BILLY SUTER with an occasional column in which he chats to popular musicians about their musical likes and dislikes. The spotlight is on fine Durban guitarist SEBASTAIN GOLDSWAIN, who performs from 9pm on Wednesday, April 10, at the next fortnightly Music in the Hills (Mith) event in the barn at the Knoll Historic Guest Farm in Hilton. Performing from 8pm will be The Vast Oddity, with Mythical Mike Tythson entertaining at 7pm. Doors open at 6pm. Admission is R40 at the door. Take along your own booze. Visit www.mith.co.za for more details and directions.
Latest news from you?
I am in the middle of releasing my sophomore album, The Road Ahead. It is my first in three years and fully acoustic. During April and May I will be touring KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town and Gauteng to promote it… and I can’t wait.
I have more news, but I can’t say much about it yet. For more info and release dates, check out my website: www.sebgoldswain.com
What is your favourite song right now?
I Close My Eyes by Madison Cunningham
The last album you bought – and why?
Anthem of the Peaceful Army by Greta van Fleet. It’s an amazing album despite what critics say, and I am really excited by Greta van Fleet and how they are going to influence a new generation of rockers.
Two of your favourite songs of all time?
So many… but, probably Albatross by Big Wreck and And So It Goes by Billy Joel.
Three of the finest albums ever?
Graceland by Paul Simon – for its place in history and for the poetry.
Sloe Gin by Joe Bonamassa – the finest modern blues masterpiece, in my opinion.
Emotion and Commotion by Jeff Beck. Jeff Beck playing Nessun Dorma with a 60- piece orchestra? Come on!
Song you hate the most right now?
Chain Reaction by Diana Ross. No comment.
Worst song in history?
Chain Reaction by Diana Ross. It’s kind of a thing.
Song you most associate with your teens?
Good Times, Bad Times by Led Zeppelin. The irony is not lost on me.
Song you most associate with your early childhood years?
I Am a Rock by Simon and Garfunkel. Family road trips!
The size of your music collection and the artists represented most there?
I wouldn’t know how to add up my collection of CDs, mp3s and streaming playlists, but the artists are immensely diverse – from The Stones to Django Reinhardt, Erik Satie, Bach, Beyonce, Wayne Shorter, Kendrick Lamar, Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder and Frank Zappa.
I went through a shred guitar phase in varsity, so there is a LOT of shred guitar too.
Favourite radio station and DJ?
Don’t listen to radio much, but Bruce Whitfield’s Money Show on 702 is definitely my favourite radio programme. Bruce makes money sound more interesting than it is, and he is a great interviewer.
The local artists you most admire?
Dan Patlansky. How famous is that oke! Also, the recently parted Gangs of Ballet. Love and admire those guys immensely.
Artists from abroad that you most admire?
Tommy Emmanuel, Pat Metheny, Jacob Collier and Keith Getty.
Most over-rated people in the recording business?
Well, I like them, so I won’t give them my public dismissal just yet.
Pet hate/s about the music scene in South Africa?
Americans are trying to sound African, and Africans are trying to sound American.
The one music act you would give the world to see perform live?
Ever asked a music personality for an autograph?
Yeah! Kendrick Scott and Anton Fig. Both drummers.
Music acts you have seen live and loved?
Deep Purple with Steve Morse, Janine Jansen (the great violinist) playing Tchaikovsky’[s Violin Concerto, and I recently saw Tony Trischka the banjo player performing with my friend David Jenkins in Durban. It was one of the greatest gigs I’ve been to.
Best singing star ever?
“Maamaaaaaaaaa… oooooooooooooh!” Freddie Mercury, for sure.
The greatest musician of all time?
Oof, I don’t know about that one. I’ll just settle for J S Bach, and think about it a little more.
Best band in history?
Jazz-rock band The Dixie Dregs!
The styles of music you most enjoy – and least enjoy?
To quote Duke Ellington: “There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind”.
The most embarrassing artist represented in your music collection – and why is it there?
Someone lent me a CD of panpipe covers that they wanted as background music at their wedding. I can’t get it back to them… and I don’t have the heart to burn it (like it deserves).
The one song that will always be guaranteed to get you on to a dancefloor?
I Want You Back by The Jackson 5.
The musical teaming you would most like to see?
Stevie Wonder with Lady Gaga. When are they going to do what clearly needs to be done?
Your choice of karaoke song?
Anything by Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix. Pitching of notes is virtually irrelevant.
The first song you ever performed for an audience?
Cavatina from The Deer Hunter. It was a disaster, but I am proud of 14-year-old Seb for being lame enough to take a foot-stool on stage.
Guilty pleasure: a song you really feel you shouldn’t enjoy, but secretly do?
Spinning Around by Kylie Minogue. I’m a ’90s kid.
Worst decade for music?
Hottest-looking music celebs?
Ask my wife.
Instruments you can play?
The song you’d like to be played at your funeral?
Now We Are Free by Hans Zimmer… and since we’re going with the Gladiator theme, there can be helmets, shields, white doves and wine too.
The song you find the saddest?
My Way Frank Sinatra. World-view implications.
Two dead music icons you’d most like to invite to dinner?
Igor Stravinsky and Charlie Parker. They were something of a mutual admiration society, so I’d just sit there with a notepad and listen to them talk about harmony.