Larry CROCKETT - Interview - Friday 1st June 2012 Salle 3000 (Lyon)
Nice to meet you again Larry.
Yes, my pleasure.
AM : We first met in Lyon in 2009 when you played a gig
with your friend
Do you remember?
I remember, yes, I do.
AM : Larry, let's go back to the past, could you please
tell us where you were born, where are you from?
I was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, it's like the "banlieue" (suburbs)
of New York. Should I speak to the French public or just all
international concerns ?
AM : International.
OK. I was born in New Jersey, Red Bank, the town of
in fact, I grew up there and then later moved to New York, Brooklyn for a
little while before I come to Paris.
Do you remember when did you first touch a drum kit?.
Whoa! Well I touched the snare drum, maybe 6 months before I touched
the drum because my father wasn't sure if I was going to actually stick
with it so, because he gave me a bass first because he was a bassist and
I never touched it, I wanted to play the drums you know so he bought me
a snare drum to see before he bought me the drum set, so I touched the
snare drum, I think I was around 6 years old shortly, after the drum set came.
We had some famous jazz teachers on piano, I studied piano for classic
composition you know I mean,
and the Jazz band director was
and my drum instructor was
great teachers and great musicians. Also, I was very fortunate.
What is your nickname?
I have several, but I guess the one which stood out the most is Mr Sticks.
First I was actually kid Sticks when I was little, then I moved up to Sticks,
they started to call me Mr Sticks, I don't know that's how it is.
AM : You are a man of many talents :
You are a musician and a songwriter. You have worked with the biggest
names in the music industry, pop, rock, R&B, soul, blues, jazz musicians.
Can you name some of them?
Well, I don't like to talk like that, I don't like to blow my horn,
as we say in my town, but I've been very fortunate and I worked like
you said with different artists from different genres, back to
Sam & Dave,
Martha and The Vandellas,
a commercial with
in Japan rock super star named
a Korean star called Shin Hyo Bum, from Blues Dakota Staton, the great
Liz McComb, fantastic and incredible,
the great Eric Bibb, there are so many, I'm sure I'm leaving out a lot but
I've been very fortunable, that's true.
You played in famous venues in the US like the
Blue Note, where else?
Yes, Blue Note,
Madison Square Garden
that was a big highlight, the
Cotton Club when it was around, it's a great venue, there was a club
called the Bottom Line it wasn't internationally known but in New York
it was a very popular club with great musicians came through town but
it's no longer there, but I was fortunate for that.
Yes, I love playing in Asia actually. I played in Korea, I was working with
and we toured with
at that time, and Japan several times.
I love working in Asia, it's different and
people are very nice, so I really enjoy that.
AM : What is your favourite venue and your best memory?
That's a tough one! There are so many and my memory is not
that great to begin with!
But I guess one of the best places I've enjoyed playing actually was Japan.
Musically it's been a lot of highlights so it's difficult you know. With
Lizz Mc Comb I remember playing in the studio and she is so special.
I was playing and she played something and sang something in such a way
that I just almost wanted to cry when I was playing in the studio, you know,
I wanted to stop, listen and just cry but you know you can't stop,
so that was a highlight, there is a lot of highlights to work with her,
but a lot of highlights to work with Eric Bibb as well, so that's a tough one,
so I couldn't sing aloud you know but the place I would say where
I had the best time playing would be in Japan.
In 2007 you released a CD called My wish.
Oh Yes, a little plug here (holding up the CD)
AM : With 15 tracks on it and one was written with your friend
Eric Bibb, do you remember the title?
Yes, I don't have to look, it's Leaves. Leaves are falling.
It's a beautiful song, I like it a lot. It's a ballad, it's a symbolic
song for life, you know leaves are falling, we pass on as well as human beings,
the lyrics reflect that. It's a pretty melody we wrote together,
it's a very nice song.
AM : You also just released an album called Peace Revolution.
Yes, Peace Revolution, that's what we need!
AM : This is it.
Okay, oh you're well prepared Anne-Marie, plug plug number 2, Peace Revolution
(holding up another CD).
AM : What is it all about?
Well it's about promoting positive living actually, but it's a lot
of fun songs as well, it's not a serious CD. some songs are serious,
Life Illusions is a song which talks about life and how we can look at
it differently and enjoy it more, you know, but the title song Peace Revolution
is really what it says, we need a peace revolution on this earth and it can start
with me and you, so you don't have to think so big but this is what I hope
to generate peace out there in the world.
AM : What is your favourite track on this CD?
Let's see, that's a tough one, it's like who is your favourite child you know?
It's really like that! I like them all, but I think the funny one that I like
the most is Momma's Got a Gun, because I played it for my mother and she just
laughed, so I think that's one of my favourite songs, it's funny, witty, and
it's got a good groove so check it out, Momma's Got a Gun!
You are not only a musician, you are also a songwriter and a writer.
Yes, I love to write.
AM : You wrote Drum Set Rudiments, Life Illusions, Sex & Drumming,
The Left Hand...And you also wrote this small book called
101 Keys to Success in Music and in Life.
Yes, this is the book. It's a small book but there are some helpful things,
positive messages that I think we can all use, positive reminders,
maybe everyone actually knows all of these things, but when we are caught
in life we tend to forget some other things that we know, so I like to
sometimes just open up the book and just see what page it lies on and it's
like a reminder of something to do, it helps you and like the title says
music and life, so it's a positive book, a real american book I think you know,
go...we can be the best in ourselves not better than anyone else, we can be
better people, better musicians, if we just try and practice, strive and brave
our goals and things like that, just another thing I thought that maybe would
help people coming up and young musicians too, yeah I wrote that a while ago,
it's a good book.
Your latest book is called Peace Revolution, what does this book deal with?
I have actually the writer's edition, it's the final draft, but it would be
in a book size form. Yeah I wrote it after the CD, after the song and it's
basically a book of short stories and they all illustrate some point,
some aspect of peace, so some stories are funny, some are sad, but they are
all true stories, and at the end a tie to an element of peace, and how to get,
to have more peace in our personal lives and eventually lead to peace around
the world, in the world, so that was the idea, to go along with the book,
to go along with the CD actually.
What are you doing when you don't tour and write music or books?
Sleep! (laughing) No, I mean I love to write, I love to study, and write
music and practice. I guess time off I like to visit nature, I like to walk
in the forest it gives me a lot of pleasure and feeds my soul which I need
sometimes after a tour. Yeah I like the nature, going through the forest and walking.
AM : And also sometimes you like to answer the questions of lot of
Yes this is one of the latest issues of a French drum magazine called
it's the April issue. They did a nice interview, a nice spread this is
it (showing the magazine), and another two pages.
AM : That's a lovely one!
He asked some nice questions, it was a concert we gave at the
New Morning in Paris and we had a great time, I'm happy it came through,
the director Marc Rouvé is a really nice guy and I think he did a good job,
asking different questions and coming to the show, so it was very nice, I was happy.
Why are you here tonight in Lyon?
Yes beautiful Lyon, it's a "Belle ville". We are playing a concert tonight with
Lizz Mc Comb, we have a big band tonight with three horns, an organ guitar,
percussions, drums, bass, it's a big and good show.
AM : Who are the musicians?
We have on bass
from California, Reggie is from New York, we have on guitar
from Guadeloupe, now he lives in Berlin, Phil Makaia on percussions
and Gwokas from Guadeloupe, he lives in Paris,
on trumpet from America, I think Baltimore,
a great trumpeter, Xavier Sibre on saxophone,
on trombone and Liz Mc Comb on vocals and piano and plus myself on drums.
AM : Larry, thank you very much for your time. Have a great concert tonight with Lizz Mc Comb.
Thank you very much. I just like to say thank you, you're a very nice person.
I met you a few years ago, I remember that and I always hope to come back and
see whenever I'm in town and it's a pleasure to finally do an interview with
you on rock-interviews.com
Merci and I thank the public for the support they have given me through the years.
Thanks a lot. Merci beaucoup !