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Q & A / Presse

September 2010 August 2009 Januar 2008 D-Side Q&A Victor Rice

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Victor Rice

Wayne & Victor in Sao Paulo am 12.4.08 - pic by Michel

Victor ist der Cellist, der Wayne bei seinen Soloshows in Südamerika begleitet hat. Lest nachfolgend ein aktuelles Interview, welches Michel aus Brasilien nach der Tour mit ihm geführt hat.

Thanks Michel!

01) To begin, tell us a little about yourself, Victor. Full name, age, place of birth? And for how long have you been living in Brazil?

My full name is Victor Emmanuel Rice - born in 1967 in Huntington, NY, USA. At 18 I moved to NYC to study contrabass in conservatory. I moved to “São Paulo” in 2002.

02 - Have you already been part of a band or musical project?

Since 1988 I've been in various traditional Ska and early reggae bands. I couldn't get any further from the Mission, haha! These days I have more work as a producer and engineer but i still play bass and, more recently, 'cello! I've wanted to play the 'cello for quite some time now, I like the timbre and the technique is well similar to the contrabass, only easier.

03 - Which are your favorite bands?

Jeez, it's difficult to say. I listen to everything, every band and song has something of interest. I will say that I am a bassist and professional musician because of Led Zeppelin and that Wayne is also a big fan.

04 - Had you already known Matthias (S.A. producer) before these shows?

Yes- my first time in Brazil in 1998, I was playing with a group from NYC and Matthias was one of the producers. He's from Germany and has been living here in SP since 1988. When I decided to relocate, Matthias was the first person I contacted and he's been helping me plenty ever since. He teaches me "how a gringo gets along in this town", haha - He's also been schooling me on vintage American music from the 40s, 50s, 60s, stuff like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Doris Day...

05 - How did you meet Wayne and how did the opportunity to play with him come about?

A funny story, Matthias was with the Sisters of Mercy here in “São Paulo”, he gave me a VIP pass for the show and said, "Today you're Wayne Hussey." He hands me Wayne's laminate because Wayne could not make it to the show... thus I learned the name of the singer in the Mission UK.

At the end of 2007 Matthias started putting dates together for Wayne and called me: "You've always wanted to play the 'cello, right?" I asked if Wayne was really interested in having a 'cellist, and if I was really the right guy. He said, "I just know you guys will get along great, that's all..." Man he really knows his stuff. Hanging with Wayne is a total pleasure.

That's how it started, I had to buy a 'cello and learn quick, quick. Fine, I already had technique with the bow, vibrato, intonation... the violoncello is well different from a contrabass, but in general it's an easier instrument to play and has a more agreeable tone.

This past January-February I stayed at home with my 'cello, practicing. In March I had a solo tour in the EU with my sound system, Strikkly Vikkly DubSystem. Wayne's and the Mission's music was on the ipod, i enjoyed it daily on the drives and started to prepare my head for April.

I didn't meet Wayne until the first rehearsal! We had spoken through email and telephone though, and it was obvious that he was cool and the vibe was already good. He said, "Matthias says you're the right guy and I have no reason to doubt him."

06 - Had you known the Mission before you met Wayne?

Yes, but from afar. At that time I was listening to orchestral music and jazz. In the late '90s i started paying attention to the bands from that time.

07 - How is it to play with Wayne Hussey? Is he strict?

Performing with Wayne is simply the business. It's been a long time since I've played music with dynamics, without drums - and as a duo? Yikes, a very long time indeed. Yes, he's strict - on himself, with me he's only supportive and apologizes when he makes a mistake. He's a real star, though he doesn't seem to ever think about that. When we played in a theatre in “Porto Alegre”, the acoustics were so fine, we could hear everything perfectly and we took more risks with the songs - He'd makes these little pauses and breaths, sometimes loud phrases sometimes dead quiet... in spite of the action, it's quite easy to follow Wayne because he knows how to foreshadow on the instrument, warn of what's about to happen.

08 - Before the debut in Curitiba, were you nervous?

Jeez, and how. Only at the moment we began to play, there onstage, did I relax - because the reality is that no one is there to check out the 'cello, haha! Everyone is paying attention to Wayne and their favorite songs, the lyrics... the moment I understood this I was a lot more comfortable.

09 - Which show on this South American show was your favorite and why?

I think it would have to be Porto Alegre in fact. It was the most different show - a cultural space during the afternoon. A packed hall, but you could hear a pin drop. The people were seated there, totally silent, hanging onto every note. Totally Special.

10 - Which South American show was your least favorite and why?

“São Paulo” in April! Because I had a lot of friends there and I was not hearing the 'cello in the monitor. So there I am, poorly playing the 'cello in front of my friends, who can hear me perfectly well- Embarrassing. In June I figured out another way to mic/monitor the instrument and now I can hear everything perfectly. So I suppose that particular drama will not be coming back, whew.

11 - Of the songs played on this tour, which were the most difficult for you?

Ashes to Ashes has it's technical challenges, for whom is neither a first- nor second - grade 'cellist. It has to do with the key of the song which keeps changing, and doesn't sit gracefully on the instrument.
Butterfly On A Wheel presents some difficulties because the crowd is always singing so loudly!

12 - Which songs to you like to play the most (Garden of Delight was marvelous with the 'cello!)?

Wow, Garden is difficult for me too. I love to play that one when I get it right - So you just mentioned the song that gives me the most satisfaction.

13 - What place would you like to perform one day?

Cathedral of St John, NYC. An incredible space. More than perform, I'd like to hear the Tibetan Monks sing in there - I've heard it said that the sound is literally transcendental.

14 - I noticed a big difference between the first show in Curitiba and the last one in Buenos Aires. At the Argentina shows, the violoncello was in perfect accord with Wayne's guitar - was it difficult to get to that place?

It was indeed - like I was saying earlier, I found the best way to mic the instrument and made it much easier for both of us to hear the thing. So we were able to do much more with the songs. Also the difference between show #1 and show #8 would be great for anyone, wouldn't it? I want to get to show #80 soon!

15 - Who's your team?

Another thing in common with Mr Hussey - SPFC

16 - Can we expect more shows from this duo?

I can't wait - but our schedules are very different and both our calendars are locked in until the new year. During this time, Wayne spoke of some ideas he wants to realize in his studio, he played a couple of them in the dressing rooms.... I think folks are going to like his next work very much.

17 - Do you have any recent or near future projects?

In August I'll play some shows with my sound system, “Strikkly Vikkly DubSystem”. By appearances i am a DJ, but I'm playing from a reel-to-reel machine. The tapes have 8 tracks, each with the different instruments, the songs is separated and I make mixes on the spot. Sometimes is borders on electronica. But YouTube is worth 1,000,00 words;)

Victor, thank you very much for the interview and I hope to see you soon in another Tour with Wayne! ;-)

Michel, thanks so much for the chance to talk a bit!
Big hug!

Brazil, July, 2008.