Interview with Ian Crichton, Saga

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

By Eduard Antoniu

USA Progressive Music: How did you start playing guitar?

Ian Crichton: 13 yrs old. My brother played bass and I was influenced to play bass, so, I started to play bass. Christmas was coming and Jim had a friend that was selling a Guild semi-acoustic, monstrous for me at the age, but he said if my parents bought it he would trade me his fender bass. Well, I got the guitar and Jim changed his mind. SAGA

USAProgMusic: Do you play any other instruments than guitar?

Ian: Bass, mandolin, keys a bit. 5 years of trombone in school, funny.

USAProgMusic: This one is more of a question for your brother but I find it interesting that, both of you worked with Yes members and alumni, only about a decade apart. So how did he become involved in Yes' Union 1991 album?

Ian: Brian Foraker, Keith Olsons, engineer at the time, were recording Yes in France, brought the tracks back to Los Angeles and brought Jim into the project.

USAProgMusic: There are many "Boom Boom Room"-s across the world. Which one among them does the title of your solo album of 1995 refer to?

Ian: My sister in-law, Penny Crichton is a great photographer. We had been living in Nassau, Bahamas for 3 years. She took the picture in an abandoned hotel back in the island interior, and then my picture was added.

USAProgMusic: What does the title of your second solo album Ghettos by Design 1997 allude to?

Ian: Well, power is always wanting to keep its hold, greed driven really, people can suffer.

USAProgMusic: You briefly joined the group Asia in 1998-1999. How did you become involved? What made you leave the band?

Ian: I meet the guys when they were opening for Saga. A couple of years later John [Payne] called me and asked to play guitar on their new record. I didn't know where it was going to go, but it was a pleasure going to Wales 3 times and hanging with them, great guys. I didn't officially leave, it's just Saga got busy.

USAProgMusic: You played as a session musician on Asia's Aura 2001 and even received a co-writing credit with Geoff Downes and John Payne on one song. How was it to work with Geoff Downes?

Ian: Geoff's excellent to work with. We had some great jams when we were writing. He's full of ideas.

USAProgMusic: How comes Saga has such a well-established German following? Or, also, a Scandinavian one (assuming the band's name itself is not what favors this)?

Ian: Well it started in the Munich area 1979 on imports, since then we've always kept it up over here. States and Canada go through music fad. For a band like us it's been a roller coaster up and down, but Europe has stayed.

USAProgMusic: How did you become involved in Henning Pauly's work?

Ian: It was a hired session in L.A. Jim Gilmour and I drove there and played, made good beer money aye!

USAProgMusic: How come Saga has not toured the US in full-length since 1986?

Ian: We have new representation now and are at this moment planning to tour in The U.S., eastern sea-board to start.

USAProgMusic: How did you create the recent SAGA album, The Human Condition, knowing that Michael Sadler would not be involved Saga - The Human Conditionin the project? Were you able to do things different vocally because he was gone?

Ian: It was a matter of finding a great set of pipes, Jim. Jim and I are brothers, we could continue always. When things get broken, one must fix them.

USAProgMusic: How has the reaction been from fans about Sadler leaving Saga? What is your response to those reactions?

Ian: Wasn't really hearing anything but inquisitive stuff. People wondered what we were going to do, it actually made a lot of promo for us. All the interviews have been 100% great. The people on this tour we're playing to love Rob, and we're excited to sound fresh.

USAProgMusic: What other music projects are you currently working on?

Ian: I'm thinking about the new new Saga cd now, starting writing soon.

USAProgMusic: What would be your advice for a novice in guitar playing?

Ian: ....above all, watch your manager.

twitter button
facebook button
pinterest button
gplus button