustics, but nothing really to speak of. I have more older amps than guitars. A bunch of Fender Blackface amps. I've got a few Deluxe and Pro Reverbs and things like that.

Guitar.com: Is that basically what you used on the album?

Trucks: Yeah. Just my Super. It's a 63' Super Reverb. And I recently got an old Gibson SG. I've been looking for years for one of those. But they're so fragile, that I feel uncomfortable taking it on the road, so that's something that I'll just use in the studio.

Guitar.com: What slides do you use, and which ones do you feel have the brightest and richest tone?

Trucks: For me, I stick with glass and whatever feels comfortable. It's usually a Coricidan bottle.

Guitar.com: Do you still have the ones that Gregg and Red Dog gave you that used to belong to Duane?

Trucks: Yeah. I have them on my mantle at home!

Guitar.com: What gauge strings do you use?

Trucks: Starting with an .011 working down to a .046.

Guitar.com: What tuning did you play in on the record, especially on "Sierra Leone," because that song is very complex, gravitating back and forth between the sarod and the acoustic guitar?

Trucks: Yes. It's all the same tuning. It's all open E. I actually tuned the sarod, and I don't even know what I tuned it to! (laughing) It's one of those things, that you're in the moment. You try to find the right notes for the song. The sarod is tuned to an odd tuning. But I could probably listen to it and figure it out! But the guitar is just open E.

Guitar.com: Isn't this your first album that you produced, or rather, co-produced, with John Snyder? What was the impetus for you finally deciding to go into producing?

Trucks: Yes. It was a natural progression. I think where it's your first record with the band, that it's something that you watch, and how it goes down, and paying attention. Then by the third record you feel... For me, I felt much more comfortable being involved with every angle of it. Being there for the mic placement. You're talking about the arrangements and everything that goes along with the recording. For this record, it felt like the time to do it. I definitely think that in the future, this band will be...we'll get to a point where hopefully, we'll produce ourselves. But it's always nice to have an outside perspective on what you're doing because we're so close to what we do. We're there all of the time. So it's good to have somebody that's not used to hearing it and to say, "Maybe this sounds a little overdone," or "This sounds like you could do more with it." It's good to have somebody else there. And John Snyder... he has great ears.

Guitar.com: But is it more satisfying knowing that you have that more hands-on artistic control for you and the band, when you produce your own records?

Trucks: I think that everything that this band has done, up to this point, could almost have been a co-production because we're there, pretty much, for every step of the way. We're in control of our destiny, musically. We don't bend too much to things that we don't feel comfortable with. So this record felt closest to an actual co-production.

Guitar.com: Who mixed this record?

Trucks: Tony Daigle is a great engineer, so the sounds he got on tape were wonderful.

Guitar.com: What did he use?

Derek Trucks - Sweet Emotion

Trucks: I think he used a Neve Console that he has down there and a lot of amazing microphones. But he gets such a great sound to the tape, that it really makes the mix that much easier, because you don't have to fool with it too much. It's almost there. The rough mixes are almost as good as the final mix.

Guitar.com: But what process did you use, Pro Tools or analog, because I know you've always said that you prefer analog.

Trucks: Yeah, it was all analog.

Guitar.com: I know that your first love has always been the slide guitar. When and how did slide playing become your main focus?

Trucks: It was really early on. I guess nine or ten years old. But the sounds that I was hearing that really moved me, the stuff that was easiest for me to play at nine years old, was definitely the slide. So I got into that realm. And then listening to vocalists, and the Indian sarod players. There are a lot of similarities there.

Guitar.com: Who are your main musical influences as a slide player, and also, overall as a musician?

Trucks: Duane Allman and Elmore James were the first two influences as far as slide goes. Then after that, it was John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. There are just so many great musicians out there, it would be tough to narrow it down. Howlin' Wolf, Stravinsky, and Ali Akbar Khan, so there's quite a few.

Guitar.com: While preparing to release Soul Serenade, recording and releasing Joyful Noise, and touring with The Derek Trucks Band, you also recorded and released Hittin' the Note with The Allman Brothers Band, who you are currently touring with as well. How do you find the time, the energy, and how do you keep such a wonderful creative spark firing?

Trucks: For me, it's looking at the projects that I'm doing right now, maybe not thinking too far off. Because if I sat back and I was like, "All right, hurry up. We're doing a record right now. But I have a record with The Allman Brothers coming up too and then we're hitting the road to tour," I think it would be a little overwhelming. When you're in the studio and you direct all of your energy and focus on that, then it just becomes one thing at a time and it doesn't feel as overwhelming. And we feel that this band has a lot of work to do in the future. So we feel that it's kind of a mission, so everyone is more than willing to put in the time and the energy.

Guitar.com: What were your main guitars, gear, and equipment on Hittin' the Note?

Trucks: I used the SG for all but one track. And then I used the Washburn on the other track. I think that I used a Marshall on one track, and then a Super Reverb on the rest of it.

Guitar.com: How do you switch creative gears, and your playing techniques, from playing with your own band to playing with The Allman Brothers Band?

Trucks: It takes a few days to adjust and, with the Allman Brothers, it's pretty open. If anyone has something to say musically, it's pretty democratic that way. It's a small shift on musical levels. The sound is so different playing with a hundred watt amp as opposed to the Super Reverb, that it takes a minute to adjust. But you know, for the most part, it takes one show or so and then you're back in the groove.

Guitar.com: When you play with the Allmans you have to approach things musically as one of two guitarists. How do you adapt your creative thought process and playing to mesh with another lead guitarist - Warren Haynes - not only live, but now also in the recording studio?

Trucks: It doesn't feel that different to me than playing behind Kofi playing flute, or organ. I feel like you're trying to support the solo, when someone is soloing, and then when you're trading, you take in a musical thought and try and relay it back to them. So for me, it's not too much different. Obviously the sound and the volume are a lot different. The general feel and the idea behind it is essentially the same though.

Guitar.com: My favorite song on Hittin' the Note is your acoustic duet with Warren on "Old Friend."

Trucks: Yes!

Guitar.com: You have to do more acoustic work! You're a wonderful electric slide player, but your acoustic playing, whether on slide or strumming, is just gorgeous. How did the two of you arrange and construct the two lead guitar lines to individually call and respond at one point of the song, and then to duet off of, and with one another for the rest of the song?

Trucks: That's something we just sat down and went over for about fifteen or twenty minutes and then recorded it. It was one of those things where we walked it through once or twice and then maybe rehearsed it once or twice, and then we were like, "Let's do it!" (laughing)

Guitar.com: It has a very natural sound to it.

Trucks: Yeah!

Guitar.com: You know, like this old, sitting on a porch kind of feel.

Trucks: Exactly!

Guitar.com:Eighty years ago and just doing it.

Trucks: That's what we were going for so we figured that the best way to do that is to catch it while it was fresh. We were both feeling each other out musically. So I think we definitely captured that.

Guitar.com: What guitar did you use on that?

Trucks: I actually used the Bukka (1936 National) on that.

Guitar.com: I had a feeling! I wanted to ask you if you did. You can hear it. It's stunning.

Trucks: That's because it has a unique sound.

Guitar.com: It rings! It has it's own natural... It resonates and it's so pretty. Can you describe some of your playing technique to get that authentic Delta Blues tone that you achieved, that has this atmospheric, eerie sound, going back to the 1920's?

Trucks: With that song, it has a lot to do with the instrument, just trying to be cautious, and thinking about what the instrument wants to do. With a '36 National, there are definitely some things that you can not do on it. There are some notes that don't speak, so you have to feel out the instrument and find where it's most natural. Obviously, on something like that, it just feels natural playing that Delta style. And with me, it was the same thing. I used a glass slide, playing with my fingers. But it's really the attack, the approach, and the notes that you're trying to coax out of it.

Guitar.com: How did you mic your guitar to get that a capella, one take in a room, sound and tone?

Trucks: It was just me and Warren. We were sitting in a room together just a few feet apart. We had individual mics on each guitar and a vocal mic for him so I think it was putting a bleed over on both mics, which is what we were going for.

Guitar.com: How long did it take to record and mix Hittin' the Note?

Trucks: Not long. We were in the studio doing the basic tracks for maybe ten days. And then the mixing probably took close to eight to ten days. There were maybe some vocal overdubs in between. So it was a pretty quick process, as far as records go.

Guitar.com: What mixing process did you use on the record?

Trucks: Most of it was done to tape. I think there was some editing done on Pro Tools and things like that, but for the most part, it was all vintage gear.

Guitar.com: Did you do any overdubbing on the record?

Trucks: Let's see... I don't think I did. I think they might have taken some fills that I played one place on the tune, and maybe moved it to another verse. There's maybe been a little editing. But for the most part, I don't think there were any overdubs on my part.

Guitar.com: What tuning did you play in?

Trucks: Open E.

Guitar.com: Have you ever considered composing with The Allman Brothers Band?

Trucks: Yeah! Me and Oteil (Burbridge) were talking about that, actually yesterday. It was, sort of write some new tunes. I'm trying to think about the next Allman Brothers record, so I think we'll have some stuff on the next one.

Guitar.com: So with Gregg and Warren, do you think that you're going to be helping in the composing process?

Trucks: Yes, I think so. Either that, or come up with a few good instrumentals.

Guitar.com: What guitars and gear are you currently using on The Allman Brothers live tour, and also, on The Derek Trucks Band live tour, as well, which I know you are coordinating, back to back?

Trucks: I've been playing the SG full time lately. And playing the Super Reverb with my band, and then the 100 watt Marshall head with The Allman Brothers. So, it's just going between the two rigs.

Guitar.com: This is a curiosity question. I have to ask you this! The little child that's on the cover of Hittin' the Note, is that your son Charles?

Trucks: No, but he looks like him. (laughing)

Guitar.com: I was just thinking that it might be.

Trucks: No, and it's funny. When I got the cover, I was like, "It looks like Charlie!" (laughing)

Guitar.com: I asked because, when The Allman Brothers put out Brothers And Sisters, they had photos of their children on the album cover. So I was thinking, "Oh, I wonder if that might be Charles?" (laughing)

Trucks: Maybe we'll get him on the next record! (laughing)

Guitar.com: On your next solo record!

Trucks: There you go!

Guitar.com: Yeah! Hittin' the Note was named after the term, meaning sort of an ultimate, spiritual essence that one achieves when the perfect musical note has been attained. And Soul Serenade actually means almost the same exact thing: Achieving ultimate spiritual emotion and magic though music. What are your feelings regarding what these two records hold for you, in having similar artistic statements summed up by their titles, and in being released simultaneously?

Trucks: I think it's always exciting when you can get some piece of work out there that you're proud of. With The Allman Brothers, it's 30 years into the band. It's nice that the band can put out a record that it feels proud of, so it's great to be a part of that legacy. And with Soul Serenade, I feel that our band is just starting to begin our history and legacy as a band. So it's an exciting time. It's great to have music out there that feels good when you listen to it. There are not many records that I've been a part of that I can listen back to and feel good about. And there are definitely moments on both of these records. I like what they both stand for too. Like you were saying, the titles, and just the overall feel of the records. It's 2003, and it's a time... The world definitely needs some positive imagery.

Guitar.com: I was never into the angst phase of music. The whole point of music is to create hope, inspiration, and make life better.

Trucks: Yes. Release has its place in music, but I think now it needs to be more of a healing thing. It definitely doesn't need any more division.

Guitar.com: I understand that you have currently been doing more songwriting, and that you're going to be playing some of those new tunes both with The Derek Trucks Band and with The Allman Brothers Band. So down, the road, as you are looking to record your next solo record with your own band, what are your future artistic goals as a guitarist, as a musician, and as a songwriter?

Trucks: We've been talking a lot about the next record with my band. I think that everyone feels that it's time to really make a full-on statement as a band, through the lyrical content and the music on the record. The next record will definitely be strictly a band record. Mike Mattison - our new vocalist - we want to feature him, his songwriting, and where he's coming from musically. We're going to put a lot of thought into this record that way. We were talking about some of the great Curtis Mayfield records, and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," and some of the Stevie Wonder records. Just records that have a statement, from start to finish - whether it's a social statement, or whatever it is.

Guitar.com: And they're timeless statements, social statements, music and artistic statements.

Trucks: Yeah! When you look around right now, there are not a lot of people really saying anything musically. They have this amazing platform to speak to people and they seem to talk about things that are kind of trivial or self righteous. So the band wants to hopefully do some meaningful songwriting on this next record, really say something. Take the opportunity and use it in a positive way. So that's the goal on this next record.

Guitar.com: Well I love this one!

Trucks: We'll get there!

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